Deem aims for second Cape Verdi bid

Meydan Racecourse sees Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa as the sponsor of Thursday's second meeting of the 2011 Dubai International Racing Carnival, highlighted by the Cape Verdi, a Group Two 1600m contest for fillies and mares. It is the penultimate event on the all Thoroughbred seven race card and has attracted a quality field of 11.

Deem won this in 2009, at Nad Al Sheba, for Saudi Arabia and was also a Meydan winner in 2010.

Trained by Jerry Barton, she will be ridden by French jockey Olivier Peslier who said: "She is in good form and seems to thrive in Dubai. We have to be hopeful of a good run and hopefully there will be a decent pace in the race to utilise her stamina."

When Deem won the 1800m Balanchine Stakes last year she was chased home by Godolphin's Aspectoflove who was also runner-up in the Cape Verdi. Aspectoflove will try her luck once again this year, having since won twice in the UK and has been pleasing her trainer, Saeed bin Suroor, at home.

He said: "She ran well in both her Meydan races last year and we are very happy with her. She is better racing prominently and we expect her to go close."

There is plenty of other international interest with My Sweet Baby representing Fawzi Nass A half-sister to 2009 Dubai Duty Free winner Gladiatorus, she will be having her first start for the Bahrain-based Nass who said: "She is a nice mare and we have bought her as a broodmare prospect. Hopefully we can win with her. She is a Group Three winner already and this has always been her initial target."

River Jetez is an exciting new recruit for South African Mike De Kock who said: "She is seven now but is really pleasing us at home and we are looking forward to running her. She has form over a variety of trips so the 1600m looks a good start point."

Anam Chara represents Ireland, with Forest Crown and Kinky Afro from the UK and French pair Thai Haku and Ayun Tara appearing to give Europe a strong hand.

The main support race is the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial, a 1400m All-Weather contest for three-year-olds.

De Kock will saddle Zanzamar, to be ridden by Richard Hills, his first starter for prominent owner for His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Zanzamar’s South African form looks good, having won one of his three starts and placed third and fourth in the other two. The trainer said: "He is a nice horse and it is great to train for Sheikh Hamdan. Hopefully we can do well for him and this is a good start point for Zanzamar for whom the UAE Triple Crown races are currently the target."

Bin Suroor saddles Janood who won his first two starts in the UK before struggling in two subsequent starts on soft ground. The trainer said: "He is working well on the [All-Weather] and is much better than able to show on the soft ground the last twice. He should run well."

Stable companion Signs In The Sand is another to fear, while Godolphin's second trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni has three in the race with stable jockey Ahmed Ajtebi choosing Splash Point over Introvert (Ryan Moore) and Bridgefield (Mickael Barzalona).

The Al Hadeerah Trophy, a 1000m dash on the Turf sees a classy line-up that includes no fewer than seven Carnival graduates, four of which won at their latest starts.

Rodolphe Collet’s War Artist, the 2010 Al Shindagha Sprint winner and mount of Olivier Peslier might be that much better, although Star Crowned, a Carnival regular could go close.

The 1600m Falcon Lounge Trophy sees Red Stables Doug Watson declare three, with Quartier Latin under William Supple seemingly the strongest of those. Godolphin also have three in this race and Frankie Dettori’s Kingsfort is the one to beat.

Irish-based trainer Dave Marnane, fresh from his win with Dandy Boy last week, is hoping to up his Carnival tally with Separate Ways under jockey Colm O’Donoghue.

The 2000m Al Forsan Trophy has Mahmoud Al Zarooni four-handed with Simon de Montfort (Kieren Fallon), Heliodor (Ahmed Ajtebi), High Twelve (Antioco Murgia) and Zeitoper (William Supple).

Azmeel, trained by John Gosden and ridden by Ryan Moore looks the strongest in the field, whilst Ali Rashid Al Raihe’s Monte Alto under Richard Hills could prove worthy of consideration as a likely winner.

Elsewhere, Kal Barg (Kieren Fallon) and Oroveso (Bruno Reis) renew their rivalry in the Al Sarab Trophy, having finished in second and third place respectively behind Trois Rois when they clashed at Meydan last month over the same course and distance.

King of Rome to be ridden by Kevin Shea and Star Emipre under Christophe Soumillon will be saddled by de Kock for the same race, and the former looks likely to be the favourite as he has the official highest rating in the field. Al Raihe’s Rochdale (Ted Durcan) should not be discounted, having enjoyed some success so far this season (he was won two of his last three starts at Meydan), although this race is a step up in class for the eight year old gelding.