08 February 2024

ERA Meydan Preview

Connections of Starlust believe their three-year-old is capable of ‘a really big run’ in this Friday’s Meydan feature, the Dubai Trophy (Presented by DP World). 

The Ralph Beckett trainee is one of six UK contenders in the 1200metre turf dash which was captured 12 months ago by the George Boughey-trained Al Dasim.

Starlust returns to Dubai’s iconic racecourse fresh from a fine UAE debut when runner-up to subsequent G2 winner Star Of Mystery in the Al Wasl Stakes and Alex Cole, Racing Manager to owner Fitri Hay, is confident he is ready to display his best form.

Cole said: “We’re expecting a really big run. This has been his target and he’s in great form. He’s yet to let us down in his nine starts to date.”

The industrious Frost At Dawn, making her fourth start at the Carnival, returns just seven days after finishing third in the Jumeriah Fillies’ Classic last week.    

“It’s a bit aggressive running her back a week later, but she’s obviously been showing quite a lot of speed in her races so it was an opportunity to drop her back to 1200metres against three-year-olds,” said trainer William Knight.

“It will be interesting to see how she gets on over a flat six furlongs and I think she could run a really big race.”

Seven QuestionsGreat TruthMyconianSalvuccio and Zoulu Chief were all behind Starlust last time and re-oppose and Charlie Appleby, trainer of Great Truth, insists his colt can finish closer.

“Great Truth has definitely come forward since his run in the Al Wasl Stakes and we are applying a tongue-tie this time,” said the Godolphin handler. 

“His work has been good and, if he translates his improvement at home to the track, he should be very competitive.” 


Godolphin quartet dominate Vazirabad Handicap

The main supporting race on Friday’s card is the AED300,000 Vazirabad Handicap (Presented by DP World), over 2410m on turf. Named after the three-time G2 Dubai Gold Cup winner, it has attracted eight runners, including Bhupat Seemar’s 

Webinar, a winner over course and distance a month ago.

“Webinar was a winner for us last time and this is his distance, a mile and a half,” said Seemar. 

“Obviously he’s stepping into tougher company with a few Godolphin horses in there, but we’re expecting a good run.”

The Godolphin four include Ruling Dynasty, the mount of William Buick, representing Appleby who also runs dual winner Al Nafir

Military March and two-time course winner Global Heat line up for Saeed Bin Suroor.

The Jebel Ali Free Zone Handicap, race five, sees another leading contender in the Fitri Hay silks as Nevershow Weakness aims for his third win in a row. A winner over a mile and then over Friday’s distance of 2000m, the Lord Nelson gelding has enjoyed a five week break since his latest victory.

His 10 rivals include the Korean-trained Simjangui Godong, as well as multiple course winners Street Mood and Ajuste Fiscal.


Olascoaga hoping new recruit can motor to win

The We One Presented by DP World Conditions event, race three, has an interesting contender in Auto Bahn, winner of his only start in Argentina.

“He’s taken to the track really well and adapted quickly to the Meydan surroundings,” said trainer Julio Olascoaga. 

“He carries a penalty due to being Southern Hemisphere bred but he has the advantage of being six months older, so I think it’s pretty fair really.”

Auto Bahn’s nine rivals include two trained in the UK. Thunder Blue tries the dirt for the first time for trainer Dominic Ffrench Davis and Destructive, trained by Michael Bell, aims to better his fourth on the surface last week.

The penultimate DP World Logistics Handicap, over 1200m on dirt, sees Mr Kafoogo bid for a hat-trick for jockey Connor Beasley and trainer Ahmad Bin Harmash.

“He’s a great little horse and he’s won twice for me so far this season,” said Beasley. 

“I think there’s plenty more left in him so hopefully he can keep going the right way.”

The action begins with a 1600m Purebred Arabian contest at 5:30pm and closeswith a 2000m turf handicap in which Shadwell’s Wanees looks to hold leading claims after a promising run last time.