Star colt begins Meydan campaign

Star colt begins Meydan campaign

Important clues to the 2011 Dubai International Racing Carnival will reveal themselves at Meydan on Thursday night when South African trainer Herman Brown unveils the highly regarded Argentinean three-year-old Paulinho in the opening event, the Meydan City Corporation Conditions Stakes, 1,400m.

Whilst the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas six weeks away, Brown believes the experience of a first look at Meydan under race conditions, under lights on the Tapeta surface will be invaluable to the colt as he progresses on a Classic campaign.

Interestingly Victory Moon ran at the corresponding meeting of 2002 prior to going on to win the UAE 2000 Guineas and UAE Derby so a precedent has been set.

Brown will also saddle Sheer Courage in the race, the horse not having raced since his unlaced effort behind Strong Suit in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last June.

Brown explains: "We are hoping they are horses for the UAE 2000 Guineas and this is the next stage of their preparation. They are ready to run and we want to try them in a race under the lights on the Tapeta. Both are going well."

Brown is also doubly represented in the penultimate race, the Meydan Hotel, a 1600m conditions race. Mikhail Glinka was a winner at Royal Ascot for Aidan O`Brien and will be having his third start since. Only three, he is penalised for that Ascot win (over 3200m), while stable companion Bronze Cannon was a Royal Ascot winner in 2009 for John Gosden.

He too is better over further and Brown said: "Both are Carnival horses and it will be nice to get a run into them now to get them used to the lights and surface in a race. They are fit enough but will improve from the outing."

Brown`s South African compatriot Mike De Kock also saddles two with Wonder Lawn and Mr Crazy Boy both among the 13 declarations.

The trainer said: "We will find out just how fit our horses are as we have yet to have a runner this year. They seem well and we are happy with them at home but we need to get a run into a few."

This season`s course and distance winners Derbaas and Inestimable, along with 2010 Dubai International Racing Carnival winner Barbecue Eddie and stable companion Clasp are others to consider.

The Meydan Sky Bubble, run over 1600m, sees the maximum go to post and the weights are headed by the Satish Seemar-handled Fieriness. However, Chicago May and Energia Central should not be discounted having both run in the money on their last two attempts at Meydan – one of which took place last month and saw Chicago May just a three-quarter length better off in third.

Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe is triple handed in the Meydan Freezone, a 1200m dash although Dhruba Selvaratnam’s My Verse could prove to be the main danger having already gained a couple of wins under his belt so far this season.

The final race of the evening, the 1200m Meydan Golf Course sees Stephane Chevalier’s Lando Junior go against 13 others, fresh from his win at Meydan earlier this month.

The Group 2 1600m Mazrat Al Ruwayah for Purebred Arabians is also a highlight. Fourteen have been declared for the feature including this year`s Group 1 National Day Cup winner Dynamite for rookie trainer Adam Aghbash. A multiple Group 1 winner who will turn ten on Saturday, he will have a new jockey with Richard Mullen taking the ride.

Mullen said: "His class is undoubted and it is a great spare ride. He has form on a similar surface in the UK but his Group 1 penalty makes his task harder in a good contest."

Doug Watson saddles both Kandar Du Falgas and Paris Gagner who both have genuine Group 1 form to their name and get weight from Dynamite. Willie Supple partners Paris Gagner with Pat Dobbs on his stable companion and Watson said: "On ratings there is very little between them and it would be hard to split them on what they do at home. `Kandar` was just in front of `Paris` in the middle leg of the Al Maktoum Challenge last season but that was over further. Both should run well."

Both are owned by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum as are the Gill Duffield-trained pair Nesnaas and El Rigoletto. They give the owner a very strong hand.