x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Sheema Classic is the next target for Mourilyan

After finishing third in the Melbourne Cup, Mourilyan is being lined up along with stablemate Bankable.

DUBAI // Mourilyan, who finished third in the Melbourne Cup, is being lined up for the US$5 million (Dh18.3m) Dubai Sheema Classic along with stablemate Bankable. The horses, trained by the South African Herman Brown, travelled with the Godolphin pair, Kirklees and Crime Scene, who finished a close second to Shocking in the Australian race. They were due to arrive in Dubai today.

Globe-trotting Mourilyan, who has raced in seven countries and four continents, was also impressive in Melbourne, blasting through the 23-strong field from 19th to finish an explosive third for rider Glyn Schofield. Bankable was set to run the mile-and-a-quarter Mackinnon Stakes, part of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, last week but was withdrawn after suffering from a sore foot with Brown opting to save him for a strong Dubai campaign.

He will now be aimed at the $5m Dubai Duty Free, a race Brown won in 2008 with Jay Peg. The two horses, who have taken in races in Singapore, England and Australia since the conclusion of the 2008/09 Dubai season will be rested before going back into light work. "We will give them both a bit of a rest," said Brown's assistant, Nicolas Iguacel. "Mourilyan has run the race of his life in the Melbourne Cup and deserves to take it easy for a while. It was disappointing that Bankable could not run because he was in great shape, but that is racing. He's a good horse and we didn't want to risk him before the Meydan season."

Iguacel said: "We have Mourilyan at his best and he showed us he can stay during that two-mile run, but he also has speed." "The plan will be different to last year and he will go for races to prepare for the Sheema Classic rather than the Gold Cup. He's such a tough, honest horse and we seem to have sorted out any niggles we were worried about last season. He's doing better than ever."