Dubai Warrior primed for Maktoum Challenge

Dubai Warrior bids to add to his six all-weather victories when he tackles dirt for the first time in round two of the Maktoum Challenge at Meydan on Thursday.

Trainer John Gosden is optimistic the surface will not pose a problem to the five-year-old, whose biggest success so far came in the Winter Derby at Lingfield last February.

The son of Dansili will have the services of Frankie Dettori, who is the most successful jockey in the history of a race inaugurated in 1994 with five victories and currently leads the way at this year’s Dubai Carnival. 

“He has been pleasing in his work and works nicely enough on the dirt. Obviously a race is a different matter, so we will find out if he handles it Thursday,” said Gosden.

Among Dubai Warrior’s opposition is Uruguayan raider Ajuste Fiscal, who was fifth to Military Law in round one of the Maktoum Challenge three weeks ago.

Trainer Antonio Cintra Pereira said: “We were very pleased with that first run and the longer trip will suit. We still hope he is a Dubai World Cup horse.” 

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Three other horses from round one – Thegreatcollection (second), Salute The Soldier (third) and Capezzano (seventh) – renew rivalry.

Thegreatcollection’s trainer Doug Watson said: “We have been keen to step him up from 1600m, so this is the ideal opportunity.

“Obviously it is a good race to stretch him out. I think it will suit him, but it is a strong race.” 

Blown By Wind (left) seen here at Newmarket
Blown By Wind (left) seen here at Newmarket (Edward Whitaker/PA)

Capezzano is one of three runners from Salam bin Ghadayer’s stable along with Blown By Wind and Firnas.

Bin Ghadayer said: “Blown By Wind delighted us at Jebel Ali and has been working well since. Capezzano is also going nicely at home, we just need him to transfer that back to the course. 

“Firnas too is in good shape. He is tough and consistent.” 

Lord Glitters (right) represents David O'Meara
Lord Glitters (right) represents David O’Meara (Tim Goode/PA)

David O’Meara’s Lord Glitters will attempt to follow up a recent course and distance triumph in the Al Rashidiya.

The admirable eight-year-old lifted the Group Two Singspiel Stakes in convincing fashion three weeks ago. He has a 3lb penalty to defy in a race monopolised by British-trained runners.

O’Meara said: “That was brilliant in the Singspiel – to travel an eight-year-old and win a big prize was just great. The penalty does not help, but he has remained in great form.” 

Saeed bin Suroor (left) and Charlie Appleby both have runners for Godolphin
Saeed bin Suroor (left) and Charlie Appleby both have runners for Godolphin (Edward Whitaker/PA)

Godolphin have won this Group Two contest for the last four years and have two contenders this time in the Charlie Appleby-trained Zakouski and Saeed bin Suroor’s Dream Castle. They were second and third respectively behind Lord Glitters in the Singspiel.

Appleby said: “We were obviously pleased with Zakouski’s first outing of the year in the Singspiel Stakes, when he produced a good effort. He has come on for that run and a slightly improved performance should put him bang there.” 

Bin Suroor said of Dream Castle: “He ran very well last time and came out of the race in great form. The 1800 metres at Meydan is ideal for him and we expect another big run.” 

David Simcock’s Bless Him, the Ed Walker-trained Cap Francais, Simon Crisford’s Court House and Ralph Beckett’s Kinross complete the seven-strong field.

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