Dream Castle, ridden by jockey Chrostophe Soumillon and trained by Saeed Bin Suroor wins the Al Rashidiya race on Dubai World Cup Carnival night at Meydan racecourse on Thursday 24 January 2019. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: There were plenty of interesting clues available at Meydan on Thursday evening for this year’s $35 million Dubai World Cup meeting (March 30). Ali Rashid Al Rayhi found himself a potential UAE Derby (Group 2) hopeful in Manguzi, winner of the inaugural Al Bastikiya Trial, one of six exciting races on the card on Thursday.

Ridden by former Dubai World Cup-winning jockey Fernando Jara, the French-bred colt was notching up his second win in three starts since arriving at Al Rayhi’s Grandstand Stables. “We were really hoping that he would be our UAE Derby horse this year,” Al Rayhi said. “I’ve been quite enthusiastic to have a runner for Dubai World Cup night, and then he answers my prayers. We are obviously very excited with him as I still feel that he has a lot of improvement in him and this run with bring him on in leaps and bounds.”

There were also the now habitual big-race wins by Godolphin handlers Saeed Bin Surour and Charlie Appleby, the former sending out Dream Castle to win the Al Rashidiya, a key trial for the $6m Dubai Turf (G1). Appleby won a high-class renewal of the Al Fahidi Fort (G2) with D’Bai, who will be now aimed at principal targets in Europe during the summer.