“THE Vikings have descended on Dubai,” quipped Mike de Kock about a group of Norwegians who will be attending Thursday night’s second Carnival meeting at Meydan. Among them are Erik Lobben and Morten Myhre, whom South Africans will know from their success with Roi Normand filly Here To Win (headline photo), who makes her UAE debut in the Falcon Lounge Trophy over 1600m on turf.
They’ll be expecting a good run from their Christophe Soumillon-ridden filly in this $USD120,000 race and Mike said: “Here To Win’s has won two Grade 1s, one over this distance and that already gives her a chance. She is in a very competitive field, but on her work she should give a good account, she can go close.”
The stable’s new acquisition River Jetez (Soumillon) is another set to earn a stake. The 2010 J&B Met winner will race at level weights with 10 rivals in the Cape Verde over 1600m on turf and Mike said: “She’s very well and she’s impressed us in work. We’ll be looking for a big run.”
Another stable debutant Star Empire (Soumillon), has also caught the eye in work and the stable expects him to be in the money, provided he acts on the All Weather in the Al Sarab over 1900m. He will be joined by King Of Rome (Shea), approaching peak fitness and set for an improved run.
Warsaw (Shea) and Solid Choice (Soumillon) will be first saddled tonight, both going to post in the Marsala Trophy over 1400m on the All-Weather.
Mike said that Warsaw was “getting fitter by the day” and that Solid Choice had been working a lot better than he was at this time last year.
Two other interesting runners are Zanzamar (Richard Hills) and Abstrato (Shea), entered for the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial over 1400m on the All Weather.
“Zanzamar looks promising,” said Mike of Sheikh Hamdan’s good-looking three-year-old by Fort Wood. “He needs the run and we believe he will show his mettle over further, 1800m to 2000m. He’s doing well however, looking good and if he goes on this surface he will be running on well.
The three-time winning South American import Abstrato has made his presence known and Mike told: “Abstrato arrived from Uruguay with no manners. He’s a temperamental horse and we’ve taken time to school him, we’ve been working with his head. He does look like one with a fair amount of ability, so we’ll see how he goes, we’ll know more about him after this run.”
Hunting Tower is the yard’s last runner at the meeting in the Al Forsan (turf) over 2000m and Mike said: “We’re battling to get him to a peak. Let’s hope he delivers a better run this time.”