Meydan Starts At 16h00 On Friday

Six race card features a pair of new 3yo races

Godolphin’s Star Safari aims to become the first horse to win two editions of the Gr3 Dubai Millennium Stakes (Presented by Lincoln) at Friday’s seventh Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting.

Trained by Charlie Appleby, the six-year-old warmed up for this assignment with a win in the Listed Zabeel Trophy over course and distance. He is the choice of William Buick on Friday, with James Doyle partnering progressive stablemate Royal Fleet.

Saeed bin Suroor, who won this race in 2014 with Tasaday and 2015 with Hunter’s Light, runs Volcanic Sky, third over 2410 metres two weeks’ ago, and Big Team, who reverts to turf after three runs on dirt.

“Volcanic Sky tries hard as you saw in his race last time,” said Bin Suroor from Saudi Arabia, where he is supervising his Saudi Cup team. “Big Team has been very consistent all season and was finishing his last race well.”

The 12-strong field also includes the Turkish-trained Burgas, who has an impressive eight wins from 12 starts at home, including the Turkish Derby.

“Burgas is one of the best horses in Turkey; he won the Turkish Derby and he’s beaten Long Runner, who holds the record for the most Turkish Group 1 wins,” said Bulut Karahan, Racing Manager to owner/breeder Fedai Kahraman. “We are using this race to get him ready for the G1 (Longines) Dubai Sheema Classic at the Dubai World Cup meeting.”

One of the most competitive races on the card is the 1200metre Lincoln Nautilus Handicap, race two. Batwan, a winner over course and distance last month, attempts to repeat the feat for trainer Nicholas Caullery, whose wife and assistant Marine Henry commented: “Batwan worked really well in preparation for this race; he loves it here in Dubai.

“We’re hoping for a good run here and to earn an invitation into the Gr1 Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup day.”

Batwan’s rivals include the progressive Jadwal, winner of his last two starts over this track and trip. “He’s coming off the two wins in a row and should run well although he’s got a couple to beat in there,” said trainer Doug Watson. “To me, Taneen looks the danger, but there are five nice Shadwell horses in there.”

Dirt sprinters clash 35 minutes’ later in the Lincoln Aviator Handicap, over 1200metres. The eight-strong field includes the Adam West-trained Live In The Moment, who switches to this surface after finishing seventh in the G2 Blue Point Sprint on turf last week.

“He seems to travel well on the surface in the mornings, strides out well, so we thought we’d give a go,” said jockey Sean Kirrane. “It’s a small field so hopefully he can pick up something.”

The most valuable race on the card is the new Jumeirah Derby (Presented by Al Tayer Motors), over 2000metres on turf, which has a purse of $200,000. Eight take their chance, including the 102-rated New Kingdom, second over 1800metres on local debut last time out. He looks the one to beat for Appleby who also runs Nations Pride.

Musabbeh Al Mheirih has his string in excellent form and he saddles Al Ghaith, fourth to the re-opposing Poster Paint at Abu Dhabi last time out.

“He’s a good horse but we are still learning more about his ability,” said the Emirati handler. “He’s run two races, one at Abu Dhabi, and we are looking forward to seeing how he fares this time.”

Watson has a strong chance of taking the concluding Lincoln Navigator Handicap, over 1600metres on dirt, with Scabbard, impressive winner of a non-Carnival handicap last time out. Given a three-week break since, the five-year-old will race off bottom weight here.

“He’s probably our best chance of the day,” said the Champion Trainer. “He ran a good first race and should go very well.”

The opening race is the new Al Karama Stakes (Presented by Lincoln Corsair), for three-year-olds over 1400metres on dirt. Watson runs impressive debut winner Taking Names, who bounced back to form when third over 1200metres last time out, while Salem Bin Ghadayer saddles Rawy, winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial over this course and distance.

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