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Two Former Dubai Golden Shaheen Winners Take to Track in Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint

Photo: Dubai Racing Club//Andrew Watkins

Reynaldothewizard Attempts Back to Back Victories While Krypton Factor Has Dirt Debut

There are no less than three feature races at Meydan Racecourse’s sixth meeting of the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival on Thursday evening, including the Al Shindagha Sprint.

A 1200m dirt contest, it has attracted a cast of ten, including two past winners of the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen on Dubai World Cup night – though both those victories were on the all-weather, not dirt.

The 2012 Golden Shaheen victor, Krypton Factor, is trained by Bahraini Fawzi Nass but will be having his first start on dirt. The often under-appreciated Adrie De Vries is a fascinating jockey booking and, drawn four, they should be able to race prominently.

“He has been off since October so should improve for the run,” said De Vries. “However, the yard have been in good form and their horses are running well.

“Obviously the surface is an unknown but he seems to work well on dirt at home. I am looking forward to the race and think he should run a big race.”

The Satish Seemar-trained Reynaldothewizard won the 2013 Golden Shaheen and made a winning return this season, over this 1200m course and distance in the Listed Dubawi Stakes.

Regular pilot Richard Mullen again takes the ride.

“Obviously he is a real favourite for the whole team,” said Mullen. “He always worked well on dirt at home but you never know how they will adapt to it in a race.

“He relished it and hopefully can build on that. Obviously this is a stronger race but he remains in great form and we expect a big run.”

Beat Baby, trained by Niels Petersen, is also a course and distance winner, as is Rafeej, trained by Musabah Al Muhairi but done few favours with the widest drawn in ten.

Seven have been declared for the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas, a 1600m dirt contest, first run in 2000.

Godolphin trainer, Saeed bin Suroor saddled the first three winners of the race, as well as Desert Party in 2009 but South African Mike De Kock has the best record in the race with five winners.

De Kock saddles both Ajwad, the mount of stable jockey, Christophe Soumillon and Mubtaahij, a great spare ride for Pat Dobbs. Dobbs’ mount beat his stable companion in the 1400m UAE 2000 Guineas Trial four weeks ago and both look likely to appreciate the extra 200m here.

Mubtaahij is also a course and distance winner having beaten his elders in a maiden on New Year’s Eve.

Bin Suroor, seeking to join De Kock on five winners of the race, relies on Maftool, a good third behind Mubtaahij and Ajwad four weeks ago having missed the break.

“He was a Group 3 winner in England last year,” said the trainer. “He ran well in the trial having messed up the start. He has been good in the stalls at home since and we have put the visor on.

“He is fit, well and we think has a big chance.”

When Maftool won the Group 3 Sirenia Stakes on the Kempton Polytrack last year he beat the Richard Hannon-trained Burnt Sugar who is in opposition again.

The third Group Three contest, also over 1600m on dirt, is the Firebreak Stakes and ten are set to face the starter. Last year’s winner, Variety Club went on to win the Godolphin Mile, as did 2011 scorer, Skysurfers.

It looks wide open this year with course and distance winner, Tamarkuz, trained by Musabah Al Muhairi for HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the mount of Paul Hanagan, a particularly interesting runners.

The De Kock-trained Darwin was a winner on dirt when trained by Todd Pletcher and has to be respected on his first start for the yard.