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Carnival Speedballs Headline Meydan Racecourse Al Shindagha Sprint

Reynaldothewizard bids to continue his Meydan winning streak in the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint

Credit: Dubai Racing Club//Andrew Watkins

Polar River Steps Up to Listed Company in UAE 1000 Guineas Test

Thursday’s sixth meeting of the 2016 Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan Racecourse is a cracker, highlighted by the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint and also featuring both the UAE 1000 and 2000 Guineas.

The 1200m Al Shindagha Sprint was won last year by Reynaldothewizard and he is back to defend his crown. Winner of the Listed Dubawi Stakes on his reappearance this term, the Satish Seemar-trained hero has won all three of his starts at Meydan Racecourse since the track was switched to dirt last season.

Drawn eighth in the starting gates, Reynaldothewizard will be seeking a tenth UAE victory on Thursday and will be ridden by stable jockey, Richard Mullen.

“He seems in great form,” said Mullen of the 2013 Dubai Golden Shaheen winner. “As I have said before, he is not the easiest to gauge at home as he is far from an exuberant worker but he has been full of himself which has to be a good sign.
“We could have been drawn better but he tends to get behind early on anyway and there looks to be plenty of pace in the race which will suit him. It is a stronger race than the one he won last time but, hopefully, he has a good chance.”

Having saddled the winner of both races he was involved in last week, USA-based trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin, relies on Godolphin’s Marking. The mount of James Doyle, he will be having only his fourth career start, having won his first two before chasing home Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Runhappy in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes (1400m) on Boxing Day.

A former Dubai resident and multiple UAE Champion Trainer, McLaughlin, said: “When we arrived we actually thought Marking was the most likely of our four Godolphin horses to win. He is dropping in trip which is a slight query but he is a very nice horse we think and one who should cope with the sprint trip, but could stretch out beyond a mile.”

Second in the Al Shindagha Sprint last year behind Reynaldothewizard was Krypton Factor (also runner-up in 2012 and third in 2013). Owned and trained by Bahraini Fawzi Nass he, like Reynaldothewizard, is a previous winner of the Group 1 Golden Shaheen on Dubai World Cup night and will be contesting his fifth Al Shindagha Sprint.

Opposing them all is Hong Kong raider, Rich Tapestry, who was third in the race last year and has winning form over Reynaldothewizard when landing the 2014 Mahab Al Shimaal on Super Saturday.

Trainer Michael Chang will be hoping for a big run and his charge is likely to help ensure a fast pace out of the gates.

The same applies to Scandinavian Let’sgoforit, trained by Bodil Hallencruetz and the Doug Watson-trained My Catch as well as Kifaah prepared by Ali Rashid Al Raihe. The latter is owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum whose first jockey, Paul Hanagan elects to ride the Musabah Al Muhairi-trained Muarrab for the same owner.

The meeting opens with the 1600m UAE 1000 Guineas with only five set to go to post. The 1400m trial was won, in some style, by the Doug Watson-trained Polar River and she will be very hard to beat here under Pat Dobbs.

“I would be very surprised if she gets beaten to be honest,” said Dobbs. “Her attitude is good and she’s straight forward in every way. She has a really good turn of foot and a high cruising speed.

“She is in great form and we are really looking forward to running her again,” added Watson.

Seven will face the starter in the UAE 2000 Guineas, headed by Godolphin duo, Steady Pace and Rouleau, which were first and second in the 1400m trial respectively. The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Steady Pace was exhorted by jockey, James Doyle to just hold off the fast finishing Rouleau on that occasion and there should be little between the pair again.

“Steady Pace won the trial nicely and has been working well since,” said Bin Suroor. “He showed he handles the dirt and hopefully he will go very close.”

William Buick again rides Rouleau for Charlie Appleby.
“He was staying on strongly in the trial,” said Appleby. “The extra 200m should really suit him and we expect a big run.”

Sheikh Hamdan’s Qurbaan represents an unknown quantity, having won both his starts in France. Hanagan rides for trainer, Francois Rohaut, while British trainer, Simon Dow, who is based in Epsom, has his first UAE runner in the same race. He saddles Hombre Rojo, winner of his three most recent starts and the mount of Jim Crowley.

Hospitality tickets start from AED50 for The Premium situated opposite the finish line, while all inclusive packages that include house beverages are AED425 for Silks Restaurant and AED475 for four-course a la carte dining in the Winner’s Circle Restaurant.

The party continues in the Parade Ring Restaurant following the final race, with live music and AED25 drinks. Access is exclusive to hospitality ticket holders. The venue is located alongside the Parade Ring on the Ground Floor.

Visit Meydan Racecourse on Saturday, February 13 for the return of the AED300 Terrace Brunch. The family-friendly afternoon features live music and children’s entertainment. Entry is free for children under 10.

For more information about raceday packages on offer at Meydan Racecourse visit www.dubairacingclub.com email ticketoffice@dubairacingclub.com or call +971 4 3272110.

General admission to Meydan Racecourse is free and there are hospitality packages to suit every budget.
For more please visit www.dubairacingclub.com, call +971 4327 2110 or email: ticketoffice@dubairacingclub.com.

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