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UAE Derby Preview Thursday March 24

Dubai, UAE, March 24, 2011 - First run in 2000, the 1900m UAE Derby has been dominated by Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor and South African Mike de Kock who have race six and five times respectively.

No filly has ever won this race, now run on the All-Weather, but, interestingly, both trainers saddle fillies this year. Bin Suroor`s Khawlah won the UAE Oaks, from De Kock`s Mahbooba who had previously won the UAE 1000 Guineas from stable companion Reem.

All three clash here and their form looks stronger than that of UAE 2000 Guineas winner Splash Point (who beat De Kock`s re-opposing Zanzamar) and Meydan Classic scorer Introvert.

That pair are both trained by Godolphin`s second handler, Mahmoud Al Zarooni who also introduces Group One winner Xin Xu Lin in a wide open contest. It looks highly significant that Frankie Dettori elects to ride him.

The situation is further clouded by Aidan O`Brien duo Alexander Pope and Master of Hounds, along with UK raiders Utley and Mantoba. Ironically, the two English-trained runners clashed last year at the Breeders` Cup in America with John Gosden`s Utley faring best on that occasion in a race Master of Hounds was just in front of him. Gosden saddled Dar Re Mi to win on Dubai World Cup night last year.

Ahlaain has improved all season but has been beaten by several of these already, while Japan rely on Laser Bullet and Sweet Ducky has been sold by American connections to race for South African Herman Brown.

History could certainly be made this year but whether it is a first winning filly or a new trainer on the roll of honour remains to be seen.