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Al Zarouni aims to carry on winning momentum

Godolphin handler sends out likely favourite in feature race at Meydan

Gulf News

Dubai: Godolphin handler Mahmoud Al Zarouni, who was in imperious treble-winning form at Thursday’s Carnival meeting, will be looking to continue his rich vein of form when domestic racing returns to Meydan on Saturday.

Al Zarouni saddles the Saeed Al Tayer-owned Ahtough in what looks to be the most interesting race on the evening’s card, a 1,200m turf handicap that has drawn a maximum field of 16 runners.

Former six-time British champion jockey Kieren Fallon takes the ride on a lightly-race horse who was last seen in action at Ascot in August, where he came an unlucky third in the Shergar Cup Dash Handicap.

Al Zarouni issued an upbeat bulletin about his ward saying: “He won at Chester in May, having totally missed the break. That was a big win from a poor position and his last run was a good third at the Shergar Cup.

“We had a great night on Thursday and the horses are running well.”

Ahtough’s main rivals appears to be the Godolphin-trained Les Troyens and Royal Ridge, who is trained by South African handler Mike de Kock for owner Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.

Les Troyens was a noteworthy second to Garbah last time while Royal Ridge is unbeaten in his three last starts in South Africa.

De Kock said: “We think he is a proper horse for Dubai and the Carnival so this provides an opportunity to get him on the track as we have not been able to get a run on the all-weather yet. He is in good form but will need every yard of this trip.”

Another competitive event appears to be the concluding 2,000m turf handicap where Satish Seemar’s consistent Layali Al Andalus and Saeed Bin Surour’s Jawhar stand out.

All six races on the card are sponsored by Swaidan Trading and the Saeed & Mohammad Al Naboodah Group,