Tonight sees the sixth meeting of the Dubai International Racing Carnival and the evening features arguably the strongest UAE 2000 Guineas ever run.
A maximum field of 16 has been declared for the Group Three event and the 1600m dirt contest features a trio of contenders from the in-form Godolphin stable of Saeed bin Suroor as well as the all-conquering Mike de Kock.
Bin Suroor has saddled 13 winners so far this Carnival, and introduces Etched for his UAE debut, having won both his starts in the USA (including the Grade Three Nashua Stakes) for 2007 Dubai World Cup winning trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin.
Stable companion My Indy was a Group Two winner in his native Argentina, while Godolphin’s third runner, Numaany won his second outing in a maiden at Aqueduct.
Fresh from a ‘1-2’ in the UAE 1000 Guineas last week, bin Suroor said: “Etched is a horse we like a lot and is pleasing us in his work.
“My Indy ran well last time and will have come on for that, while this is a big step up for Numaany but he is a nice horse.”
My Indy did indeed make a pleasing local debut when second to Mike De Kock’s Argentine-bred Honour Devil, in a race in which the Doug Watson-trained Uruguayan-bred son of First American, Aquino, ran an eye-catching third.
Watch Honour Devil beating My Indy at the Dubai Carnival 2008.
Both re-oppose on Thursday and it’s worth noting that De Kock’s Asiatic Boy won the same conditions race before winning the 2000 Guineas last year, as did Stagelight in 2005 for Jeremy Noseda.
De Kock, who’s birthday coincides with “Valentines” and who also won this race in 2003 with the marvellous Victory Moon, believes his unbeaten duo Honour Devil and UAE debutant Royal Vintage, will take a hand in the finish, while his third string, Ablaan has done nothing wrong in winning both his local starts.
“It looks a great race but we have live chances,” the South African trainer said.
“Honour Devil surprised us with the manner of his win and he will have improved for that and Royal Vintage could be a nice horse. It is hard to split them on their work but Honour Devil is proven on dirt.
“Ablaan has done nothing wrong in Dubai but this looks a tough test.”
Trainer Mick Channon’s Listed winner Siberian Tiger represents European Group form (he was beaten just three lengths into fifth in last November’s Criterium de Saint-Cloud (Gr1)), although Watson’s Aquino looks a bigger danger.
Extract from Thoroghbred Internet