Almanaara, last year's winner, will be joined by two other Doug Watson-trained horses – Kimbear and Drafted – in fifth race run over 1,200 metres
Almanaara leads Dubai World Cup Carnival prospects at Meydan Racecourse
Some Dubai World Cup Carnival prospects will be running in the Listed Garhoud Sprint when action resumes at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday following a week-long break.
The fifth in the seven-race card run over the 1,200 metres distance has drawn 10 runners of which three are trained by UAE champion trainer Doug Watson.
Among them are Almanaara, the race winner in 2016, Kimbear, a Group 3 winner at the carnival meeting, and Drafted, also a handicap winner at the carnival.
Watson is confident all three can challenge for the prize with some good work shown at home.
“Almanaara has the best draw of the trio over what is probably his ideal trip, but hopefully the other two will be staying on,” the American said. “The carnival meeting is in four weeks and this looks an ideal opportunity to get them back on the track.”
Satish Seemar is double handed with Raven’s Corner and Circle Dream. Raven's Corner will be ridden by Richard Mullen but has been drawn wide at Gate 9 of the 10 runners.
“Raven’s Corner is in very good form, but has been done no favours by the draw and should improve for his first run back,” assistant trainer Bhupath Seemar said. “Circle Dream is a three year old taking on the older horses, which is never easy, but he is doing well at home.”
Raven’s Corner and Kimbear are on a rematch after their last meeting in the US$1 million (Dh3.67m) Group 2 Godolphin Mile on the Dubai World Cup night in March. In that race, Kimbear finished sixth – two places ahead of Raven’s Corner over the 1,600m trip.
Prior to that, Raven’s Corner had trounced Kimbear by seven lengths, but the runner up was conceding six kilograms to the winner, in a handicap over the 1,400m distance at the carnival meeting.
Emirati trainer Helal Al Alawi and jockey Fernando Jara are in line to achieve personal milestones. They are both on 99 winners each in the UAE and have a chance to celebrate a 100th on the night.
Al Alawi sends out Compliance in the opener. The three-year-old gelded son of Exceed And Excel ridden by stable jockey William Lee can benefit from the two local starts.
He was sixth in his first start on the track on November 1 and was runner up at Jebel Ali 15 days later.
Jara has three good chances of crossing the 100-winner mark on the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained trio Quartier Francais, Raayan and Key Bid in the next three races.
Quartier Francais arrives on the back of two runs under his belt, and an impressive winner of the last start on the track.
Raayan is making his racecourse debut and appears to be an exciting prospect on paper. The two-year-old colt is by the 2013 Dubai World Cup and Kentucky Derby Winner Animal Kingdom.
Key Bid brings some decent European form and was a creditable fourth on his first local start five weeks ago.