There has not been a faster burst of raw speed over 400 metres at Meydan Racecourse this season than that displayed by Nocturnal Affair but David Marnane's Irish raider will be severely put the test on Saturday in the Meydan Sprint.
The six year old, who is a son of 2004 Dubai World Cup third Victory Moon, put to an end any notion of competition halfway through the Al Naboodah Construction Group handicap two weeks ago by eating up ground to win the 1,000m contest in 58.47 seconds.
According to Trakus, the organisation responsible for sectional timing at the Dubai racecourse, Nocturnal Affair covered 400m in 21.56 seconds to go past Inexile and win from Monsieur Joe.
It was a particularly noteworthy effort as the gelding was drawn in stall one, on the far side of the course, and had to be held up by his jockey Ryan Moore for a later run through the middle of the pack down the centre of the track. Marnane believes that his charge has the speed to defy his 14 rivals on Saturday in preparation for the Al Quoz Sprint on March 31.
"We are delighted he has progressed so well. When he goes, or the jockey asks him to go, he has a phenomenal turn of foot," he said.
"Many of the horses who could be in the Al Quoz will be in the field on Saturday so we'll know where we are after the weekend."
Nocturnal Affair has not received an invitation to World Cup night as yet, but with an official rating of 112 he is higher up the weight scale than nine of the runners who featured in last year's Al Quoz.
"I'm coming out on Thursday," Marnane said. "I hope I get a phone call on Sunday telling me we're in the big race."