Meydan Starts At 16h00

Speed feature headlines the programme

A quality field of nine speedsters has been declared for the Gr2 Blue Point Sprint (Presented by Jebel Ali Port) at Meydan Racecourse today.

Named in honour of Godolphin’s four-time Group 1 winner, the Blue Point Sprint has attracted a multicultural cast, including two horses trained in Australia by Will Clarken; Parsifal and He’s A Balter, both of whom are having their second runs in Dubai.

He’s A Balter, beaten just a neck on his local debut last month, is the mount of Caitlin Jones, who agonized over which horse to ride.

“He’s A Balter’s run last time, only just being beaten, was a great thrill,” she said. “He’s such a gentleman, he tries so hard and he’s very honest. But Parsifal also ran really well in a slightly better grade of race, so it was a difficult decision.”

The field also includes last year’s runner-up, Acklam Express, the mount of Rowan Scott for trainer Nigel Tinkler.“He surprised us a bit last season with how well he ran here, against his elders,” said the jockey. “Then he ran a brilliant race to be third in the Gr1 Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup night.

There aren’t many races for three-year-old sprinters in the UK, so it was the plan to give him a lot of time off after Royal Ascot and to come out here again.

“We’ve got him as fit as we can at home, so I have to be hopeful of a big run.”

The card includes two Gr3 contests, one of which is a loaded renewal of the Nad Al Sheba Trophy (Presented by DP World), prep for the Gr2 Dubai Gold Cup, over 2800metres on turf. The field of 15 includes Charlie Appleby’s Manobo who is unbeaten in four starts, including winning the Gr2 Prix Chaudenay at Longchamp in October.

“Manobo’s preparations have gone well and this is very much a stepping stone towards Dubai World Cup night,” said the trainer via “He had a lovely year as a three-year-old and we are looking forward to seeing him back in action.”

Saeed Bin Suroor goes up against Manobo with Global Heat, just beaten a short-head by stablemate Volcanic Sky in this race last year, and Dubai Horizon, third in the 2020 edition of this race.

“Global Heat came out of his race last week in good form and has run well over this trip in the past,” said the Emirati handler. “Dubai Horizon has done well since his most recent run, which was his first appearance after a long time. He has been working nicely at home and will also enjoy this distance.”

The G3 UAE Oaks (presented by JAFZA) has attracted a field of seven including the Fawzi Nass-trained Shahama, winner of all three of her starts to date, including the Listed UAE 1000 Guineas. Her main rival might well be Shadzadi, an impressive winner of a maiden here last month.

The other three-year-old race on the card is the new Al Wasl Stakes (Presented by Marfa Deira), over 1200metres on turf. The field of ten includes Silent Speech, who will be hard to beat for Appleby and William Buick, while Bin Suroor runs Home City and Wild Place,

The opening 1400metre Mina Hamriya Handicap, on dirt, is an international affair with the Greek-trained Ahatis, the winner of five of his six races so far, taking on runners from Sweden and the UAE.

“Ahatis seems to be a good horse, but so far he has been winning three-year-old races,” said trainer Christos Theodorakis. “One thing in common with Greece and here is the track, as we race on dirt, so he likes that. We know the level here is much higher, so if we can place that will be great.”

The card concludes with the ultra-competitive Mina Rashid Handicap, over 1600metres on turf. The field of 16 includes Appleby’s Valiant Prince, an impressive winner of a non-Carnival handicap here last month.

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