Dubai Horse Racing: Group 1 Jebel Hatta and the 1800m Dubai Turf
The turf feature on the US$1.8 million Super Saturday card at Meydan Racecourse is the Group 1 Jebel Hatta sponsored by Emirates Airline, and is the official prep race for the 1800m Dubai Turf on Dubai World Cup Day.
Decorated Knight, representing England and Roger Charlton, looks likely to start favourite. The mount of Andrea Atzeni, he won his 2000m prep race on the Lingfield Polytrack four weeks ago and finished 2016 with an impressive victory in the 1800m Group 3 Meld Stakes at Leopardstown.
“He has taken the trip well and settled in straightaway,” said Charlton, who has remained at home. “The team with him is very happy and he worked nicely on Wednesday when Andrea was very pleased.”
Also in contention is the Mike de Kock- trained Ertijaal, who finished third in this race last year, and then fourth in the $6 million Dubai Turf. The five year old’s last win came at the 2015 Cape Derby.
The mount of Jim Crowley, for owner HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, this will be his second run of the season, after finishing fifth, over this course and distance, behind stable companion, Light The Lights, in the Listed Singspiel Stakes.
Light The Lights was then second, also over this 1800m, to Godolphin’s Promising Run in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya before seemingly finding 1600m too sharp in the Zabeel Mile.
Promising Run, the mount of Ryan Moore was third on his last outing in the 2000m Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes for Godolphin.
Trainer Saaed bin Suroor said: “She has run well on both starts this season, obviously it is a very tough race but she should produce a good performance.”
Also representing Godolphin is Folkswood, trained by Charlie Appleby and easy winner of a course and distance handicap on his latest outing.
“This is a big step up in class,” said Appleby. “But he looked good winning last time and this trip really seems to suit him.”
Elliptique, a Group 1 winner when trained by Andre Fabre, is having his second start since joining Satish Seemar after failing to beat a rival in the Dubai Millennium Stakes.
“Nothing really went right that day when he was a bit fresh and never able to find cover,” said assistant trainer, Bhupat Seemar. “He should run much better this week.”
However Decorated Knight fares, Atzeni looks to have a hot favourite’s chance on Postponed who seeks to defend his crown in the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold, over 2400m on turf.
Easy winner of this last year, he then followed up with success on Dubai World Cup Day in the Group 1 Sheema Classic over the same course and distance. Back in Europe he won both the Coronation Cup and Juddmonte International but escapes a penalty for those Group 1 victories.
“He is very well and, I would say, at exactly the same stage in his preparation as he was 12 months ago,” said Varian. “He worked very nicely on Wednesday and we could not be more pleased with him.”
Stable companion, King Bolete, should ensure a good gallop under Jack Mitchell but it is hard to see Postponed troubled in his title defense.
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Prize Money, one of four in the race for Godolphin and the mount of Adrie De Vries, looks the most likely to benefit should Atzeni’s mount disappoint. He won a course and distance handicap three weeks ago.
“The 2400m really suits him and he is improving,” said Bin Suroor.
The Charlie Appleby-trained Emotionless returns to turf and steps up in trip. “We are keen to try him over the longer trip and reverting to turf should suit him,” said Appleby.