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Strong Godolphin team for Super Saturday undercard


G1 performers Hawkbill, Frontiersman, Best Solution, Comicasinfo-icon and Jungle Cat feature among a powerful Godolphin contingent for the supporting races on Meydan’s Super Saturday fixture on 10 March. 

Hawkbill (Charlie Appleby/William Buick), successful in the G1 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park, UK, in July, 2016, makes his seasonal return in the G2 Dubai City Of Gold Sponsored By Emirates SkyCargo, one of six Godolphin runners in the 12-furlong contest on turf. 

The five-year-old performed admirably over the same distance last year, winning the G2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket, UK, and finishing second at G1 level in both the Grosser Preis Von Baden in Germany and the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes in Canada. 

Stable companion Frontiersman (James Doyle), tried over two miles on his first start of the year, runs in the same race, having finished second, beaten three quarters of a length by Hawkbill, in the 2017 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes and filled the same position in the G1 Coronation Cup, also over a mile and a half, at Epsom Downs in June. 

Charlie Appleby reported: “Hawkbill is very good order and his preparation for this has gone well. Being drawn in stall 11 is probably not ideal, but he is the class horse in the race and the conditions are there to suit him. 

“The drop back to a mile and a half is going to suit Frontiersman and he would be a live contender if he can reproduce his run in the Coronation Cup. He came out to Dubai later than the rest of the team but has trained well since his arrival and I have been pleased with him.”

Best Solution (Saeed bin Suroor/Pat Cosgrave), an impressive five-length winner of a 12-furlong turf handicap at Meydan on 15 February, also ran well in G1 company in Europe last season, coming home second in the 10-furlong Grosser Dallmayr-Preis at Munich, Germany, in July. He is drawn 14 of the 14 runners in the Dubai City Of Gold Sponsored By Emirates SkyCargo.

Saeed bin Suroor is also represented in the race by course and distance handicap scorer Gold Star (Jim Crowley), plus Elhaame (Oisin Murphy) and Memorial Day (Gerald Mosse). 

The trainer commented: “Best Solution won nicely over this course and distance on his latest outing and has done well out in Dubai. I am hoping for another strong performance. 

“A mile and a half is a good distance for Gold Star and he deserves to take his chance, while Elhaame needed the run last time out and has come on for it. 

“Memorial Day works very well in the mornings, but hasn’t shown the same level on the track. He has been disappointing so far but I’m hoping that he can bring his homework to the racecourse.”

Dirt sprinter Comicas (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) was runner-up in the 2017 G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen over six furlongs on dirt on Dubai World Cup night at Meydan and the five-year-old, successful in the six-furlong G3 Dubawi Stakes on 18 January, lines up over the same course and distance in the 11-runner G3 Mahab Al Shimaal Sponsored By Emirates Skywards in stall three

Four-year-old Exceed And Excel filly Dubai One (Saeed bin Suroor/Oisin Murphy), successful five times on the All-Weather in the UK, also takes his chance, drawn nine, having come home fifth in a six-furlong dirt handicap on 17 February. 

Charlie Appleby remarked: “Comicas has shown a great level of form on the dirt at Meydan. He goes into this race in good form and should be a major player based on his performances so far this year.”

Saeed bin Suroor commented: “We have been disappointed with Dubai One so far out in Dubai, but this is the right distance for her and we are giving her a chance in a G3 contest.”

Last year’s G1 2,000 Guineas fifth Dream Castle (Saeed bin Suroor/Pat Cosgrave), third in the seven-furlong G2 Al Fahidi Fort on 1 February, races on dirt for the first time in the mile G3 Burj Nahaar Sponsored By Emirates Holidays. He is drawn 13 of the 13 runners.

Saeed bin Suroor remarked: “We want to see how Dream Castle gets on with the dirt, but this looks a very tough race for him.”

G3 winner Masar (Charlie Appleby/William Buick), who was third in the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Chantilly, France, in October, also makes his dirt debut in the 13-strong Listed Al Bastakiya Sponsored By over an extended nine furlongs. 

He is joined in the middle leg of the UAE Triple Crown by G3 UAE 2,000 Guineas third Last Voyage (Charlie Appleby/Mickael Barzalona) and Racing Country (Saeed bin Suroor/Gerald Mosse). 

Recent G2 Al Fahidi Fort scorer Jungle Cat (Charlie Appleby/William Buick), drawn eight of the 16-strong field, goes for a repeat victory in the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint Sponsored By Arabian Adventures over six furlongs on turf, which features six Godolphin runners. 

Last year’s runner-up Baccarat (James Doyle, drawn 14) and D’bai (Brett Doyle, drawn four), both handicap winners at the Dubai World Cup Carnival this season, also represent Charlie Appleby. 

Top Score (Oisin Murphy, drawn seven) scored in a seven-furlong handicap at Meydan on 1 March and the four-year-old runs for Saeed bin Suroor along with Steady Pace (Harry Bentley, drawn six) and Silver Line (Gerald Mosse, drawn five), who have both shown good form in handicap company at Meydan this year.