Carnival quality Meydan feature looks ideal taster for international competition to follow next week

Racing at Meydan on Friday, the course’s final fixture before the start of the 2022 Dubai World Cup Carnival a week later, is highlighted by a 1600m rated conditions stakes on the turf in which a capacity field of 14 will face the starter.

In a contest that would certainly not look out of place on a carnival card a case can be made for most of the field including Nordic Lights, the mount of Tadhg O’Shea and to be saddled by Bhupat Seemar whose equine team are flying at the moment.

The 7yo gelded son of Intello will actually be appearing in public for the first time in 1035 days on what will be his first outing since leaving Charlie Appleby for whom he won a turf handicap over 1800m on the turf in February 2019 when owned by Godolphin.

His only subsequent start was on Super Saturday that same year when a distant sixth, on dirt, in the 2000m Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3.

Seemar said: “Obviously he is coming back from a long break and ideally wants a bit further but he working well and this looks the ideal spot to get him going again.”

The Shadwell silks are set to be particularly well represented with no less than five runners set to carry the world famous blue and white silks.

Dane O’Neill will wear the first choice blue and white cap aboard Alfareeq, trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri, as is the same owner’s Zainhom, the mount of stable jockey Antonio Fresu.

Al Mheiri said: “Both are in good form and have won on the Meydan turf so we know they like it there but it does look a strong race.

Doug Watson also saddles a pair of Shadwell runners, Turjomaan, to be ridden by Sam Hitchcott with Pat Dobbs electing to partner stable companion Hakeem.

Watson said: “It’s a tough race and both have been off for a while, especially Turjomaan, but they are both going very nicely at home so we hope they can run well.”

The fifth Shadwell runner is the Erwan Charpy-trained Moqtarreb, winner of the 1600m Listed National Day Cup in Abu Dhabi on his only start for the Frenchman. Adrie de Vries picks up what appears a very good spare ride.

Charpy said: “We have a nice draw in what looks a very tough and competitive race. He is working well so we are hoping for a big run.”

Among the remainder, Salem bin Ghadayer saddles both Quip, the mount of Royston Ffrench and Mailshot, preferred by Mickael Barzalona.

Bin Ghadayer said: “Mailshot started his season well with a victory in Abu Dhabi but then ran less well but we hope he can bounce back.
“Quip is a new horse for us this season and this will be his third start for us. He has never run on turf before but we think he will be fine on it.
“Hopefully both can at least run well but it is a tough contest with a lot of good horses in opposition.”
Those good horses in opposition include a Godolphin quartet with Saeed bin Suroor relying on Light And Dark who will be ridden by Louis Steward.

From the Charlie Appleby trio, William Buick has opted to partner One Ruler with James Doyle aboard La Barrosa and the spare ride on Path Of Thunder going to Richard Mullen.

They, as are the whole field, are already qualified for the carnival so this obviously looked too good an opportunity to miss to put the final touches on their preparations for the international extravaganza.

Anybody thinking of attending should note the first race start time: 5.25pm to allow the running of nine races on a bumper card.