For the second consecutive carnival meeting, the third fixture thus far of the international extravaganza, we have a turf feature race taking the limelight, the Group 2 Zabeel Mile attracting a quality field, headed by Master Of The Seas. Godolphin are seeking a fourth consecutive victory in the 1600m turf highlight, a seventh success in nine years and a ninth in a dozen renewals.
Godolphin handler Charlie Appleby saddles Master Of The Seas who has an official rating of 117 and looks to have strong claims to provide his handler a sixth victory in the race since 2015. A 5yo homebred gelded son of Dubawi, he will be seeking a fifth career success on his tenth start, so he is relatively low mileage for his age.
To date, he has only won in Newmarket, once on the July Course, thrice on the Rowley Mile according his only 2022 outing in April’s Group 3 Earl of Sefton Stakes. As a juvenile he won the Group 2 Superlative Stakes. As a 3yo, he started his campaign finishing second to stablemate and subsequent Group One winner Naval Crown before beaten in a photo in the 2000 Guineas.
He appears the type of horse, well gelding, Appleby campaigns so successfully at the carnival. Appleby also saddles Modern News and we have seen consistently already at the 2023 carnival, the trainer’s second string always needs taking seriously. The same owner’s Desert Fire won the 1800m Gro1up 2 Al Rashidiya last year but, interestingly, his trainer Saeed bin Suroor swerved the opportunity to try and defend that crown last week, aiming at this 200m shorter target.
It appears a significant choice as he stays much further but did win a course and distance handicap almost exactly three years ago. Real World was a third winner in this contest last year for Bin Suroor who also saddles Laser Show and Land Of Legends. Seemingly heading the international challenge are I Am Superman, for Martin O’Callaghan and Ireland, alongside the David O’Meara-trained Shelir for Britain.
The first real Classic of the season (discounting the two at Abu Dhabi on Thursday), the 3yo fillies take the limelight in the Listed 1600m dirt UAE 1000 Guineas. Never the strongest division at the carnival, Newmarket trainer Harry Eustace will be hoping to make the perfect start to his UAE career for Britain with Cite D’Or arriving with a lofty rating of 100.
Owned by a Nick Bradley racing syndicate, the 3yo daughter of Galiway won two of her six starts in Europe but earned her official mark when sixth in the 2000m Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud. She needs to prove herself on dirt, having only ever run on turf, but the small field should allow her to avoid the kickback and, if she proves that 100 rating justified, she will be hard to beat over a trip that should suit for the first time on the new surface.
The 1600m will perhaps prove to be the minimum stamina requirement for Mimi Kakushi, heroine of the 1400m trial for this when losing her maiden tag at the third attempt for Salem bin Ghadayer and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed. A daughter of City Of Light, she is at least proven on the surface as are Doug Watson duo Asawer and Awasef, both owned by Al Rashid Stables and second and third respectively in that trial.
The sole Purebred Arabian contest, the inaugural Big Easy Arabian Sprint Championship, a 1200m dirt conditions race, has attracted a decent turnout, including four representing the powerful trio of Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, Ernst Oertal and Tadhg O’Shea who opts to ride AF Marmuq.
Race 1: Mumayaza
Race 2: Colour Up
Race 3: Boomshalaa
Race 4: Unjokable
Race 5: Master Of The Seas (Nap)
Race 6: Away He Goes (NB)
Race 7: Silent Film