Dubai Turf Sponsored By DP World (Group 1)
Dubai: Legendary British handler John Gosden appears to have solid chances of winning both the Dubai Turf and Dubai Sheema Classic on Saturday when he sends out Royal Ascot scorer Lord North in the former and Saudi Cup hero Mishriff in the latter of the two prestigious turf contests.
A winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes last June, Lord North was third in the Juddmonte Internatioanl Stakes a month later before being unplaced in the Champion Stakes on October 17 at the traditional British season finale.
On his last start he finished a fourth behind Tanawa in the Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf on November 7 at Keeneland.
Lord North carries a lofty reputation to Dubai where he will be ridden by Frankie Dettori — the much-feared and long-time big-race riding partner for Gosden.
Assessing his stable star’s chances, Gosden said earlier this week: “There’s a long run into the bend from the nine-furlong start, so there should be plenty of time for Frankie [Dettori] to make up his mind whether he wants to go forward or drop in. Both he, Mishriff and our UAE Derby candidate New Treasure breezed nicely this morning and have been in good shape since they arrived at the weekend.”
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Gosden’s charge faces another British-trained stalwart in the majestic Lord Glitters who has simply thrived during the Dubai World Cup Carnival, where he has won twice, in impressive fashion. Trained by David O’Meara Lord Glitters won the Group 1 Jebel Hatta last month. There would have been yet another challenger from the UK, but the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Regal Reality is a non-runner.
Eqtiraan and Al Suhail were second and third in the Jebel Hatta with the latter posting a win in his subsequent start for trainer Charlie Appleby.
Appleby has described Al Suhail as a very talented horse if a bit on the temperamental side.
The Dubai Turf, known as Dubai Duty Free from 1996 to 2014. was first run in 1996 on dirt, over a distance of 2,000 metres. It was transferred to turf, and a distance of 1,777 metres, in 2000. The race attained Group 1 status in 2002.
1. Lord Glitters
2. Al Suhail
3. Lord North