The Dubai racing operation has racked up 22 winners in seven meetings so far and are likely to add to that tally with 13 horses entered for five prizes in the seven-race card
Godolphin to send out 13 runners at eighth Dubai World Cup Carnival meet
Godolphin will arrive at Meydan on Thursday looking to add to an already considerable list of winners during this year's Dubai World Cup Carnival.
The Dubai racing operation has racked up 22 winners in seven meetings so far and are likely to add to that tally with 13 horses entered for five prizes in the seven-race card.
The feature races are the opening Meydan Sprint and the Zabeel Mile, the fifth race, both Group 2 prizes. The Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes is the other and all three run on the turf.
Godolphin are double handed in the Zabeel Mile with the Charlie Appleby-trained Bay Of Poets with William Buick atop and Saeed bin Suroor’s Dream Castle under Pat Cosgrave.
Bay Of Poets comes into the race with two runs under his belt at this year's Carnival. The Dubawi colt was sixth behind Godolphin’s Benbatl in the Group 3 Singspiel Stakes in his first outing and runner-up behind the same horse in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya three weeks ago.
“He’s a horse who always travels well through his races and we are hoping that a strongly-run mile will play to his strengths,” Appleby told the Godolphin website.
Dream Castle has also had two runs at Meydan this season, finishing seventh behind stable companion Salsabeel in a handicap rated 95-115 followed by a close third behind another Godolphin runner, Jungle Cat, in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort.
“He always shows a lot of class in his work in the mornings and ran well to finish fifth over this trip in last year’s 2,000 Guineas,” Bin Suroor said.
“He is fit, ready to go and I am hoping there are no excuses for him this time.”
The US$250,000 (just over Dh918,000) race has drawn 10 runners and includes South African Group 1 winner Whisky Baron, last year’s winner Championship and Al Fahidi Fort runner-up Janoobi.
Appleby’s Blue Point looks an exciting entry in the Meydan Sprint. The 1,000m dash has drawn six runners, including Ertijaal, last year’s winner of this race. Appleby, though, quietly fancies the Shamardal colt’s chances despite tackling the 1,000m trip for the first time in 10 career starts.
“He’s in great order and his preparation has gone very well,” Appleby said of Blue Point. “This will be his prep race for the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup Night [31 March] and I would expect there to be some improvement to come for his first run of the season.
“He is racing over five furlongs for the first time but he shows a lot of natural pace and it wouldn’t be a concern. It could potentially open up a few options looking ahead to the European season.”
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Godolphin have four entered in the Dubai Millennium Stakes spearheaded by Appleby’s Folkswood, runner-up in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday last year.
Folkswood produced a career-high when finishing third to Winx in the Group 1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley and then produced a creditable performance to finish fifth in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington in November, both in Australia.
“He looks in good order and this will be a nice prep race ahead of another crack at the Jebel Hatta next month,” Appleby said.
The five-year-old gelding by Exceed And Excel is joined by Bin Suroor’s trio of Leshlaa, winner of a handicap over the same course and distance, Group 3 runner-up Carry On Deryck and Team Talk, a Listed winner in England.
“Leshlaa won nicely over this course and distance on his latest start but this will be a tougher race,” said Bin Suroor.
“He comes into this contest in good form and I am hopeful of another good result.
“Team Talk has been working well and is ready to go again, while I have been happy with Carry On Deryck since his last run.”
6.30pm: Meydan Sprint Group 2; US$175,000; 1,000m
7.05pm: Handicap; $60,000; 1,400m.
7.40pm: Handicap; $160,000; 1,400m.
8.15pm: Dubai Millennium Stakes Group 3; $200,000; 2,000m.
8.50pm: Zabeel Mile Group 2; $250,000; 1,600m.
9.25pm: Handicap; $125,000; 1,600m.
10pm: Handicap; $125,000; 2,410m.