Walking Thunder and Moshaher set for UAE 2000 Guineas duel at Meydan
Seven races on the card for Thursday's meeting at Dubai's flagship racecourse
The UAE 2000 Guineas at Meydan on Thursday is set to be a showdown between two undefeated juveniles in the shape of Walking Thunder and Moshaher.
The Group 3 race over 1,600m is the highlight of the sixth part of the 2019 Dubai World Cup Carnival and one of the two 100 per cent records held going into the event will come to an end in the 1,600m race on dirt.
Walking Thunder has won all three of his past starts, most recently triumphing in the the Al Bastakiya Trial over 1,900m two weeks ago.
Moshaher, trained by Ahmad bin Harmash and ridden by stable jockey Connor Beasley, has only competed once but made quite an impact on his debut.
The Goldcents colt had more than six lengths to spare on his maiden appearance last month at Meydan and his trainer Doug Watson believes his runner will be up for the challenge of taking on Walking Thunder and a strong field to make it two victories out of two.
“His work has been better and better and he’s moving very well,” said the UAE champion trainer. “He’s probably one of the least experienced ones in there, but hopefully he’s as good as we think he is.”
Godolphin’s Estihdaaf, the runner up in the Al Bastakiya Trial, also competes in the eight-runner field, along with Richard Hughes’ Fintas.
The second round of the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge, which is the fifth race on the card, appears set to be a contest between North America and Cosmo Charlie.
Satish Seemar is excited for the prospects of North America, who he trains, and he said: “The horse is doing really well and the last two seasons he has proven that he’s a better horse. Right now I think he’s the best ever been. He has finished his works very strong.”
Cosmo Charlie, who will be ridden by Pat Dobbs, comes into the race on the back of a two successive victories but trainer Watson admitted that he is wary of the threat of North America, who dominated the first round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.
“North America broke so well last time in the Round-1 and we actually don’t usually break too great, so that’s a concern,” said Watson.
“Charlie just has that kind of natural speed once he gets into gear. We might have to sit off him, if North America breaks like that again. We are going to break to go forward and leave it to Pat and his judgment.”
There are seven races in total on the card with the action beginning with the opening race at 6.30pm and proceedings coming to a close at 10pm.
It is the start of a busy weekend of racing in the UAE with a meeting at Jebel Ali on Friday and then a six-race card at Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Updated: February 7, 2019 10:04 AM