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Dubai World Cup Carnival Programme to Offer Three Stakes Events

Photo: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins

Safety Check Seeks Third Win of the Season and Heads the G2 Zabeel Mile

Thursday’s eighth meeting of the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan Racecourse is arguably the best with three feature races, highlighted by the Group 2 Zabeel Mile.

Eleven have been declared for the 1600m turf feature, including Godolphin’s Safety Check, trained by Charlie Appleby and seeking a third 2015 Carnival victory having won a 1400m handicap on his seasonal debut and the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort over the same course and distance.

The mount of William Buick, who was aboard when he won the Al Fahidi Fort, will be penalised for that victory and the race distance is an extra 200m he will contend with this week.

“He has really thrived since arriving in Dubai and remains in great form,” said Appleby. “The Meydan turf course really suits him and he should run another big race but the penalty obviously makes life harder for him.

“The 1400m has really suited him for his two wins this year and has to prove himself as effective over 1600m but he has won over the trip at Newmarket as a juvenile.”

Appleby also saddles Outstrip, winner of the 2013 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, in the same race with James Doyle in the saddle. He will make his second start of the campaign having been well beaten in the opening round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

“He was disappointing last time,” said Appleby. “He had been working well but just did not face the kickback. He continues to please us at home and will appreciate the return to turf.”

South African Mike De Kock won the inaugural running of this race in 2007 with Kapil and has saddled two subsequent winners. Seeking a fourth win in the race, he has three shots at the target with Anaerobio, Johann Strauss and Darwin.

Christophe Soumillon rides the last named, with Pat Dobbs aboard Johann Strauss, as he was when a close second at Abu Dhabi on his first start for the yard. Johnny Geroudis will ride Anaerobio.

Like Safety Check, the Brendan Powell-trained Dark Emerald, described by his handler as ‘the best horse I have ever trained’, is also seeking a third Meydan win this year. He has already won handicaps over 1200m and 1400m but stays 1600m well.

The main support race is the Group 3 UAE Oaks with only six declared for the 1900m dirt contest, headed by Godolphin’s Local Time, winner of the UAE 1000 Guineas last time.
Doyle rides for trainer Saeed bin Suroor and the pair look certain to be hard to beat.

“She won the Guineas very well,” said Bin Suroor who is seeking a tenth win in this race. “Her work has been very good and she should cope with the step up in trip from 1600m. “We expect her to run very well.”

Stable companion, Good Place, who chased her home in the UAE 1000 Guineas, could be her main danger.

“She will appreciate the step up in trip,” said Bin Suroor. “She is in good shape at home and will run a big race.”

Appleby relies on Yodelling, fourth behind Local Time in the Guineas.

“This is more her kind of trip,” said Appleby. “It will be tough to reverse the form with Saeed’s pair though.”

Eleven have been declared for the Listed Meydan Classic, a 1600m turf contest, like the UAE Oaks, restricted to three-year-olds, including the De Kock-trained Mastermind who made all to win the 1400m trial for this.

Owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he was ridden by the owner’s first jockey, Paul Hanagan, but he is the mount of second jockey, Dane O’Neill here with Hanagan electing to ride Tashbeeh.

Trained in Australia by David Hayes and making his local debut, Hanagan’s mount won his two most recent starts, most recently six weeks ago at Flemington.