MIKE de Kock has a number of runners with competitive chances at this weekend’s double-header at Meydan in Dubai.
We’re headlining Tahanee (main photo and below), a newcomer showing eye-catching talent at Blue Stables and making her first appearance in the UAE for owner Mohammed Khaleel Ahmed (of Star Empire and Anaerobio fame).
Tahanee (ARG) is a four-year-old filly by Storm Cat stallion Stormy Atlantic – she’s won five of eight starts in her native Argentina, including two Gr3 races over 1600m on turf, the same surface and distance of Thursday’s Meydan debut. Christophe Soumillon gets the riding honours.
Mike commented: “Tahanee is a nice filly showing us plenty of ability at home and is bound to go close to winning if she brings her work to the track. If all goes well we’ll be aiming her at the fillies features, the Balanchine and the Cape Verdi are two possibilities. She’s had a layoff, she’s probably 85% fit and will improve, but she can run!”
There are four other Mdk runners at the Thursday meeting, starting with two other Argentine-breds Fawree and Mazeed, who both ran well in respective Maidens on dirt a fortnight ago and are paired in the same Maiden Plate over a mile on dirt this week.
Mike said: “Both will have improved from last week. Fawree is a very problematic horse, if he gets through the gates in good order like last week he can challenge for the money. He is talented. I’ve kept Bernard Fayd’ Herbe on Fawree because he’s done plenty of hard work with him, including at the stalls. I’m not going to break them up now.
“Christophe is on Mazeed, who will be near peak fitness now and is a nice, tough horse who will also make his presence felt. I think Doug Watson’s runner Bee Jersey will be a tough rival for us, he ran very well on his debut.”
Sanshaawes (Soumillon) and Whistle Stop (Dane O’Neill), will compete in Race 8, the Mina Rashid Marina over 1800m on turf.
Said Mike: “Sanshaawes knows how to go around this track, he ran a good race in fourth to Light The Lights last week and he took the run extremely well. He can surprise back in a handicap. Whistle Stop also pulled up well after his run last week and he should make good improvement after running on from a wide berth over 1400m last week. He is very capable on his day and is better suited to the extra ground.”
Here are the runner comments for Saturday’s meeting at Meydan:
Race 1: Maiden Plate, 1400m on turf
Syncopation (IRE) – Pat Dobbs
“Syncopation has placed twice over 1400m from six runs in the UK, Mali Al Basti has given him to us to train and he looks quite decent, I think he’s better than a 68 rating. We freshened him, sorted out a problem or two and he should run a good race if he repeats his track work.”
Race 5: Al Naboodah Travel Trophy, 1200m on turf
General Marshall (USA) – Pat Cosgrave
“A horse who hasn’t lived up to his big reputation, but in his defence he has suffered a multitude of problems and after his rest he’s been doing well and working well. He’s in the best condition I’ve ever seen him, sound now and although he is a Maiden in a handicap, I don’t think he will be disgraced.”
Race 7: Al Naboodah Travel and Tourism Trophy, 1600m on turf
Baroot (GB) – Pat Cosgrave
Baroot reverts to turf from dirt, this will be his first run on grass here in Dubai. He ran a few nice races for us in the UK and got two places on turf at Newmarket and Doncaster behind decent runners. He needed his run badly last week, he’s come on and if he handles the switch back to turf he can be involved in the shake-up. We’ll see how he goes, it’s hard to predict.”