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New Trip Beckons For Imperial Monarch

O’Brien Charge Steps Up To Dubai Gold Cup Distance

The longest race on the card is the Group 3 US$1m Dubai Gold Cup, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, over 3200m on turf and a field of ten have been declared.

Ireland’s Champion Trainer Aidan O’Brien saddles Group 1 winner Imperial Monarch, with Ryan Moore in the saddle. Stepping up markedly in trip, he certainly has a touch of class and his trainer said: “His best form last year was over 2400m and he`s trying a new trip.

We can`t be sure he`ll get the distance so we`ll have to see how he goes. It is a bit of an experiment and, if he does stay, it will open up lots more options for him."

Fellow Irish raider Saddler’s Rock is a proven stayer, having won the Doncaster Cup in 2011 and Goodwood Cup last year for trainer John Oxx. He was well beaten on his local debut four weeks ago when thought to be in need of the run and Oxx said: “We were pleased enough with his run and he is a lot fitter now. He should run well and has form on all kinds of ground so underfoot conditions should be fine.”

The race in which Oxx’s charge ran four weeks ago was won by Godolphin’s Ahzeemah with his old rival, the Mike De Kock-trained Star Empire, just behind in third. The pair clash again and Ahzeemah’s trainer, Saeed bin Suroor, also has Cavalryman in the race.

Bin Suroor said: “Ahzeemah won his last race pleasingly. He is in good form and condition. He does not really show a lot in the mornings but I feel the longer trip of two miles will suit him better.

He worked on Sunday and I was happy with him. The horse is a good fighter in his races
“Cavalryman is doing well and ran third last time. The step back up to two miles will suit him. He is in good form - so far so good and we are looking for an excellent run from him.”

Of Star Empire, De Kock said: “Like a few of our runners on the night, he is probably just short of the mark classwise but he is as honest as the day is long and will give his best as always.”