Caspar Fownes is looking forward to Super Saturday (4 March) with Dundonnell after the sprinter’s gutsy second on his Dubai debut last Saturday night, and Chris So has the same date in mind for Fabulous One despite his charge’s dirt track disappointment in the same contest.
Dundonnell will aim at the G3 Mahab Al Shimaal (1200m) at the course and distance in two and a half weeks’ time, a race that Hong Kong’s Rich Tapestry won in 2014 en route to running second in the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (1200m) on the Dubai World Cup card (25 March). Fownes has in mind the same route after his smart seven-year-old shouldered top-weight of 60 kilograms and finished a length second to Godolphin’s Comicas in Saturday’s 1200m handicap.
“He’s come out of the race very well. It was a very pleasing first effort on that surface carrying the weight he did, carrying 60 kilos – 133 pounds. He gave the winner 11lb (5kg) and obviously that horse took our line of running, but, that aside, the horse ran really well, he’s pulled up really well and we’re looking forward to his next run on the fourth (March).
“I’d like to see him put another race like that together before we look at the Golden Shaheen because that track is tricky. If you reverse the draw and get Dundonnell on the rail, like the winner was last Saturday, it’s a different ball game.”
Christophe Soumillon partnered Dundonnell for what was the gelding’s second race on a dirt surface, having debuted on Sha Tin’s dirt track with a short-head third, again under top-weight, as recently as 18 January.
“Christophe will ride him again on Super Saturday and after that we’ll make a decision as to what we do with him, but at this stage the plan is to go forward and see how we can go second-up.”
Chris So, meanwhile, confirmed that Fabulous One will switch to turf for the Nad Al Sheba Sprint, a conditions race over 1200m on Super Saturday, after failing to handle Meydan’s left-hand turn. The Elusive City gelding raced outside the leader under Oisin Murphy in Saturday’s contest, but was a beaten horse at the top of the home run. The five-year-old faded to finish around 14 lengths behind Comicas.
“I want to take him to the straight 1200 on turf on Super Saturday,” So confirmed. “Oisin reported that he can’t handle the turn, he was off-balance. I think he handles the dirt surface but it was his first time left-handed and he didn’t handle it.
“He was fine after the race. We scoped him and it was clean, everything looks good. In the straight, I thought maybe there was a problem so that’s why we scoped, but he’s fine.
“If he can show his best and run a good race on the fourth (March), then we’ll be hoping he can get a run in the Al Quoz Sprint.”
Sterling City won the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen for Hong Kong in 2014, the same night that another Sha Tin raider Amber Sky landed the G1 Al Quoz Sprint, which was then staged as a 1000m contest.