Big Race Carnival Winners De Kock & Appleby Saddle Racing at Meydan Runners Saturday

The second Racing at Meydan meeting to be held on a Saturday is highlighted by a 1400m handicap, one of two turf races on the card and for which15 have been declared.

South African Mike De Kock was in double form at both the last two Dubai World Cup Carnival meetings and has both Red Duke and Final Button in Saturday’s feature. Johnny Geroudis rides Red Duke, having his second start for the yard and seeking a first victory since landing the 2011 Group 2 Superlative Stakes as a juvenile.

UK Champion Jockey, Richard Hughes, partners Final Button, companion who will be having his seventh local start having had five Meydan outings last year and one already this campaign.

De Kock said: “They have both had a run this season and improved from it. On the whole, the horses are running well and hopefully both these two will be competitive in what looks a strong handicap.”

Bahrain’s Fawzi Nass is also doubly represented, with Kieren Fallon (who gave up his final mount on Thursday when reportedly feeling ill), booked to ride Lui Rei who has to give weight to all his 14 rivals.

Adrie De Vries rides stable companion, Burj Alzain.

Dhruba Selvaratnam, whose horses have been running particularly well in recent weeks, is another with two runners and James Doyle elects to ride Otaared with apprentice Thomas Brown aboard stablemate, Kessraa.

It realy does look wide open and the Doug Watson duo, Kilt Rock (Tadhg O’Shea) and Famous Warrior (Sam Hitchcott) also have claims.

Godolphin trainer, Saeed bin Suroor relies on Pied A Terre who put up a good show here two weeks ago. “He does not show a lot at home but we were pleased with him last time,” said the trainer. “Hopefully he can run well.”

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s retained jockey, Paul Hanagan, chooses to ride Mundahesh, trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe, leaving the owner’s second jockey, Dane O’Neill, to partner Entifaadha.

O’Neill’s mount is one of three in this contest for Musabah Al Muhairi whose Chasing Halos could be the one to beat.
The maximum 16 have been declared for the 1800m turf handicap which is also competitive and De Kock relies on Almoonqith, owned by Sheikh Hamdan and the choice of Hanagan.

“He ran very well a fortnight ago,” said the trainer. “We were very pleased with that outing as he would have needed it and he has certainly improved for it. He should be there with a decent chance.”

The Watson trio of Marching Time, Jalaa and Oasis Dancer, the top three on the racecard, are all capable of big runs, as is the Satish Seemar-trained Antinori.

Bin Suroor saddles Induna but it could be that the Ahmad bin Harmash-trained Ducab is the one to beat after his ultra impressive winning Meydan debut a fortnight ago.

That was on the all-weather though and he did disappoint on the Abu Dhabi turf on his local debut in December.

The meeting opens with a 1400m maiden on the all-weather and De Kock’s Moonfaarid, the Nass-trained Asmar and the Charlie Appleby pair of Bustopher and Ennobled Friend have all shown promise. It looks a very strong race for a maiden.