Dubai: The Dubai Sheema Classic is the second of the big three Group 1 races that conclude the UAE racing season and we are in for a treat again as we have 10 super contenders vying for the plaudits.

Cloth Of Stars was beaten into second place in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe by superstar mare Enable and that is no embarrassment and this Godolphin runner is trained in France by the genius Andre Fabre.

In 2017, he ran five times and finished first or second in every run, with the Group 1 Prix Ganay under regular jockey Mikael Barzalona being his biggest victory.

We think and we hope there could be a big race in him this year. He placed in an Epsom and Irish Derby as a 3-year-old and he won the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot.”

 - Aidan O’Brien | Trainer

The son of Sea The Stars had a promising prep race recently at Chantilly and will be primed to deliver another victory for the boys in blue.

Godolphin have two other runners in the race. Hawkbill represents Charlie Appleby and he took narrowly won the Dubai City of Gold on Super Saturday to earn his crack at this race and William Buick keeps the ride.

Saeed Bin Surour will be searching for his third win in this race with Best Solution who won a handicap earlier in the season but things did not go smoothly when behind Hawkbill last time but expect a much improved performance tonight with Pat Cosgrave keeping the ride.

You ignore a horse trained by Sir Michael Stoute on the international stage at your peril. He has trained the winner of the Dubai World Cup among many other successes round the world from his headquarters in Newmarket, England. He won this race itself in 2000 with Fantastic Light. Poets Word is the son of Poet’s Voice and he is incredibly consistent and having won the Glorious Stakes at Goodwood he went on to finish runner up in both the Irish Champion Stakes and the Champion Stakes at Ascot acquitting himself excellently each time. Now a five year old Saeed Suhail’s horse looks to have fully matured and looks to be a big player in this great renewal.

The Japanese have done well in this race of late with the legendary Gentildonna winning in 2014 and two further horses placed since and they have three runners here tonight. they look to have a great chance tonight in Rey De Oro trained by Kazuo Fujisawa. Winner of the Grade 1 Japanese Derby and also the runner up in the Japan Cup were the highlights of his three year old season and just a little older he should still be improving. He will be ridden tonight by Christophe Lemaire who won this race on another Japanese challenger. Hearts Cry, back in 2006.

Poet’s Word is no Fantastic Light; he’s just a very reliable horse who I think is going to run a big race and take home some prize-money.”

 - Sir Michael Stoute | Trainer

Christian Demuro takes the ride on Mozu Katchan who won another Grade 1 as a three year old when he scored in the QE2 Cup in December. He has been a model of consistency and a promising run in mid February should have put him just right for this. Satono Crown is the most experienced of the trio and he won the Queens Vase in 2016 in Hong Kong and won the Grade 1 Takarazuka Kinen last season and with the help of Joao “Magic Man” Moreira he should not be discounted.

You should never discount a horse trained by Aiden O’Brien and he is represented here by Idaho. He has run with credit in some big European races and Ryan Moore takes the ride and he looks to be one looking for place chances. Kahlidi is trained by Clive Cox in the UK and he looks to be another sure to put up a bold show for his canny handler. The appropriately named Desert Encounter is trained in the UK by David Simcock and he would need to put in a career best performance to win this.

If Cloth of Stars runs to his Arc form he will be hard to beat however we think he is vulnerable and Rey de Oro (Translated as King of Gold) looks to be an exciting horse with great form and he is our selection. Poets Word is going to be a big player and should complete the first three.


— Harry Tregoning is a horse racing expert and Managing Partner, Tregoning Property

GN Selections

1 Rey de Oro
2 Cloth of Stars
3 Poet’s Word