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Meydan Welcomes New Racing Season with Track`s First Meeting of 2013/14

Photo: Dubai Racing Club / Andrew Watkins

Dubai World Cup Carnival Runners in the Frame on Thursday

Racing returns to Meydan tomorrow (Thursday) evening with a six-race, all-weather card sponsored by Emirates airline.

The programme is highlighted by two valuable handicaps, one over 1600m, the other over 2000m and sees Dubai World Cup Carnival performers joining the ranks of those aspiring to earn a place in the international part of Meydan’s season.

Kal Barg, twice a Dubai World Cup Carnival winner for trainer, Dhruba Selvaratnam in 2010 but without a win since, faces eight rivals in the 2000m handicap, the penultimate race on the card. He will be ridden by James Doyle, who returns to local action having missed last weekend.

Doyle’s mount shares top-weight with the Mubarak bin Shafya-trained Rebel Song, who will be partnered by Adrie De Vries and who is, like Kal Barg, a course and distance winner.

Satish Seemar saddles Moonlight Dash with stable jockey, Richard Mullen in the saddle.

“I’m looking forward to getting back on him on the racecourse as he was progressing well last season and really enjoys the Meydan surface. Hopefully he can have a decent season and this is the ideal starting point,” said Mullen.

Interpret and Wayne Smith will be having their second start of the season for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi having disappointed at Jebel Ali on Friday.

“We were expecting a big run last week,” said Smith. “He just did not really fire so we are stepping him up in trip and switching surfaces to hopefully see him back to form.”

Champion Jockey, Tadhg O’Shea, rides Midnight Moon for trainer Abdulla bin Huzaim. The five-year-old finished last season in great form, winning two times and once over Thursday’s course and distance.

“I won on him last year,” said O’Shea. “He was progressing nicely then and hopefully has continued to do so but this would be his toughest task to date.”

Midnight Moon won over 2200m in March when chased home by Ukranian who is back in opposition with Royston Ffrench riding for his main employer, the trainer, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

Twelve have been declared for the preceding 1600m handicap with the weights headed by Kaiss, one of two in the race for Seemar. Apprentice Marc Monaghan, who won on the horse last season over 1200m, rides again with Mullen aboard stable companion. Antinori.

“Kaiss has a lot of weight and is not the biggest horse so it makes sense to utilise Marc’s claim on him,” said Mullen. “He is a horse we have always liked a lot and is very versatile with regards both surface and distance.

“Antinori always works well but we just need things to fall into place in a race with him. He looks well treated in the weights and hopefully he can be competitive in a tough race.”

Busker represents the Bin Shafya/De Vries combination in this race and the five-year-old finished last season in fine fettle, winning his two most recent starts, including over course and distance.

De Vries said: “He is a great horse to have in the yard and seemed to be improving last season. His previous wins were over further on the Sharjah dirt but he thrived at Meydan earlier this year and can hopefully continue in similar form.”

Al Muhairi saddles two with Smith aboard Ramonti Flash and Dane O’Neill aboard Mashaaref, one of five in the race for his main employer, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Meanwhile Kahruman is set to carry the Sheikh Hamdan’s second colours with Tadhg O’Shea riding for Erwan Charpy.