Super Saturday – Dubai World Cup Berths Up For Grabs

First is off at 13h30

Five qualifying races mean there is all to play for at Meydan on Emirates Super Saturday, when horses trained in eight countries battle for a place on Dubai World Cup night.

A guaranteed spot in the $12million Dubai World Cup awaits the winner of the AED1.7million Gr2 Al Maktoum Classic [Sponsored by Emirates Airline], race six, in which 12 run. They include Gr1 winner Ajuste Fiscal and Group 2 winners Clapton, Military Law and former World Cup sixth Remorse.

The highest-rated horse in the field is US raider Clapton, on 112, who finished third in the Gr1 Maktoum Challenge last time out. He will be ridden by William Buick and break from stall three.

“I’m very happy how the horse has acclimatised since he arrived,” said trainer Chad Summers, a dual winner of the Gr1 Dubai Golden Shaheen with Mind Your Biscuits. “William [Buick] breezed him for us a few weeks ago and was very happy with him.”

The Maktoum Classic is preceded by the Gr2 Dubai City of Gold [Sponsored by emirates.com] in which a place in the $6million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic is on the line. Trainer Charlie Appleby has won this 2400metre turf contest five times and runs three, with exciting four-year-old Castle Way the pick of stable jockey Buick.

“Castle Way is probably the horse out of my three with the most scope to progress throughout the season,” said Appleby of the Group 3 winner. “He ended his three-year-old campaign with a couple of strong efforts and is ready to get going again.”

The former British Champion Trainer also runs recent Dubai Millennium Stakes winner Warren Point, as well as Bold Act, a Group 3 winner at Keeneland in October.

“Warren Point has won over a mile and a half in the past, so stepping back up in trip won’t be an issue – he should be bang there at the finish,” said Appleby, who won this race a year ago with Global Storm.

“Bold Act enjoyed travelling last year and put up a good performance to win at Keeneland in the autumn. He heads into this in good nick.”

Taking on the formidable Godolphin trio is British trainer Jamie Osborne who sends out Solid Stone, a good third to Warren Point last time out.

“Solid Stone has been aimed at the Dubai City of Gold since the start of the Carnival,” he said. “He ran very well over an inadequate trip in the Dubai Millennium. That has brought him forward and I’d be very hopeful he’s ready to run his best race on Super Saturday.”

Two German Group 1 winners, Sisfahan and Simca Mille, as well as Qatar Derby winner Jeff Koons and French Group winner Trevaunance, complete the international line up in what looks an intriguing race.

Europeans Vie for Al Quoz Start

One of the most competitive races on the card is the 1000metre G3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint, which gives guaranteed entry to the Gr1 Al Quoz Sprint to the winner.

Favourite for the race is Appleby’s flying filly Star Of Mystery, who is unbeaten in two runs at Meydan having won the G2 Blue Point Stakes last time out.

“Star Of Mystery has enjoyed a little break since the Blue Point Sprint and a repeat performance of that will make her very competitive again,” said Appleby. “It’s a good field but we are very happy with her.”

The other three-year-old filly in the race is William Knight’s Frost At Dawn, who has gone agonisingly close to a Dubai win, finishing second twice.

“She’s thriving in Dubai and Abbie, who looks after her, is delighted with her,” said the British trainer. “To be honest, I wish this race was over six furlongs [1200metres] but she’s shown she’s got plenty of toe. It is hard for these three-year-olds up against the seasoned sprinters, but I’d like to think she has a chance of running in the top three.”

Another international line-up includes former Carnival winners Ponntos, from the Czech Republic, and dual Meydan winner Batwan, based in France.

The G2 Godolphin Mile looks a hot race following the news that G1 Saudi Cup third Saudi Crown will run there, but a full field of 16 aim for a starting berth via the G3 Burj Nahaar [Sponsored by Emirates SkyCargo].

The mile dirt contest has attracted G3 Jebel Ali Mile winner Swing Vote, trained by Simon and Ed Crisford, as well as Group 1 winner Hypothetical, winner of the Gr3 Firebreak Stakes last time out. Up against them is Sound Money, winner of the Gr3 Mahab Al Shimaal on this card last year. He has his second start for trainer Doug Watson, who sent him out for a fourth in the Gr3 Dubawi Stakes in January.

“He was a bit ring rusty [in the Dubawi Stakes],” said the eight-time UAE Champion Trainer. “He had a bit of a foot issue four days before and pulled a shoe in the race, so I don’t know how much that affected him.

“He trains like a proper horse and he’s a beautiful animal. It was disappointing to miss the Firebreak Stakes, but we had to get him right.”

On the subject of the Mahab Al Shimaal;  10 go in the 1200metre dirt Group 3, which offers automatic entry to the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen. They include the exciting three-year-old Ma Yetal, unbeaten in two starts.

“We’re excited to get him back to the races over the sprint trip,” said trainer Michael Costa. “His work has been pleasing.”

Nine take him on, including local newcomer Go Chrome Go, winner of his last five starts in Argentina, who is trained by Julio Olascoaga.

“He makes his first start a little late in the season, as he had some health issues related to travel that made him lose some time,” said Olascoaga. “He will catch the eye on Saturday as he is a very nice-looking horse by California Chrome.”

The 1400metre turf Ras Al Khor [Sponsored by Emirates Airline] is one of the newer additions to the Super Saturday card but has quickly risen through the Pattern, being staged as a Group 3 for the first time.

Costa runs two, with stable jockey Ben Coen facing a tough decision in opting for G2 winner Marbaan over the consistent Yonafis.

“Marbaan will be better suited to this race with the gear change and application of tongue tie and shadow roll,” said Costa, this season’s leading trainer in the UAE. “Yonafis could not look any better, so it was a flip of the coin who Ben wanted to ride.”

The Costa pair face stiff opposition from Appleby, who runs five-time winner Noble Dynasty, a half-brother to G1 Jebel Hatta winner Barney Roy.

“Noble Dynasty runs well fresh and looks in great shape,” he told Godolphin.com. “He has a nice draw in stall four and should be involved in the finish.”

Classic Generation get their Chance to Shine

There are two three-year-old races on the card, the first of which is the fillies’ Listed Jumeirah 1000 Guineas [Sponsored by Emirates SkyCargo], race two.

Favourite is likely to be Appleby’s Cinderella’s Dream, winner of the Jumeirah Fillies’ Classic last time out.

“Cinderella’s Dream is in great order and stepping back up to a mile is going to suit,” said the trainer. “The form of her latest win has been franked by Beautiful Love and she looks the one to beat.”

Aiming to reverse form with Cinderella’s Dream is the Amy Murphy-trained Geologist, fourth to her last time, Nicolas Caullery’s Nadelia, fifth, and sixth home Onigiri, trained by Lucia Botti.

Appleby could sew up both three-year-old events as he runs two in the closing Jumeirah Classic [Sponsored by Arabian Adventures], race nine.

His Legend Of Time is two from two at Meydan, having won the Jumeirah Guineas last time out, in which stablemate Musical Act finished seventh.

“Legend Of Time has done well since the Jumeirah Guineas and this was always the target,” said Appleby, adding: “Musical Act was a bit unfortunate in the Jumeirah Guineas, when he got caught up in an early speed duel and didn’t finish his race. I’m hoping he can do everything the right way round this time and will be disappointed if he doesn’t make the places.”

The card’s Group 1 is the opening Maktoum Challenge Round 3 for Purebred Arabians, a prep for the Gr1 Dubai Kahayla Classic.

Multiple Group 1 winner RB Rich Lyke Me, trained by Fawzi Nass, is unbeaten this season and will be ridden by Adrie De Vries.

“He’s enjoyed a little bit of time off as the plan was to freshen him up for the Dubai Kahayla Classic,” said the jockey, who partnered him to success in G1 Maktoum Challenge R1 in December last time out.

“He was a little bit flat last time and had to work hard, so he needed a bit of a break. He didn’t go to Saudi this season – it’s tough for him travelling over there – so we’ve tried to keep him fresh.”

RB Rich Lyke Me’s 13 rivals include Jugurtha De Monlau and Kerless Del Roc, first and second in this race last season, as well as veteran Group 1 winner RB Frynchh Dude.

  • The first race at Meydan on Saturday is off at 13h30.

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