Meydan Starts At 13h30

World Pools and plenty of betting opportunities

Super Saturday, the dress rehearsal for Dubai World Cup night at Meydan, should provide plenty of clues to one of the world’s great race meetings in three weeks’ time.

TAB customers can bet Win, Place, Exacta, Quinella and Swinger bets into Hong Kong’s massive World Pools on Races 2 to 8 and they can bet big without having much effect on the payouts.

Former SA jockey Douglas Whyte, now a successful trainer in Hong Kong, will continue a measured approach with Russian Emperor towards the Grade 1 Dubai Sheema Classic (2410m) on Dubai World Cup night on 25 March.

Dougie Whyte – another milestone today (Pic – HKJC)

Hong Kong’s champion stayer will have his final warm-up race for the big night in the Grade 1 Jebel Hatta (1800m). Triumphant in the Amir Trophy (2400m) at Al Rayyan Racecourse in Qatar on 18 February, Russian Emperor has settled into his new surroundings well, according to Whyte who exercised the six-year-old at Meydan on Wednesday morning.

“He’s fine, he went around the track on Wednesday and just did a striding canter. He took a bit of a knock for the first couple of days with the travel from Qatar but he’s looking better now. He was on a plane pretty much straight after the race and flew to Dubai, so it took a bit out of him, but nothing of any significance. His weight is back to where we like it, he’s bright – I’m very happy with him.”

Round III of the Al Maktoum Challenge, the first Group 1 on the bumper nine-race card, lost some of its appeal when Hypothetical’s bid for back-to-back wins were shelved on Wednesday after the Salem bin Ghadayer-trained runner was withdrawn.

This year’s renewal looks a trappy race and course specialist Salute The Soldier, the 2022 winner, is taken to bounce back after finishing a poor fifth behind Algiers in Round II. He had valid excuses for his lacklustre performance – he stumbled leaving the gates, was mildly lame afterwards and scoped poorly.

The Fawzi Nass-trained eight-year-old demonstrated he hadn’t lost his enthusiasm and ability when winning on his first appearance of the season. He can leave his recent blip behind and take his UAE tally to five under Andre de Vries.

The racemeeting starts at 13h30.

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