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where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2009-02-25 15:03:31  
Barton and Bin Suroor fillies headline the feature race

With the new Meydan grandstand dominating the skyline behind Nad Al Sheba it is fitting that Thursday’s penultimate meeting of the 2009 Dubai International Racing Carnival is sponsored by Meydan.

The Listed UAE Oaks, for three-year-old fillies over 1800m, is the official feature and eight take their chance – all of whom contested the UAE 1000 Guineas, over 1600m, three weeks ago.

Saudi Arabia’s So Shiny won on that occasion but all eyes will be on Godolphin’s Devotee who was well beaten when strongly fancied but found to have an irregular heart beat after the race.

Her trainer, Saeed Bin Suroor, explained: “She had been working very well before that race and has done since. She has shown no signs of that problem before or since and she seems in great shape. We have to hope for a big run.”

The Group 3 Zabeel Mile, on turf over 1600m, looks wide open with Godolphin representative Tam Lin, Mike De Kock’s pair of Archipenko and Biarritz, as well as France’s Vertigineux just four to consider.

However, the Ger Lyons-trained Summit Surge could be hard to beat dropping down from Group 2 company and the trainer’s brother/assistant Shane said: “He is in great form and has run two good races. It will probably transpire he was behind a very good horse last time and this is basically a step back down in grade.”

The 1200m Group 3 Al Quoz Sprint has attracted a field of ten and appears to revolve around De Kock’s Champion South African Sprinter JJ The Jet Plane (pictured) who was soundly beaten on dirt on his UAE debut.

He has a Group 1 penalty but his trainer is hopeful: “We tried the dirt and it did not work; so we are back at what he does best – sprinting on turf. He is working well and will be hard to beat.”

Rod Simpson’s Balthazaar’s Gift, Lyons’ Dohasa and Godolphin’s Hatta Fort look his man dangers.

The Dubai Racing Club Gold Cup, also on grass, is a 3200m conditions race in which Godolphin’s Veracity looks the one to beat, while Dubai World Cup aspirants Traffic Guard and Jalil both contest a competitive 1800m dirt handicap.

With demand high for places in both the Zabeel Mile and Al Quoz Sprint, identical races (apart from Group status) were added to provide opportunities for those denied a run.

These are the first two races on the card and Erwan Charpy’s Grantley Adams and the Alan Jarvis-trained Wise Dennis can go close in the Sprint and Mile respectively.

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