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Trade Storm Back to Defend 2013 Group 2 Zabeel Mile Crown

Trade Storm (GB)
Photo: Cedric Lane (UAEracingpics@gmail.com)

Fillies In Group 3 Action on Oaks Day

The Group 2 Zabeel Mile, one of three black-type events on a six-race card this Thursday is the feature at Meydan’s eighth meeting of the 2014 Dubai World Cup Carnival and last year’s winner, Trade Storm, is back to defend his title, while Godolphin’s Ihtimal bids for a UAE 1000 Guineas – Oaks double.

The entire card, worth in excess of US$1m in prize money, is sponsored by Meydan Pillar Partner, The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group.

Trained in England by David Simcock, he was very impressive winning this 1600m turf feature 12 months ago, having his third start of the campaign. This year he arrives in the starting gates with one run under his belt, when finishing tenth in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya over the longer trip of 1800m.

“He needed that first run badly,” explained Simcock. “He has come out of that in great form and is exactly where we want him to be weight wise. He improved an awful lot from his first run last season and we expect him to do so again.

“All being well, he will run a big race and then we will get him back out next week for Super Saturday.”

He faces seven rivals, including a trio trained by South African, Mike De Kock, who is seeking a fourth win in the race.

Mushreq, owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, won the Listed Singspiel Stakes on the opening night of the Carnival. He then found stable companion, Mujaarib too strong in the Al Rashidiya.

The owner’s retained jockey, Paul Hanagan, rides.

Stable companion, Anaerobio, also won on the first night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival, in his case a 1400m handicap, before following up in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort – also over 1400m.

A close fifth in a handicap last week under Pat Cosgrave, he has Christophe Soumillon back in the saddle here with Cosgrave aboard stablemate, Gale Force Ten. Cosgrave’s mount, winner of the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last year for Aidan O’Brien, he is having a third start for his new yard.

De Kock said: “All three are in good form at home and arrive here with chances in what appears an open contest. Anaerobio has the worst of the draw and may not quite be up to this challenge as he has to give weight away.

“Mushreq should certainly go well, while Gale Force Ten has improved with each run so far and should be spot on now. Hopefully all three will run big races.”

Gabrial was a first UAE winner for trainer Richard Fahey when winning a handicap on his penultimate start, having previously chased home Mushreq in the Singspiel Stakes.

When Anaerobio won the Al Fahidi Fort, he was chased home by Mshawish, representing French trainer, Mikel Delzangles. That horse is in opposition again with Richard Hughes replacing Frankie Dettori in the saddle.

Meanwhile, in the fillies ranks, Godolphin’s Ihtimal, winner of the UAE 1000 Guineas three weeks ago, will attempt to emulate Satin Kiss, Folk and Cocoa Beach by following up in the Group 3 UAE Oaks. She faces eight rivals in the 1900m all-weather contest, restricted to three-year-old fillies, all of whom finished behind her in the UAE 1000 Guineas.

She is trained by Saeed bin Suroor who has already saddled the winner of this race on eight occasions. “She is a very nice filly,” said the trainer. “Her form in England was very good and she switched that level of performance to the all-weather in the Guineas. Her work since has been good and I think the extra 300m will suit her. She should go very close.”

Again De Kock has three runners, arguably headed by Mensoora, runner-up to Ihtimal three weeks ago but the trainer sounds hopeful, rather than confident.

“Ihtimal has proven Group race form in Europe and obviously coped with the all-weather surface well in the Guineas. She is going to be very hard to beat but it is a horse race and anything can happen.

“Mensoora would be our main hope.”

Third in the UAE 1000 Guineas was Feedyah, trained by Charlie Appleby who said: “It was always the plan to go straight to the Guineas and then here. She has improved with that run behind her and the extra 300m will suit but Ihtimal is going to be hard to beat.”

Ten have been declared for the Meydan Classic, a 1400m Listed turf race for three-year-olds. The Pat Shanahan-trained Dolce N Karama was fourth in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy on the second of his three career starts. He was eighth in the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial on his sole local outing, six weeks ago, but the return to turf should suit.

Winner of his only start in England, Wednaan made a very promising local debut when third in the UAE 2000 Guineas. He is trained by De Kock, as is Jallota, ninth in the same race and the trainer said: “Both our two are big runners and going very nicely in the mornings.

“Wednaan is the form choice but ignore Jallota at your peril – he has really improved over the last two weeks.”