MIKE’s Dubai team will saddle a number of runners with chances at Meydan on Thursday, 30 January, the fourth meeting of the 2014 Carnival. They will also send out runners at Saturday’s meeting scheduled for the same venue.
On Tuesday evening, Mike spoke about all his entries:
Race 1. Turf Handicap over 1000m: Merhee (Christophe Soumillon):
“Merhee ran a game race over 1200m on the all-weather last week. He’s very well, this looks like a highly competitive field but our options are limited. He’s a runner, he can make the frame.”
Merhee (blue and yellow), second last week. (Andrew Watkins).
Race 3. Cape Verdi (Gr2) over 1600m on turf: Mensoora (Soumillon):
“We’re looking forward to this race. I rated Mensoora probably my best two-year-old filly in South Africa last year. She won two from three and finished just three lengths off the winner in a Gr1, racing from a wide draw and hurting her mouth. She didn’t travel well and was sick for a while when she arrived here, but she’s come on really well and shows us a lot. We’re very keen to see how she goes, this is an interesting race because she comes up against some talented older fillies, including Shuruq, who won a Gr2 against the colts here a few weeks ago.”
-Headline photo: Mensoora, winning at Scottsville.
Race 4. All-weather Handicap over 1400m: Zahee (Soumillon) and Al Hebayeb (Richard Hughes):
“Zahee performed credibly last year and he returns from a rest so will improve for the run. He’s sound and moving well, however, I think he’s a big runner. Al Hebayeb ran below his best in his first race for us three weeks ago, he was disappointing. He needs further, but he’s likely to come on nicely now.”
Race 5. Al Rashidiya (Gr2) over 1800m on turf: Mushreq (Dane O’Neill) and Mujaarib (Soumillon):
“Mushreq was impressive winning over the course and distance recently but this is a tougher race. He’s well handicapped, there is just a 1kg spread from 117 to 102 merit rated runners, but there are a few capable contenders among his rivals, especially those rated 113 and 115. We’re happy with Mushreq, he’s improved since his win and he’ll give a good account again. Mujaarib has ability, we were somewhat disappointed with his last few South African runs, but in hindsight the form looks not too bad at all now. He’s a useful horse and should do well here in Dubai, needs the run but should be thereabouts.”
Mujaarib (blue and white silks, winning at Clairwood), should enjoy a good Dubai campaign.
Race 6. Turf Handicap over 2000m: Master Plan (Johnny Geroudis) and Daddy Long Legs (Pat Cosgrave):
“Master Plan will have his first run after his travels. He was another who suffered some illness upon his arrivalbut he’s very well now, we’ll be looking for a decent run. Daddy Long Legs has been extra disappointing this term. We fixed his breathing problem but know he keeps knocking his legs, he speedy cuts. We’ll be racing him without shoes this time.”
Race 1. Maiden over 1400m on the all-weather: Moonfaarid (Paul Hanagan):
“Moonfarid fared well in two Maiden contests in the UK in the second half of last year. He’s extremely well, this is on the sharp side for him but he should go close.”
Race 3. Turf Handicap over 1800m: Al Moonqith (Hanagan):
“This one’s doing really well too, he had a good pipe-opener last time and he’s won over 1800m. He’s fancied to go close.”
Race 5. Turf Handicap over 1400m: Red Duke (Geroudis) and Final Button (Hughes):
“Both needed their last starts and they’ve shown improvement since. We’re looking for more improvement, I can’t give confidence but we’re expecting decent showings.”