Dubai: Long-serving Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Suroor has won the Cape Verdi, a popular contest for fillies and mares, the most number of times and the in-form Emirati handler looks to have a big chance of adding to his dominance during week three of the Dubai World Cup Carnival on Thursday.
Bin Suroor teams up with Belgian ace Christophe Soumillon, the most successful jockey in the race with three wins, and the promising filly Dubai Blue, a smart winner of a handicap on the all-weather at Lingfield, UK, in August.
However, the main threat comes from none other than fellow Godolphin handler Charlie Appleby, who sends out a pair of exciting contenders in Magic Lily (James Doyle) — a daughter of five-time Group 1-winning champion New Approach and English and German Oaks winner Dancing Rain — and Beyond Reason (William Buick), a promising daughter of Melbourne Cup winner Australia.
The Godolphin runners face five other strong contenders led by British raider Surrounding, who represents former Carnival-winning conditioner Mick Halford.
Assessing chance of Dubai Blue, Bin Suroor told the Godolphin website: “Dubai Blue has been going well at home, but we are expecting her to improve for her first run of the year.”
Appleby commented on his duo: “We are putting a line through Magic Lily’s last race at Lingfield Park, when she had a wide draw and the race wasn’t run to suit.
“She has done well physically since coming out to Dubai and, while this race might be slightly on the sharp side, it is a good platform for the G2 Balanchine later in the Carnival. She was G1-placed as a two-year-old and we feel that she still retains that ability.
“Beyond Reason ran a creditable race at Goodwood and has also done well out in Dubai. This looks a nice opportunity for her to get some more Black Type in what looks an open race.”
Commenting on the chances of Surrounding, Halford said: “She had a wonderful (2019) season and we’re delighted with her.
“She has won five Listed races in the space of 12 months and a Group 3 at home. She has age on her side and is again a filly who just kept improving. I had this race in mind for her for a long time and we’re pleased with her. She’s travelled out well and is training well. I’m quite hopeful.
“Generally, Dubai is good if you think there’s still improvement in a horse who likes good ground and has a good attitude. The great weather and facilities just bring out the best in them. You’ll often find you’ll improve a horse here.”
Godolphin are mob-handed in the Listed Zabeel Turf, the main support race of six-event card with last season’s Jebel Hatta scorer Dream Castle looking the pick of the sextet.
All in all an exciting evening’s racing is on the cards.
Race 1 Almanaara, Dream Today
Race 2 My Catch, Nine Below Zero
Race 3 Dream Castle, Loxley
Race 4 Dubai Blue, Surrounding
Race 5 Thegreatcollection, Midnight Sands
Race 6 Royal Marine, Suedois
Day’s Best Dream Castle