DUBAI, UAE – With the 2009 Dubai International Racing Carnival two weeks away, it is a busy weekend in the UAE with three valuable handicaps at Nad Al Sheba on Thursday night the obvious highlight, writes PETER WARD.
The De Kock Dubai team are well represented and Brave Tin Soldier will take his chance in the penultimate race, a mile handicap. A fine second on his recent reappearance at Jebel Ali, he was highly tried in his three Carnival starts last season and this represents a marked step down in class.
Limehouse: Running out of chances.
De Kock explains: “He ran very well on his comeback and has hopefully benefited from the summer spent in Dubai. He is fully acclimatised and appears to have come on a lot for the break. He has the potential to progress nicely and we are hoping for a big run in a competitive handicap.”
The full-brothers Bennie Blue and Limehouse clash in the 10-furlong handicap, having both ran in the same Jebel Ali contest as Brave Tin Soldier on their returns. Bennie Blue ran a blinder on that occasion and would appear the stable first string with the returning Kevin Shea electing to ride him over his year younger brother.
De Kock said: “It is another tough event but Bennie Blue ran a great race last time. This trip will suit him and hopefully he can run a big race.”
Racing concludes with an equally valuable six-furlong handicap in which Trinity College and Drift Ice head the weights. The former, on his first start for the yard, concedes Drift Ice 1kg and Shea has elected to stick with the latter who was a dual Carnival winner last term when he also won the Jebel Ali Sprint.
Valiance is a third runner in the race for the yard and De Kock said: “Trinity College is a horse we really like and have purchased for the dirt races so we hope he goes well. The trip will be short enough, but he will certainly be staying on, while Drift Ice was a real star last year and conditions should suit.”
On Friday, Musaytir, a winner in his native Australia, makes his UAE debut in a five-furlong handicap.