Gervais runs in the Handicap
Gervais runs in the Handicap Image Credit: Courtesy ERA

Dubai: Gulf News, a long-time partner of the Dubai Racing Club (DRC), returns to sponsor Saturday’s Meydan racing where horses hoping to qualify for the ongoing Dubai World Cup Carnival can secure their berths.

Among them are a pair of mile contests, the Gulf News Handicap on turf and the Handicap on dirt — plus the five-furlong Agnc3 Handicap, also on the turf.

The first of these races has attracted a capacity field featuring the likes of Nova Roma, Almoreb, Tafaakhor and Lost In Time.

Godolphin handler Saeed Bin Surour, whose stable has been in good form, saddles Lost In Time, the mount of Hector Crouch, who needs a win to improve his chances of qualifying for the international races.

Bin Surour said: “We gelded him after last year’s Carnival and he has been working nicely since returning to Dubai, so should run well. It looks a good race for him although a very competitive one.”

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai who was champion owner in Britain in 2020, is represented by a quartet of horses led by his retained rider Jim Crowley’s mount Almoreb. Dane O’Neill rides stable companion Tafaakhor.

Sheikh Hamdan’s other pair, Al Salt and Bawaasil, are to be partnered by Clement Lecoeuvre and Pat Dobbs for Erwan Charpy and Doug Watson respectively.

Salem bin Ghadayer sends out Nova Roma for Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, who will be ridden by Mickael Barzalona. Royston Ffrench takes the ride on stablemate Homespin.

The Agnc3 Handicap will feature 15 sprinters including no less than six for Sheikh Hamdan. Crowley choosing to ride Taneen for Musabbeh Al Mheiri with O’Neill opting for the Al Rayhi-trained Tashaaboh.

Sandro Paiva, who rides Etisalat for Sheikh Hamdan, said: “That was a good win the last time in a similarly competitive race to Saturday’s. Obviously I am delighted to ride him again.”

Antonio Fresu, who has ridden the five-year-old Heeraat gelding in all four outings this season, said: “This horse is just so consistent and has been in the first three in each of his seven most recent starts, winning twice. Saturday’s race looks a tough one, but he is in great form and should run another big race.”

The pick of the dirt races is the day’s feature, the Handicap over 1,600m, which will also be contested by the maximum allowed field of 16.

Gervais, a seven-year-old Distorted Humor gelding, is the choice of Beasley, who commented: “He has been in great form this season and we are drawn in the middle which is a help. Obviously he is creeping up the weights and this is another tough handicap but he should run his usual, solid, race.”

GN Selections

Tabloid Maiden: 1. Al Maroom, 2. Jumeirah Beach
Friday Maiden: 1, One Idea, 2. Zero To A Hundred
REACH by Gulf News Handicap: 1. Meqdam, 2. Karnavaal
Gulf News Handicap: 1. Nova Roma, 2. Lost In Time Handicap: 1. Gervais, 2. Double Orb
Agnc3 Handicap: 1. Dahawi 2. Etisalat