ABU DHABI // Naseem will be out to underline his status as the best juvenile Purebred Arabian in the country when he takes on a field which he has well beaten in both his starts in the UAE.
The Mahabb colt was an impressive winner of the Arabian Triple Crown Round 1 and followed up that victory with another fluent success in the UAE Arabian Derby a fortnight ago at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
He meets the same opposition from his two victories, but has to concede weight to all, in the Arabian Triple Crown Round 2, the feature event of the seven-race card at the capital's racecourse.
Wayne Smith, who rode the Majed Al Jahouri-trained chestnut colt to both his victories in the UAE, retains the ride.
"I was very impressed with his first win over 1,600 metres and he coped brilliantly with the step up to 2,200 metres last time," said the UAE champion jockey.
"He has a lot of class and would be potentially one of the best Purebred Arabians I have sat on. He has to give weight away but I am very hopeful he can pass this next test."
Daffagh Al Asayl, the UAE-bred Darike colt who finished third in the UAE Derby, is likely to give Al Jahouri horse the main challenge.
Ernst Oertel, the trainer, will hope his charge can reverse form in receipt of weight this time.
The Dubai World Cup-winning jockey Mirco Demuro is in the saddle.
The Emirates Colts Classic has drawn the maximum field of 16 for the 1,600m contest.
Mohammed Al Ketbi trains Okba, who has won his two most recent starts. Despite carrying a penalty, he looks to be the one the other 15 horses have to beat.
Pat Cosgrave takes the ride and will be hoping to confirm form with Af Sanadek, whom Okba beat last time.
Af Sanadek has since won a first race for the trainer Eric Lemartinel.