Aidan O`Brien Looking To Defend UAE Derby Crown

Relies On Lines Of Battle Against Godolphin’s Four

Twelve have been declared for the 1900m Group 2 US$2m UAE Derby, sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group, on the Meydan all-weather and last year’s winning trainer, Aidan O’Brien, is looking for a repeat win.

Successful 12 months ago with Daddy Long Legs, the Irish Champion Trainer relies on Lines of Battle this year, the mount of Ryan Moore.

“He`s trying a new trip and a new surface, said O’Brien. “But he won well on Polytrack at Dundalk last year and we`re happy with him for his first run of the year.”

As you would expect, Godolphin are well represented and both Saeed bin Suroor and Mahmood Al Zarooni have two in the race. Bin Suroor will saddle Secret Number, winner of the course and distance Al Bastakiya on Super Saturday to maintain his unbeaten record, as well as UAE Oaks winner Shuruq.

Bin Suroor said: “Secret Number has run twice in his life, winning a maiden and a Listed race. He is improving all the time and doing really well. He is unbeaten and I am sure he has the class to run a big race

“Shuruq won really, really well in the UAE Oaks. She is running over the same course and distance which she seems to stay well. She is ready to go again and I am hopeful of another good performance but it is a tougher race as she takes on the colts.”

Al Zarooni has both Now Spun and Snowboarder declared and said: “Now Spun is really doing well - he is a nice sort and there is improvement in him. He has not had enough experience yet and I hope his turf form will translate to Tapeta.”

“I think Snowboarder will be fine in this race. Last time Mickael (Barzalona) lost his whip in the final furlong and this is a horse who needs encouragement. I think he will run a better race this time as there is a little bit of improvement in him. He always tries his best which can be seen from his consistent record. One day he will win again.”

Mike De Kock has a good record in this race but his pair, Zahee and Emotif, both have a bit to find on what they have shown in the UAE so far.

He said: “Zahee has improved with each of his outings but possibly just lacks that touch of class to win this but he will certainly run an honest, solid race.

“Emotif is as fit as we have had her this season and her condition continues to improve. She needs to raise her game markedly to be competitive but she is fit and well.”