THERE are two meetings at Meydan in Dubai this weekend and Vodacom Durban July runner-up Al Sahem makes his debut for Mike de Kock’s yard in the Gr2 Al Rashidiya over 1800m on turf on Thursday, alongside stablemate Light The Lights, who won just recently.
Al Sahem hasn’t raced since he was touched off in the famous Durban race and Mike said: “He’ll need it first up, but he’s doing well, we’re expecting a nice run from him. I’ve spoken to Sean Tarry about him, he’s not a horse that shows all that much at home, so the race will show us where we stand with him.
“I’ve left Christophe Soumillon on Light The Lights because he is in a good space, in form. We’ve got Pat Cosgrave on Al Sahem, we thought he got lost in the Deep Blue Sea but he’s showing his face in our stable again.
“I’d like to see good runs from both of them here.”
Janoobi (Jim Crowley) and Noah From Goa (Soumillon) will be lining up in the Gr2 Al Fahidi Fort, a race Mike has won many times in the last 15 years.
“Janoobi needed his first run here, he faded out but he’s improved and he’s well drawn. He can run strongly from the front so the race may suit him. If he gets away he may be hard to peg back.
“Noah From Goa impressed with his first run after a rest last time, he’s improved more and we’ll be looking for a forward run from him.”
Cosgrave rides the returning grey Liquid Mercury in a handicap over 2410m on turf – this one hasn’t raced for a year, he’s recovered from a pelvis operation and his action has changed because of that, he strides differently. “He’ll come on with the run.”
Alareef, who was well beaten last week but stayed on steadily for second, should run another decent race in a handicap over 1200m on dirt, Saturday. He’s won over the course and distance twice in the last three seasons and has a chance again. “He’s a soldier and he’ll improve on last week,” Mike said.
Smart Strike colt Pertinacious was fancied to win a 1400m Maiden on turf recently, but he ran no kind of race and Mike said: “He had us scratching our heads, we had no explanation for his poor run but he’s back on dirt, we’re hoping he comes back to his best here so we can put that last run down to the surface. He shows us ability.”
Syncopation has not been at his best this season, but Mike’s expecting a better run from him in a dirt handicap over 1600m.
Baroot closes off weekend racing for Blue Stables, he’s in a handicap on turf over 1800m and is one that can finish in the money.
Baroot moved up before fading last week and he wasn’t hard ridden – he would have come on from that run and Mike said: “He has that come on look, he needed his run last week and should be in the shake-up.”