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Krypton Can Factor In Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen

2012 Champion To Defend Title In Hot Race Featuring Mental

Last year’s winner Krypton Factor is back to defend his crown in the Group 1 US$2m Dubai Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News, the third leg of Global Sprint Challenge.

Over 1200m on the all-weather, 13 have been declared and the Fawzi Nass owned and trained defending champion has been drawn widest of all in 13 but jockey Kieren Fallon remains hopeful.

He said: “The draw is not ideal but neither is it the end of the world; he has needed his first two starts this year and should be spot on for Saturday. We expect a big run with the likes of Mental and Reynaldothewizard, both proven over course and distance, looking the main dangers.”

Godolphin’s Mental is trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni who said: “Mental is a good horse - a professional in his training. Sprinters are often on their toes and a bit fresh but this horse is very relaxed and calm. I think we have a good chance on Saturday. Last time we didn’t declare him with blinkers and that is why he came very late.

This time he will wear blinkers like he used to in Australia. That should make him a bit sharper from the stalls and in the race. I think the 10 draw is fine - the way he won last time shows he is very good.”

The Satish Seemar-trained Reynaldothewizard arrives here having won his last two starts, both over course and distance and including the Mahab Al Shimaal on Super Saturday.

Jockey Richard Mullen is really looking forward to Saturday and said: “Obviously this is his stiffest task to date but he won well on Super Saturday and has been a revelation in the blinkers. He has a good berth and comes into the race with a similar profile to last year`s winner Krypton Factor who we beat last time but is sure to be a danger again, as is Godolphin`s Mental.

"His final gallop on Monday was a good one but we know he has to improve again. Fingers crossed there is more to come.”

This is one of the few Thoroughbred races on the card that South African Mike De Kock has yet to win and he relies on Kavanagh to try and put that record straight. “He won very well last time but that was only a handicap and this is a lot tougher,” said the trainer. “He has ground to make up on several of these but he tends to run his best races after a break so the fact he has been off four weeks should be in his favour.

“He is in good shape and will not be disgraced.”

Jockey Weichong Marwing was associated with many of De Kock’s early Dubai successes and he is back in the UAE to ride Frederick Engels for Hong Kong-based trainer John Moore, seeking a first international Group 1 winner.

“He’s only four and he’ll be a better horse next year with more maturity, said his trainer. “Most sprinters seem to peak at five or six so I think we’ve plenty to look forward to.”

“The key to finding his form has been time and a little operation. He struggled to acclimatise to Hong Kong at first but with a bit of patience and gelding him, we’ve seen a transformed horse.

“He seems to love the Tapeta surface and can run a big race for us.”