x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Meydan Racecourse set for perfect storm as Soft Falling Rain will run against Fortify

Stakes high as Godolphin and Mike de Kock seek bragging rights in the UAE 2000 Guineas.

Soft Falling Rain, second from left, endured a poor trip from South Africa but is doing better now. Mike Young / The National
Soft Falling Rain, second from left, endured a poor trip from South Africa but is doing better now. Mike Young / The National

The headline clash between Godolphin and Mike de Kock looks set to materialise at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday as Soft Falling Rain and Fortify are entered for the UAE 2000 Guineas.

Soft Falling Rain won the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial last month conceding weight to his 13 rivals. Zahee, who was fourth in the 1,400m contest, is also set to run for the South African trainer.

Godolphin could be triple-handed as Shuruq, who was the runner-up in both the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial and in the fillies Classic last week for Saeed bin Suroor, has also been entered.

Filfil, who was sixth in the 2000 Guineas trial, could join Fortify for Mahmoud Al Zarooni.

Like most of De Kock's horses, Soft Falling Rain endured a tortuous trip from South Africa this year because of quarantine protocols and he is hopeful of an improved showing from the Rainbow Nation's former champion juvenile.

"Mine generally improve on their first start," De Kock said. "After all the travelling and training they have had that is probably the right way to play it, too. I'm happy for all my horses to improve with racing through the Carnival on their way to World Cup night."

Elsewhere on the six-race card Krypton Factor will make his first start since finishing sixth to Black Caviar at Royal Ascot in England in June for the trainer Fawzi Nass having been entered in the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint.

Krypton Factor's duels with Hitchens lit up the sprint division last season and David Barron's eight year old has also been entered in the race in which he edged out Krypton Factor 12 months ago.

Krypton Factor went on to beat Hitchens in the Mahaab Al Shimal last March before confirming his superiority in the Dubai Golden Shaheen on World Cup night.

Both horses are set to follow the same programme and could be joined in the race on Thursday by Mental, Godolphin's exciting Australian recruit and Medicean Man, who won the Dubal Excellence Trophy last month for the England-based trainer Jeremy Gask.

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