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Season`s First Saturday Meeting Provides Carnival Clues for Trainers

Godolphin Provides Strong Support for racing at Meydan Card

Saturday’s Racing at Meydan card throws up a number of Dubai World Cup Carnival possibilities for race fans to keep their eyes on.

It is highlighted by the two turf handicaps, one over 1200m, the other over 1600m that are the most intriguing on a strong card highlighted by seven runners from the Saeed bin Suroor branch of the Godolphin stable.

Bin Suroor provided the feature race winner with Shuruq in the opening Dubai World Cup Carnival card just over a week ago and followed up with UAE 2000 Guineas Trial victory with Emirates Flyer on Thursday.

Among his runners on the Gulf News sponsored card are I’m Back, the choice of stable jockey, Silvestre De Sousa, and Pied A Terre, the mount of Ahmed Ajtebi in the 1200m turf handicap. They face 13 rivals in a fiercely competitive contest and Bin Suroor said: “I’m Back worked nicely last Sunday and this looks a good race for him. He will improve for the run but should run well.

“Pied A Terre is also going well in the mornings but, likewise, will come on for this outing.”

Dhruba Selvaratnam and James Doyle combined to win Thursday’s featured Dubawi Stakes with United Color and rely on Roicead, an excellent fourth at the first Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting. They have to concede weight to all their rivals but look a big danger to all.

“That was a very good run, nine days ago,” said Doyle. “That was over 1000m but the extra 200m should not be a problem and he should go well.”

South African Mike De Kock runs Red Duke, having his first start for the yard and running over a trip he has not tackled since his juvenile debut in May 2011.

A Group 2 winner over 1400m as a two-year-old, he has not won in 15 subsequent starts and his trainer said: “His best form is very good and he shows enough speed at home to try him over 1200m. He will improve for the run, certainly, but this looks the right race to get him back on the track.” Johnny Geroudis rides.

Musabah Al Muhairi has been carrying all before him on the domestic scene since the turn of the year and his two runners, Hattaash and Chasing Halos are two others to consider.

De Kock saddles two in the 1600m turf handicap with Specific Gravity, the mount of Thierry Thulliez, heading the weights and having his second start of the campaign having run well for a long way at Meydan nine days ago.

Stable companion, Final Button, however, has not run since the beginning of March but still looks capable of a big run under Geroudis.

“Both are in good form at home,” said De Kock. “Specific Gravity ran well enough first time and would have needed that.

“Final Button never really fired last year but seems in good order.”

Bin Suroor’s representative, Famous Poet, was a good second on his most recent outing, at Ascot`s Shergar Cup meeting in August and should go well under De Sousa.

Selvaratnam’s Canwinn is having his first outing on turf since winning an Abu Dhabi handicap in March and is another to consider in a tough race for Pick Six players.