News

Derbaas to motor home in Al Fahidi Fort?

Al Tayer Motors generously sponsor Thursday`s latest meeting of the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival, which is highlighted by a cracking renewal of the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort.

The 1600m turf feature has attracted a field of 13 and looks wide open with last year`s winner Derbaas seeking to defend his crown for His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

His rider will be the owner’s second jockey Tadhg O`Shea who said: "We have a bad draw in a very good race but at least we know the conditions suit him and he has been running consistently well all season."

The owner is well represented though with four of the runners and his first retained jockey Richard Hills, who won the race on Derbaas last year, deserts Al Raihe`s charge to ride Albaasil for Doug Watson.

Hills said: "He is a young horse who ran very well on his local debut after a promising career in England. He will relish the return to 1600m and I am looking forward to riding him in a hot race. It was not an easy choice as we have some nice horses in the race."

Rio De La Plata looks Godolphin`s main hope with Frankie Dettori in the saddle on the multiple Group 1 winner. He is joined by stable companion Do It All and their trainer, Saeed Bin Suroor, said: "Rio De La Plata was very unlucky last year when he ran some great races in defeat and was beaten in a photo on his last two starts. He is working very well and I hope he can have a good Carnival. Do It All will have improved from his first run and is working well."

South African handler Mike de Kock has saddled the winner of this race on three occasions and has two live contenders this year with Christophe Soumillon on Master Of Hounds and Kevin Shea riding Viscount Nelson.

De Kock said: "Obviously they are two nice horses but both have a bit to prove under these conditions in a good race; Viscount Nelson is probably ideally suited by further but he bruised a foot and missed a race and some work. Therefore the 1600m looks ideal to get him back on the track. Master Of Hounds ran well enough last week but all his UAE form is on [the all-weather] but we worked him on turf the other day and he went very well. It looks a very good renewal but we have two reasonable chances."

The international flavour is provided by Ireland`s Dandy Boy and Always Certain from Singapore though he has to give weight to his rivals being a Group 1 winner.

The other five races are all competitive handicaps and the meeting concludes with the 2000m Range Rover Trophy, on the turf track, in which Treble Jig, trained by Musabah Al Muhairi, seeks to follow up his wins in both the Jebel Ali Stakes (1950m) and Jebel Ali Mile (1600m).

He has already proved a bargain for connections and jockey Wayne Smith said: "I am really looking forward to the race as this horse has been something special this season. This race will give us the chance to see just how good he is and help us decide where to go with him."