With the $30.5 million Dubai World Cup meeting just four weeks away tomorrow’s Super Saturday race meeting offers connections an opportunity to resolve their plans for Meydan’s marquee meeting.

Five of the event’s nine races, all of which are sponsored by Emirates Airline, are solid prep races for the March 30 extravaganza which has become one of the most highly anticipated race meetings on the planet.

The feature race is the rebranded Group 2 Dh1.7 million Al Maktoum Classic Sponsored by Emirates Airline which is likely to produce a contender for the $12 million Dubai World Cup.

Originally, the second leg of the three-race Al Maktoum Series which was devised as a stepping stone to the World Cup, it will be run for the first time under its new title.

A field of 13 will face the starter in what on paper looks to be an unusually open contest, although American raider Clapton appears to have the right profile to win the 1,800-metre contest on dirt.

The field also includes Group 1 winner Ajuste Fiscal, the experienced Military Law and former World Cup sixth Remorse.

Clapton is trained by American handler Chad Summers, who previously sampled success in Dubai when he was the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen in successive years with Mind Your Biscuits.

A dual-grade race winner in the US the five-year-old was aimed at the Breeders’ Cup Classic where he beat only one horse in a race that was won by long-time Dubai World Cup ante-post favourite, White Abarrio.

Trainer by Richard Dutrow Jr. White Abarrio was always intended to run in Meydan’s showpiece, but a below-par performance in the $20 million Saudi Cup last weekend saw his connections reverse plans and ship the horse back to the US.

Summers has had the Dubai World Cup in his sights for Clapton and a third-place finish in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge (formerly the last race in the series) strengthened his chances of trying to become another American winner of the $12 million blockbuster.

“I’m very happy how the horse has acclimatised since he arrived,” said Summers. William (Buick) breezed him for us a few weeks ago and was very happy with him.”

The Al Maktoum Classic is preceded by the G2 Dubai City of Gold Sponsored by emirates.com, the lead-up race to the $ 6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic, one of the most valuable turf races in the world.

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby, who has won the City of Gold five times has entered three runners led by Castle Way the pick of stable jockey Buick.

“Castle Way is probably the horse out of my three with the most scope to progress throughout the season,” said Appleby. “He ended his three-year-old campaign with a couple of strong efforts and is ready to get going again.”

Recent Dubai Millennium Stakes winner Warren Point and former Group 3 scorer Bold Act completed the trainer’s trio.

British trainer Jamie Osborne takes on the Group trio with Solid Stone, who finished third to Warren Point earlier in the Carnival

“Solid Stone has been aimed at the Dubai City of Gold since the start of the Carnival,” the trainer said. “He ran very well over an inadequate trip in the Dubai Millennium. That has brought him forward and I’d be very hopeful he’s ready to run his best race on Super Saturday.”

The field also includes a pair of German Group 1 winners, Sisfahan and Simca Mille, in addition to Qatar Derby winner Jeff Koons and French Group race winner Trevaunance.

Appleby also looks to have a strong hand in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint, a prep for the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup night.

The trainer is represented by Star Of Mystery, who is two-from-two at Meydan.

“Star Of Mystery has enjoyed a little break since the Blue Point Sprint and a repeat performance of that will make her very competitive again,” said Appleby. “It’s a good field but we are very happy with her.”

Ponntos, the Czech Republic’s first Carnival winner and France’s dual Meydan winner Batwan also line up.

The Group 3 Burj Nahaar Sponsored by Emirates SkyCargo is a trial for the Group 2 Godolphin Mile which has caught the attention of Group 1 Saudi Cup third Saudi Crown.

Simon and Ed Crisford, who had a whale of a time at last season’s Dubai Racing Carnival with Algiers, who would go on to finish second in the Dubai World Cup behind Japan’s Ushba Tesoro, take their chances with progressive Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile winner Swing Vote.

“Swing Vote is a hugely progressive horse who won the Jebel Ali Mile in great style,” said Crisford.

“However, Saturday’s race will be a completely different ball game as Meydan is more of a conventional dirt track so the pace and rhythm of the race will be vastly different to Jebel Ali.”

Copyright © 2022 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).