Godolphin trainers Saeed Bin Surour (left) and Charlie Appleby (right) will go head-to-head in the feature races on Thursday. Jockey William Buick, seen between them, will be driving Summer Romance in Cape Verdi. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Fillies take centrestage to contest the two featured races at the second meeting of the 2021 Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan on Thursday sponsored by Longines, the Group 2 Cape Verdi and the UAE 1000 Guineas, the first thoroughbred Classic of the season.

Godolphin has dominated the Group 2 Cape Verdi since 2011 winning all but two renewals. Saeed Bin Surour is the most successful handler in the race which was first run in 2004 at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse, while Charlie Appleby has saddled the winner three times, including in each of the last two years.

The latter is represented by Summer Romance, the mount of William Buick while three-time winning rider James Doyle teams up with Althiqa.

Buick, who is seeking a first win in the Cape Verdi with Summer Romance, a daughter of Kingman who has three wins to her credit including the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom.


Appleby said: “They are two nice fillies. Althiqa was very consistent in Europe last year, winning a Listed race and placing in a Group Three. She looks ideal for this test.

“Summer Romance has wintered really well and has thrived in the sunshine. Her last start in a Group One just did not go to plan but she showed at Epsom that she is a very useful filly.”

Bin Surour has three chances with Stunning Beauty, the mount of Frankie Dettori leading the team that also comprises Dubai Love and the unbeaten Last Look,

“Stunning Beauty is a very talented, but somewhat quirky filly,” Bin Surour said. “She looks the ideal type for the Cape Verdi and is unbeaten as is Last Look who has been given plenty of time as she is a bit fragile.

“Dubai Love is just a tough, genuine and versatile filly who landed the UAE 1000 Guineas on dirt last year.”

The nine-horse field is also feature several interesting international runners including Stylistique and Perfect Inch from Britain, France’s Quiet Times and Swedish hopeful Silent Night. Trainer Patrick Wahl is hoping for a big run from Silent Night and said: “She has done very well over the summer back home. Of course it was an advantage for her to be here over the winter to prepare her. She won three races in a row, and won both Guineas in Norway and Sweden.

“Hopefully she will run well in the Cape Verdi, and then we might run her in the Balanchine. It all depends on how she runs. If not, we will have to look at some other ways, but that is the plan.

Bin Surour has an outstanding record in the UAE 1000 Guineas with 11 victories and seeks to continue his dominance with Soft Whisper, winner of the 1400m UAE 1000 Guineas Trial three weeks ago.

Frankie Dettori, who is also seeking a fifth win in the race and fourth for Bin Surour, replaces Pat Cosgrave who was aboard in the trial. Bin Surour said: “Soft Whisper won twice in Britain last year and did well to win the trial after a slow start. The extra 200m should suit and we are expecting a big run.”

Doug Watson saddles Super Chianti and Mnasek, both winners on their only starts to date. Watson said: “Both are in flying form at home and we are really looking forward to trying them in this better class of race having just won a maiden apiece.”

Jebel Ali Stables handler Nicholas Bachalard saddles Nayefah, runner-up to both Watson fillies in her two outings to date. “We deliberately missed the trial to give her more time between races,” Bachalard said. “She has done herself no favours with slow starts both times, so hopefully she can break on terms this time.”

Other races on the card

Race 1. Al Maktoum Challenge R2 Presented By Longines Purebred Arabian Group 1 (1900m Dirt)

The second round of the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge over 1900 m on dirt has attracted a quality field of nine led by round one scorer Brraq, trained by Jean-Claude Pecout. Together with Bandar and Aounm, who was second in this last year for trainer Majed Al Jahoori and winner of the 2000m round three when he beat the Doug Watson-trained RB Texas Hold Em, is again in opposition.

GN Selection: 1. Brraq; 2, Rb Frynchh Dude.

Race 2. Al Bastakiya Trial Presented By Longines Conditions Stakes (Dirt)

Godolphin’s Final Thought looked a promising horse when staying on well in the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial and should improve to take this for the crack pairing of Frankie Dettori and Saeed Bin Surour, who bagged a double on the opening day of the Carnival last week.

South American raider El Patriota has won three of his last four starts and is the highest rated in the field but will have to cope with a big change of scene while Emirati handler Ali Rashid Al Raihe’s Grand Dubai - who was last seen finishing fifth in the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial - will enjoy his return to the Meydan dirt. Ahmed Bin Harmash’s well-bred Sharp Spun finished third in that race on his racecourse debut in that contest.

GN Selection: 1. Final Thought; 2. Grand Dubai

Race 3. Zabeel Turf Presented By Longines Listed Handicap (1m 2f Turf)

Charlie Appleby’s Star Safari is a is a lightly raced five-year-old whom fans will remember winning over C&D at the Carnival last February. He will concede weight to fellow Godolphin hopes Bright Melody, Brilliant Light and High End. Fellow Godolphin handler Saeed Bin Surour also fields some interesting types led by Epsom scorer who will have the services of Dettori. The handler’s other contenders include 2018 Prix Jean-luc Lagardere hero Royal Marine, Passion and Glory, who has his first start after a gao of 261 days and Brilliant Light, the winner of two his four starts.

Simon & Ed Crisford’s Influencer, a former French winner and South African-trained Majestic Mambom, who recorded a hat-trick of wins in 2018, are worth keeping an eye on.

GN Selection: 1. Star Safari; 2. Royal Marine.

Race 6. Longines Spirit Collection Trophy Handicap (1m Turf)

Several Al Quoz Sprint hopefuls appear head in what looks a hot race. Charlie Appleby’s Key Victory has a big chance going by his experience over the Meydan turf. However, Alfareeq, who has shown sprinting prowess when previously trained in France, could pose a big danger. The son of Dark Angel should definitely be in the mix. However, stable jockey Jim Crowley has picked Moqtarreb over the selection.

GN Selection: 1. Alfareeq; 2.Key Victory.