Group 1 Dubai Duty Free, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free Preview

The US$5million Dubai Duty Free, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free is often the most competitive race on the card and the 1,800m turf feature has again attracted the maximum field of 16 and a case can be made for nearly all the runners.

The UK are very well represented and last year`s winner Presvis will be saddled in this race for a fourth time by Luca Cumani. He is one of a host of challengers this year who will be hoping for a fast pace which, even with 16 runners, is not guaranteed.

Michael Bell relies on Wigmore Hall, an unlucky third last year when denied a clear run until Presvis and River Jetez had flown. The draw could have been a lot kinder to Bell`s charge, as well as Dubawi Gold, also trained in the UK by Richard Hannon – they are in stalls 15 and 16 respectively.

Their fourth representative is the Roger Charlton-trained Cityscape, previously considered a soft ground performer but who showed in Hong Kong last December that he can not only handle fast ground but also international competition, when second in the Group 1 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile.

Saeed bin Suroor saddles two for Godolphin and Frankie Dettori will partner Delegator in the all blue with Silvestre De Sousa on stable companion Rio De La Plata, a multiple Group 1 winner.

Dettori`s mount is trying the longest trip he has tackled to date but has a fantastic turn of foot which, if he stays, could prove decisive.

Fellow Godolphin handler Mahmoud Al Zarooni relies on City Style who has shown steady progression throughout the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival. However, he was beaten over Saturday`s course and distance in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya by Musir, one of two runners in the race for Mike De Kock.

The South African handler has won this race twice before (Ipi Tombe in 2003 and Right Approach who dead heated with Paolini in 2004) and Musir is a proven Group international performer having won in Turkey last year.

However, it looks significant that Christophe Soumillon rejects him to ride stable companion Mutahadee who is another horse who has improved throughout his 2012 Dubai campaign.

Hong Kong are also well represented and old rivals Ambitious Dragon, Xtension and California Memory are all genuine contenders in a wide open race. The trio have actually clashed on their last two starts and, on each occasion, the Tony Millard-trained Ambitious Dragon has come out on top.

John Moore trains Xtension, second both times ahead of California Memory, winner of last year`s Group 1 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup.

Ireland`s Champion Trainer Aidan O`Brien saddles Await The Dawn who was a Group 2 winner at Royal Ascot last year and is very lightly-raced for a five-year-old.

It could be that 2012 will be his breakthrough year although this trip would appear very much his minimum stamina requirement.

Japan won this in 2007 with Admire Moon and their runner this year, Dark Shadow, certainly should not be underestimated, while Jay Peg landed the spoils the following year for Herman Brown.

This year he supplies a very interesting contender in Green Destiny who looked very progressive in England last year for previous trainer William Haggas. He failed to handle the all-weather on Super Saturday and will appreciate the return to turf.

This season’s UAE Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe has enjoyed an amazing season but Rajsaman is one of the few horses from the yard to have failed to fire. Connections will be hoping it is a case of `third time lucky` after two poor efforts this year.

Should there be a late withdrawal, Albaasil, currently a reserve, would have a big each-way chance for Doug Watson and would be a final career ride for Richard Hills, retained jockey for the horse`s owner His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Hills retires after the meeting.