Spotlight on Dee Ex Bee during Meydan debut at Dubai World Cup Carnival
Salem bin Ghadayer’s challenger to be assessed ahead of Saudi Cup meeting next month
The spotlight on Week 5 of the Dubai World Cup Carnival falls on the 2018 English Derby runner-up Dee Ex Bee’s debut at Meydan on Thursday.
The five-year-old son of Farhh in the silks of the Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed is the highest rated in the seven-race card with a prize fund of over $1.1million (Dh4m) .
Flown out of Mark Johnston’s stables in the UK to spend the winter at Salem bin Ghadayer’s yard in Dubai, Dee Ex Bee carries top weight in the Meydan Cup, a Listed Turf Handicap run over the 2,810m distance.
Dee Ex Bee also holds an entry in the 3,000m Turf Handicap in the inaugural $29.2 Saudi Cup meeting on February 29 and Bin Ghadayer is keen to see the new arrival at his stables given a prep race.
“I checked all of the (DWC Carnival) programme and there was only one race he could run in right now,” the Emirati said of Dee Ex Bee’s first start for him.
“I spoke to the boss and we decided to run him. We would like to run him in the Saudi Cup meeting before the Dubai Gold Cup and we need a race before that.
“He will need the race. He’s about 70 per cent ready and after this, we will see about Saudi and then the Gold Cup. I just hope for a good race and for everything to go alright.”
Dee Ex Bee is a winner of four of his 19 starts and has finished in the top three 16 times, including placing in five Group One races and chasing the best stayers of his era, including division leaders Stradivarius and Kew Gardens.
“I’m happy with how he’s accepted the programme here, which is very different from the Johnston yard,” Bin Ghadayer added.
“Some horses need time to acclimatize, but he’s a professional. He is a little lazy. If I showed you how he gallops, you would think he’s a 45-rated horse — an average horse — but he’s a different horse in the race and he has that experience.”
Mickael Barzalona retains the ride on Dee Ex Bee after riding him for the first time to finish third behind Holdthasigreen in the Group One Prix du Cadran at Longchamp in October.
The feature races of Week 5 are the Group Two Al Rashidiya, which appears to be at the mercy of Godolphin, and the Group Three Al Shindagha Sprint, set to be a cracking contest between Gladiator King, Ibn Malik and Drafted.
Godolphin trainers Saeed bin Suroor and Charlie Appleby have entered two runners each in the $250,000 race.
Bin Suroor has entered Dream Castle, the choice of the trainer’s first jockey Christophe Soumillon, and Mountain Hunter with Patrick Cosgrave on the saddle.
Barney Roy under William Buick leads Appleby’s challenge along with Loxley ridden by James Doyle.
Gladiator King made a winning bow on his first local start and is drawn well in Gate 1 to replicate that form in a renewal of the Group Three Dubawi Stakes on the opening Carnival meeting on January 2.
Updated: January 29, 2020 05:40 PM