UAE - More than 30 Dubai World Cup Carnival graduates are set to converge on Royal Ascot next week for the most prestigious five days of racing in the world.
Carnival form is represented from the very first race, the G1 Queen Anne Stakes, which Saeed bin Suroor has won a record seven times. He pitches in G2 Zabeel Mile winner Real World who comes here following a fine second to the re-opposing Baaeed in the G1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury. Up against them is Dubai Turf fifth Sir Busker, trained by William Knight for KVT Racing, who was third in this race last year.
As many as six Carnival visitors square off in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes, over 1000metres. They include the Charlie Appleby-trained Lazuli, winner of the G2 Blue Point Sprint in February. He beat Acklam Express on that occasion and Nigel Tinkler’s stable star also holds an entry, as does three-time Carnival winner Equilateral and owner-mate Khaadem, winner of the G3 Palace House Stakes since his Dubai spell. World Cup night form is represented too, with Appleby keen to drop in trip with G3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint winner Man Of Promise after his third in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint. Veteran Tis Marvellous, who ran at the Carnival back in 2018, also takes his chance for trainer Clive Cox.
Appleby is excited about Man Of Promise, saying; “he runs well fresh, so that’s a big tick in the box for him. I feel that coming back to the stiff five [furlongs] at Ascot is going to suit him. He was favourite for the Al Quoz Sprint but didn’t disgrace himself in a competitive event. He’s a good solid horse and I feel the track and trip are going to suit him.”
On Lazuli, he added: “he’s got a lot of natural pace and he’s a good old-fashioned style sprinter, with a big backend. He’s taking on the young pretenders here.”
The Listed Wolferton Stakes is the penultimate race on day one and bin Suroor sends Listed Dubai Racing Club Classic winner Dubai Future in here as well as Passion And Glory, fifth in the G2 Dubai Gold Cup last time out. Listed Zabeel Turf winner Star Safari takes his chance for Appleby, while Harrovian, last seen in the Dubai Turf, takes a notable drop in grade for John & Thady Gosden. David Simcock has entered Abdulla Al Mansoori’s Universal Order, winner at the Carnival back in 2020. Also successful at Meydan that season was Mick Channon’s Certain Lad and the six-year-old could also take his place in a strong field. Global Heat is a stalwart of three Carnivals and the six-year-old, trained by Bin Suroor, holds an entry to the closing race on opening day; the Copper Horse Handicap.
Wednesday’s G1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes, the richest race of the week, heralds the much-awaited reappearance of G1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic winner Shahryar who will attempt to be the first Japanese winner of the 2000metre contest. His opponents include dual Dubai Turf winner Lord North, making for an intriguing match-up of world cup night heroes. The William Haggas-trained Dubai Honour, 10th in the Sheema Classic, also holds an entry.
The G2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes, for fillies over a mile, gives Dubai Turf fourth Saffron Beach the chance to drop in grade and Jane Chapple-Hyam’s filly could be hard to beat here. Later on Wednesday, dual Meydan Racecourse dirt winner Desert Peace is an intriguing runner back on turf in the Royal Hunt Cup, where he could take on fellow Carnival alumnus Escobar, making a quick return after finishing fourth in the G3 Diomed at Epsom. Desert Mirage, who has run at two Carnivals for Bin Suroor, could also stake a claim, as could Simcock’s Bless Him, fourth in the 2021 G2 Al Rashidiya, and 2020 Carnival handicap winner Cliffs Of Capri.
Thursday’s G1 Gold Cup is officially the feature of the whole week and Jamie Osborne’s Alignak has been aimed at this since finishing fourth in the Dubai Gold Cup, while Ian Williams’ Enemy could also build on his good staying form here.
On Friday, Jumeirah Derby winner and Epsom eighth Nation’s Pride remains in the mix for the G2 King Edward VII Stakes, while Saturday’s G1 Platinum Jubilee, the final G1 of the week, welcomes Al Quoz Sprint winner A Case Of You. Taking him on over the straight 1200metres will be Ascot specialist Creative Force, as well as G2 Al Fahidi Fort winner Naval Crown.
Straight after the Platinum Jubilee comes the Wokingham in which grand old campaigner Summerghand takes his chance for trainer David O’Meara, while Andrew Balding’s Stone of Destiny is another who spent the winter in Dubai.
“Royal Ascot is one of the most important meetings on the racing calendar, so to have so many Dubai World Cup Carnival runners taking part is superb,” commented Stephanie Cooley, International Liaison for Dubai Racing Club. “The Dubai World Cup meeting is designed to be both a major target and a springboard to further success for the world’s best horses, so it will be exciting to see that form tested on Europe’s biggest stage.”
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