Friday – Destructive’s Last Chance For World Cup Place

Meydan first off at 15h30

Destructive has one last chance to qualify for the Dubai World Cup meeting when he lines up at the final Dubai Racing Carnival meeting at Meydan on Friday.

Trained by Michael Bell; the More Than Ready colt has run well in two appearances so far, finishing fourth both times.

He is being looked after in Dubai by the trainer’s son Nick, who is hopeful of a win impressive enough to see him invited to the Gr2 UAE Derby on March 30th.

Destructive – big run needed! (Pic – Dubai Racing Club)

“The plan, ever since he was shipped out to Dubai, was to try and gain entry into the UAE Derby,” he said.

“I thought he ran very well last time considering he missed a beat out of the stalls, and we are going to equip him with a stalls rug on Friday as he was a little fractious in the gates last time.

“Ben Coen breezed him on Monday morning and was very happy with him, but unfortunately, he can’t do the weight on Friday, so we have a very able deputy in Pat Cosgrave.

“The only slight negative to Destructive’s chance is that run will be his third in quite quick succession. However, we aren’t seeing any sign of that in his work which continues to be excellent.”

Destructive’s 14 rivals in the Dubai Marina Conditions race, over 1900metres on dirt,  include El Introvertido, second here last time out, and Elaybri, a winner over this course and distance two starts ago.

The most valuable Thoroughbred race on the card is the Downtown Dubai Handicap, race five, over 1600metres on turf, which is worth AED210,000.

The competitive 15-runner field includes Royal Dubai, a winner over 1800metres two starts ago before finishing fifth in the G2 Singspiel Stakes.

“Royal Dubai hasn’t stop improving this year after starting from a [handicap mark of] 90 two months ago,” said trainer Lucie Botti. “He needs to defeat a mark of 100 against some very respected horses with solid form. However, he seems still in good form and we are really looking forward to see him run this Friday.”

Up against him is South American G1 winner Ajuste Fiscal, having his first run on turf since 2022, and McManaman, a winner last time out over 1400metres.

The following 1900metre dirt handicap, race six, also looks very open with 14 taking their chance. They include Lion’s Mane, a winner last time out over 2200metres, and Mashkoor, who broke his maiden at Jebel Ali five weeks’ ago. He is trained and owned by Marwan Al Baidhaei, for whom he was a second winner in just his second season training.

“Mashkoor is healthy and training well coming up to the race,” said Al Baidhaei, who has a healthy strike rate with two winners from just 12 runners this season. “I’m confident he’ll run a good race if things go well until race day.”

One of the most difficult races to fathom races could be the Dubai Creek Harbour Handicap, over 1200metres on turf, race seven.

Dual Carnival winner Batwan deserves top billing and has top weight in the field of 16. The nine-year-old makes a quick return after finishing tenth in the G3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint on Saturday.”

“Batwan is nine and you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!” said Marine Henry, wife and assistant to trainer Nicolas Caullery, who rides the horse in the mornings. “Last Saturday the race was too fast so he didn’t put his heart on the track; he knew it was too tough.

“He looked like an unraced horse after the race and was really happy the next day. His revised rating means he is allowed to get in the handicap on Friday so let’s go! This race is easier and this is his distance, too.”

The one to beat may be Vespasian, a winner here over 1000metres before finishing second over the same trip behind Topper Bill three weeks’ ago.

“He’s been very consistent since he’s been racing in Dubai,” said co-trainer Ed Crisford. “Although all his races here have been over 1000m we are sure he’ll be fine over the extra furlong at Meydan as he has won over six and seven furlongs [1200m-1400m] back in the UK. He’s been training really well and improving with each run.”

The card opens with the most valuable of the nine races, the Gr2 Mazrat Al Ruwayah [Sponsored by Emaar], for Purebred Arabians. The 1600m race, won in 2023 by AF Almomayez, is being staged on turf for the first time.

A full field of 16 run, including the Ernst Oertel-trained AF Alajaj, winner of this race on dirt in 2022, and multiple Group 1 winner Rajeh.

  • The first race is off at 15h30.

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