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Dubai World Cup Carnival Candidates Test Big-Season Credentials at Meydan

Purebred Arabians Face off In Group 2 Mazrat Al Ruwayah

Thursday (tomorrow) sees the best Meydan card of the season so far as a host of Dubai World Cup Carnival runners take to the track as well as the Purebred Arabians who will contest the first Group race of the new term.

The fourth meeting of the season, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, features three fascinating Conditions races alongside a Group 2 Purebred Arabian highlight.

Multiple Group 1 winner, Meandre faces seven rivals in a 2000m Conditions contest and is back with Doug Watson for whom he ran once in Singapore earlier in the year, following his sixth-place finish in the 2013 Dubai World Cup for Andre Fabre.

He then ran four times in Europe, including a Group 1 victory in Germany from which he was originally disqualified but later re-awarded the race.

“We had hoped to go to Hong Kong with him,” explained Watson. “So, when that invitation failed to materialise this was the obvious race for him as he is fit and ready to go.

“He is going great at home and really pleasing us so we can use this to find out if he can transfer his Group 1 turf form to the all-weather. It is a good opportunity to try him on the other surface, knowing we can go back to turf if we need.

“We are looking forward to running him.”

Satish Seemar would appear to provide the main opposition in the shape of Farrier, a winner at Jebel Ali on his seasonal return and the mount of Richard Mullen who said: “We were delighted with his comeback win and hope he is a genuine Dubai World Cup Carnival horse. This will be a good test for him against Meandre.”

Meandre carries a penalty as does stable companion Barbecue Eddie, winner of last season’s Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge R1. The Dubai favourite is making his seasonal debut for Watson.

“Obviously he is a real star in the yard and is in great form. He normally runs well fresh so hopefully he can break well and get a good position from his middle draw,” said the trainer.

“It actually looks a good little race and he has that Group 2 penalty but it is the perfect slot to bring him back before Al Maktoum Challenge RI.”

He faces eight rivals in a 1600m conditions race, including Farrier, second in last season’s Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge II. He too represents the Seemar and Mullen combination.

“He was progressive last season apart from disappointing in the Godolphin Mile and we are hoping there is more to come. Barbecue Eddie is an obvious danger and I am sure it will not be the only time they clash this season,” said Mullen.

There is also a quality 1200m Conditions race but the only Purebred Arabian contest, the Group 2 Mazrat Al Ruwayah, is the most valuable race on the card and, again, Watson holds a major chance. He saddles last year’s winner, Quite A Show.

“He rather surprised us when he won this last year under a Group 1 penalty after two runs at Abu Dhabi,” said the trainer. “We are following a similar path, hoping it works again and he is not penalised this year.”