Four at Meydan tonight

EMIRATES Racing will be staging an extra post-Carnival meeting at Meydan in Dubai tonight and Mike de Kock will be fielding four runners in the Nad Al Sheba Classic over 2000m on turf, worth AED240,000.

The stable’s recent Gr1 Dubai Turf runners Majestic Mambo (rated 111, headline photo) and Yulong Prince (rated 115) stand head and shoulders above the rest in this conditions race, while Yakeen (103) and Royal Crusade (101), would also be expected to share in the prize money under normal circumstances. 

This, however, has been a topsy-turvy season for De Kock in Dubai. The South Africa contingent only arrived in January, several weeks later than normal, while Yulong Prince’s arrival was delayed a further several weeks due to an old vaccination discrepancy.

In short, all four come into to tonight’s race with rushed preparations, not ideal at all, and not in the smooth, planned way one would expect.

The playing fields were not near level this season, it wasn’t the proverbial comedy of errors, rather a ‘drama of lateness’ and De Kock said this morning: “Everything was late this year, even later the normal, ‘very late’, and our hands were tied.      

“I’m not even sure we’ll get Majestic Mambo and Yulong Prince into the QEII Cup. They just haven’t had anywhere near the preparations needed.

“Next year we’ll have a much better chance with them, their high ratings will have dropped and we’ll have a chance to get them fit and ready. But it will be a year later, our ongoing problems with exporting continue to cost us dearly.” 

He said about tonight’s race: “This is an extra meeting kindly arranged by the authorities so that horses who missed carnival races, and a few others, can have a chance at improving fitness for races elsewhere or to earn some money for owners who have had them in training for the carnival and can get something back.

“Majestic Mambo is the fittest of our four tonight, this is his third run after a rest but that still doesn’t mean we are confident he will win, because we have rushed him. I’ll be disappointed if he missed the first four, however. Yulong Prince will need the run again after a prep that was far from ideal, we’ll be looking for improvement. The other two, Yakeen and Royal Crusade, are well off peak fitness and will need it too.”  

-Turf Talk.