Saeed bin Suroor’s exciting Real World reappears in the Zabeel Mile at Meydan on Friday, with a trip to Saudi Arabia in the offing should all go well.
The five-year-old made giant strides last season, beginning with a stunning win in the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot and culminating in victory in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein at ParisLongchamp on Arc weekend.
There were also wins at Newbury and York in between, with Real World taking a further step up the ladder with each race and ending the year on a rating of 118.
Because of his win in France he is giving away 4lb to all 12 rivals – but on the figures he is a long way clear of them all bar Charlie Appleby’s Path Of Thunder, who is rated 6lb his inferior. Frankie Dettori had been due to ride, but he is on the sidelines after testing positive for Covid, leaving Danny Tudhope to step in.
“He’s doing good. He had a nice break after he won in France at the Arc meeting and he’s working well,” said Bin Suroor.
“He’s in good form but he will improve for the race, definitely.
“This time last season he was weak, that was why we didn’t push him much. It wasn’t until we got him back to Newmarket that we could see him develop physically.
“We’ve looked after him and that meant we could take it steady. Frankie (Dettori) rode him in France for the first time and he said he’s a nice horse, improving, and a nice one for the future.”
He went on: “This looks a nice race for him to start back over a mile but he can race over a mile, nine furlongs and a mile and a quarter. He’s won on fast ground and slow ground but I think ground with just a little bit of ease is what he really likes.
“Saudi is the plan but the idea has always been to give him a run before he went there, so that is what we are doing. We’ll see how he goes but he will improve, so far I am happy with him.”
Andrea Atzeni will substitute for Dettori aboard Bin Suroor’s Dubai Future in the Al Khail Trophy with Dubai Future, with the gelding a winner at the Carnival already.
In opposition is the Charlie Fellowes-trained mare Dubious Affair, one of two runners on the night for the Newmarket handler.
“Dubious Affair will love the conditions. One-mile-six is probably her minimum trip but she should have won at Royal Ascot over that trip,” said Fellowes.
“She’s in great form and has taken the journey over very well. She’ll love the conditions.
“Ejtilaab (Dubai Sprint) looks a million dollars, I’m delighted with him.
“He runs in the six-furlong Listed race and I think the straight six will really suit him.
“I think we’ve got two really interesting chances.”
David O’Meara’s Summerghand is also among 14 runners for the Sprint, with the Charlie Hills-trained Khaadem and Mick Appleby’s King Of Stars also in the mix.
The UAE 1000 Guineas has drawn just six runners, with Alice Haynes’ turning out Freyabella for a third successive week at the Carnival.