x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Richard Mullen expects Dynamite to be explosive

The jockey expects his ride to run well at today's Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 for Purebred Arabians at Meydan Racecourse.

DUBAI // Richard Mullen hopes his ride, Dynamite, will prove as explosive as his name in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round I for Purebred Arabians at Meydan Racecourse today.

The Dubai International Racing Carnival gets underway with a high-class eight-race card that includes the Al Maktoum Challenge Round I for Thoroughbreds and the UAE 1,000 Guineas trial.

Dynamite, a UAE-bred Arabian, is on the hunt for his third Group 1 win. Mullen rode him to second from a tough draw on his last outing. Doug Watson's Kandar du Falgas beat him by a length in a Group 2 last month and the pair renew their rivalry this evening.

"There's not much between them," Mullen said. "The only thing I would say is that's the best Kandar has run in a while, whereas my feller has been unbelievably consistent his whole career. With Dynamite you know what you are going to get."

Watson also saddles Nirwan, a Group 1 winner, while Philippe Barbe's Fryvolous was the Kahayla Classic winner in 2009 and Gillian Duffield's No Risk al Maury won this race last year and was second in the 2010 Kahayla Classic.

In the UAE 1,000 Guineas trial, Michael de Kock's Mahbooba gets the chance for revenge against Chocolicious. The pair met in a Grade 1 in South Africa when Chocolicious came out on top.

Godolphin is well-represented in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 for Thoroughbreds with Storm Ultralight, Colonial and Frozen Power while Mendip, the UAE Derby third, goes in the colours of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed.

Herman Brown saddles Fencing Master, an English and Irish Derby runner, while De Kock is represented by Mr Brock, King of Rome and Imbongi. Watson's Godolphin Mile second, Green Coast, also runs.

De Kock's jockey Christophe Soumillon, the two-time French champion, rides Imbongi, who was third in the Dubai Duty Free.

"The horse is doing well," said Soumillon.

"He's not 100 per cent fit but this race is not his target."

sports@thenational.ae