MEYDAN stages an eight-race programme on dirt, on Thursday evening, and Mike de Kock has four runners entered at this, the last pre-Carnival meeting at the Dubai track.
In Race 1 over 1400m the stable steps out Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s Fawree (USA), a son of Candy Ride bought with dirt racing as his objective, and Bernard Fayd’Herbe takes the ride. Mike commented: “He’s a horse that shows ability, he won his trial but he started playing up badly at the pens after that. We have had to reschool him with the assistance of Sean Ryan and his team of starters, who did a great job under the circumstances.
“Fawree is one of the most difficult horses I have worked with at the pens, he is real handful and we’re hoping he can jump well on Thursday. If he does, he could finish in the money as he settles once he’s off and running. It all depends on what happens at the gates.”
Alareef (blue silks), game performer. (Andrew Watkins)
Mazeed (USA), is another colt bought specifically for dirt racing and he has a money chance in Race 3 over 1600m. Mike said: “He finished third in his Maiden debut recently, six lengths off. He’s come on from that run, we’re expecting a good run.”
Italian Antonio Fresu, who has nine pre-Carnival winners to his credit already, has been booked for the ride and Mike said: “He looks like a good jockey, I’ve watched him ride for Erwin Charpy. We’re happy to have him on.”
Sheikh Hamdan’s Alareef has been a useful earner since he came to the UAE in 2015. A two-time winner on the Meydan dirt last season, including once over this 1400m, Alareef (Dane O’Neill) is definitely one to watch in Race 5.
“Alareef is proven under these conditions and is ready for a run,” said the trainer. “He will improve for the outing but he comes into it in good form and should be straight enough to do himself justice.”
Fayd’Herbe gets aboard Baroot (GB) in Race 6 over 1600m. He’s also won twice from just a few starts in Dubai and has been a good servant in minor handicaps to Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.
Mike said: “Baroot did well at this time last year and he’s enjoyed a long rest. He has more to do in this race, he steps up and will come on for the run.”