Dubai-based operation to launch campaign immediately as UAE racing gets underway on Friday
Godolphin mean business as they decide to run two horses at Jebel Ali this weekend
As the UAE racing season gets underway at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Friday, the spotlight will be on two Godolphin horses running in the first and penultimate events of the six-race card.
It is unusual for the Dubai-based racing operation to run any of their horses so early in the season, hence there is little doubt they mean business right from the get-go.
Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor has entered Military Parade in the handicap rated 0-75, run over 1,950 metres, and Perfect Sense in the handicap rated 65-80 over the sprint distance of 1,200m.
“This year we have a few horses suitable for some of the early-season races so have shipped them [from the United Kingdom] to Dubai,” Bin Suroor said.
“It will give us an opportunity to assess them with regards to their future plans. Hopefully they can progress through the ranks.”
Military Parade and Perfect Sense have both arrived after recent campaigns in England.
Military Parade was runner up on his racecourse debut in August. The colt by Dutch Art finished third and subsequently unplaced in his most recent start in a Maiden at Newcastle. Perfect Sense was runner up in his last two starts.
The featured prize on the card is the 1,000m dash, a handicap rated 85-105 and drawn 12 runners.
Meanwhile Gopi Selvaratnam has backed Sholaam, the eight-year-old gelded son of Invincible Spirit, to get his new innings as a trainer off to a bright start.
“We know the track suits him well and he is in good form at home, but he has been off a long while and it looks a hot race,” said Selvaratnam, who is the brother of recently-retired trainer Dhruba. “He should run well but will improve for the run after a year off.”
Sholaan is ridden by Tom Marquand, who is making his UAE debut on the day with five races on the card.
The Satish Seemar-trained Satwa Story will be seeking to end its longest absence of 1,007 days, having not been in the public eye since victory at Meydan Racecourse in January 2015.
“He is a horse we have always held in very high regard but has had his fair share of niggles and small problems,” UAE champion jockey Richard Mullen said.
“It will be his first try at Jebel Ali and over 1,000m but we hope it will suit him. Fingers crossed, we can keep him sound and enjoy a good season with the horse.”