Dubai: Godolphin pilot Kerrin McEvoy thinks Folk can become the first filly to win the UAE Derby (Gr 1) this Saturday.
That was the sobering message from Frankie Dettori's deputy in assessing the claims of the three-year-old, who has shown rapid improvement over the winter in Dubai where she scored impressive wins in the UAE 1,000 Guineas (Listed) and UAE Oaks (Gr 2)
"Obviously Asiatic Boys is going to be a tough horse to beat. But I'm very happy with Folk, who I've ridden the last two times," said the Australian yesterday.
"She given me a great feel both times and she stepped up to the mark last time when winning the Oaks."
Folk won both classics leaving her rivals for dead.
She made all the running to trounce Brazil's Greetings by four lengths in the former over a mile and then stepped up in distance to nine furlongs to beat Samba Reggae by five lengths in the latter. In both starts she displayed tremendous ability and a mean turn of foot.
"She's very quick out of the stalls and she can travel at a fast pace," said McEvoy. "She is taking on the big boys this time, but I think she could be the first filly to win the UAE Derby.
"She should have a great chance."
But this year's renewal of the blue riband race looks a solid Group 2 contest. With a purse of $2million on offer, it has attracted some of the best three-year-old dirt horses including Asiatic Boy, who is a 4/5 favourite.
Folk is a 4/1 joint favourite with stable companion Eu Tambem.
Asiatic Boy, who is owned by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, is trained by Mike de Kock, a two-time winner of the Derby with Victory Moon (2003) and Lundy's Liability (2003).
McEvoy, who also rode Eu Tambem to win the third round of the Maktoum Challenge, believes that the Argentine Derby (Gr 1) winner will run a big race.
"He would definitely have a good chance," said the Australian. "He beat the older horses in a handicap, got a bit of a weight relief that day, but he's a very solid horse. He's done well after his win and should be in the mix."
Without doubt Eu Tambem is the biggest threat to both Asiatic Boy and Folk. He beat Singing Poet by five lengths over the Dubai World Cup distance which encouraged his former trainer Esmail Mohammad to consider running him in the $6million race.