Six in Singspiel among strong contingent for 2019 Dubai World Cup Carnival opening fixture
Team Godolphin is out in force on the first fixture of the 2019 Dubai World Cup Carnival, with 16 horses declared to run at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 3 January.
The turf highlight is the 16-runner G3 Singspiel Stakes and the six Godolphin contenders for the nine-furlong contest include last season’s G2 Al Fahidi Fort third Dream Castle (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon).
The five-year-old, fifth in the G1 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, UK, in 2017, makes his first appearance since finishing down the field in the mile G3 Burj Nahaar on Super Saturday during last year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival.
His trainer Saeed bin Suroor is also represented in the Singspiel Stakes by lightly-raced seven-year-old Racing History (Kevin Stott), who has twice been placed at G1 level in Germany, and last season’s G3 Dubai Millennium Stakes fourth Team Talk (Pat Cosgrave).
Charlie Appleby sends out the three other Godolphin runners in the same race, headed by Bay Of Poets (Colm O’Donoghue), who stayed on well to take second behind Benbatl in the G2 Al Rashidiya over nine furlongs in February.
He is joined by Newmarket Listed winner Key Victory (James Doyle), who was sixth on his latest outing in the 10-furlong G3 Hampton Court Strakes at Royal Ascot in June, and Meydan turf handicap winner Salsabeel (Brett Doyle).
Saeed bin Suroor reported: “Dream Castle looks well physically out in Dubai and has been working nicely.
“He hasn’t raced over nine furlongs yet, but we wanted to give him a try over the distance to see how he gets on, and he is in good form at the moment.
“Racing History has had his setbacks in the past but looks to be in good order now. This is a prep-race for the future and I expect him to improve for the run.
“Team Talk is coming back to turf after disappointing on dirt in Round Three of the Maktoum Challenge in March, but he has been going very well at home.”
Charlie Appleby commented: “Bay Of Poets has performed well out in Dubai and, if he runs up to the standard of his second to Benbatl in the Al Rashidiya, should be very competitive.
“Key Victory had a break after his run at Royal Ascot and he has done well for it. I feel that the drop back to nine furlongs is going to suit and his preparation has gone well.
“Salsabeel has also enjoyed a small break since finishing second in a G3 at Deauville in August and boasts winning form around Meydan, while this trip should play to his strengths.”
A trio of Godolphin three-year-old fillies are out to showcase their Classic credentials on dirt in the seven-furlong UAE 1000 Guineas Trial including Dubai Beauty (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon), who was a close seventh on her most recent start in the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp, France, in October. She is drawn 12 of the 14 runners.
Swift Rose (Saeed bin Suroor/Kevin Stott), drawn eight, won on her only appearance to date, readily taking a Tapeta novice race by three and a half lengths at Wolverhampton, UK, in November, while Nashirah (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle), a daughter of Dubawi, scored on turf at Yarmouth in October.
Saeed bin Suroor said: “Dubai Beauty won really well on her debut at Newmarket, but disappointed on her two subsequent starts.
“She is a filly who has tended to be too keen in her races but she looks more relaxed now in her work, so I hope that she can continue that on to the racecourse.
“Swift Rose ran a nice race to win at Wolverhampton and this looks to be the right next step for her now.”
Charlie Appleby added: “Nashirah broke her maiden over six furlongs at Yarmouth, but had previously run well over seven.
“She has a little bit to find with some of her rivals on the ratings, but has a nice profile going into this race and a good draw in stall one.”
Bin Battuta (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon), second in the Melrose Heritage Handicap on his last start at York in August, runs in the 12-furlong turf handicap.
Big Challenge (Saeed bin Suroor/Hayley Turner), an unexposed five-year-old who has been restricted to three starts, and G3 runner-up Ispolini (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle) also line up in the same race.
Three-time Meydan winner Top Score (Christophe Soumillon, drawn one) and progressive filly Victory Wave (Hayley Turner, drawn 10) both represent Saeed bin Suroor in the turf handicap over seven furlongs, a race in which Charlie Appleby relies on Epsom Downs Listed runner-up Aurum (Brett Doyle, drawn five).
Race Day (Saeed bin Suroor/Rowan Scott, drawn 11), successful four times between seven furlongs and a mile, drops down to five furlongs for the first time in the evening’s turf sprint handicap.