x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Aspectoflove is the big hope as Godolphin saddle 18 runners

The Dubai-based operation have yet to win the Group 2 Cape Verdi having sent out six runners in the races seven-year history.


Godolphin saddle 18 runners at Meydan Racecourse this evening on a star-studded card which features the upgraded Group 2 Cape Verdi as the penultimate race of seven.

The Dubai-based operation have yet to win the 1,600m turf contest, having sent out six runners in the race's seven-year history.

Godolphin are hoping that Aspectoflove can go one better than last year, when the filly was just touched off by Soneva under an enterprising ride from Christophe Soumillon, the stylish Belgian.

And Saeed bin Suroor, the Godolphin trainer, believes that the five-year old mare may have improved after last year's agonising defeat.

"She shows plenty of speed but she looks more relaxed nowadays," he said.

"She was only just beaten in this race last year. She is better racing prominently and we expect her to go close."

If Aspectoflove has improved, then so have her rivals in the 11-runner field. Deem, trained by the Saudi-based Jerry Barton, will be aimed at a second Cape Verdi success, having won the race when it was a Group 3 in 2009. The six-year-old grey, who beat Aspectoflove in last season's Balanchine, will be ridden by Olivier Peslier.

"She is in good form and seems to thrive in Dubai," the Frenchman said. "We have to be hopeful of a good run and hopefully there will be a decent pace in the race to utilise her stamina."