Fillies and Mares Take To Turf At Meydan

First City Faces Godolphin And De Kock in Defense Of Group 2 Title

The highlight of Thursday’s third meeting of the 2013 Dubai World Cup Carnival, sponsored by the Meydan Group, is the Group 2 Cape Verdi, a 1600m contest on the turf restricted to fillies and mares.

Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor conditioned Aspectoflove to win this in 2011 and saddles a live contender this year in the form of Sajjhaa, a Group 3 winner in Italy in 2010 and a dual Listed winner in the UK. She will be ridden by Silvestre De Sousa.

The trainer is responsible for the three of Godolphin’s four runners with Ted Durcan on Dark Orchid and Kieren Fallon aboard Spellwork. Bin Suroor said: “All three are working well and we expect them all to run well. Spellwork and Dark Orchid have both joined us this year from Andre Fabre in France so we are getting to know them.

“Sajjhaa ran three times for us in Europe last year and ran well each time. I expect a big run from her.”

Fellow Godolphin handler Mahmoud Al Zarooni relies on Falls Of Lora, his winner of last year’s Group 3 UAE Oaks and a Listed winner at Sandown in the UK over the summer. “She is versatile with regards to the ground and has won at Meydan on Tapeta, on fast ground as a juvenile and on a much softer surface last year, said Al Zarooni. “She seems in good form and this is the obvious start point for her,” added.

This race was won last year by First City for Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe with stable jockey, Royston Ffrench in the saddle and they are back to defend their title.

Said by connections to be in fine fettle, First City, along with stable companion, Naseem Alyaseem face the Mike de Kock contender, Amanee as well as the might of Godolphin.

Amanee was disappointing on her local debut a fortnight ago when not enjoying the run of the race according to her trainer.
“That was a rough race and can be forgiven that effort,” De Kock, who won the race in 2008 with Sun Classique, said. “Taking on fillies and mares in a smaller field will hopefully suit her.”

The preceding race is a fascinating 1200m Conditions race on the all-weather and Ganas, trained by Ernst Oertel, seeks a fourth consecutive course and distance victory having progressed rapidly through the handicap ranks at the end of 2012.

Ganas is not particularly well drawn in 10, but as his jockey Tadhg O’Shea explained ruefully: “He has proved he can overcome a bad draw at Meydan but this is a much better race. He deserves his chance in this company but there is a lot of speed drawn low so we will have to see how the race pans out.”

The international challenge is arguably headed by the David Barron-trained Hitchens, winner of the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint, over the same course and distance last year when defeating subsequent Group 1 Golden Shaheen winner Krypton Factor.