Following previous triumphs in Ireland and Australia, I Am Superman bids to win on a third continent in the Zabeel Mile at Meydan.
The son of Footstepsinthesand won once at Leopardstown and twice at Naas as a three-year-old for Michael O’Callaghan before being sent Down Under for a tilt at the 2019 Golden Eagle.
He came up short in that hugely lucrative contest, but remained in Australia with Peter and Paul Snowden and went on to claim two Group Two prizes and was last seen being beaten a head in a Group One at Caulfield in September.
Now back with O’Callaghan, who retained an interest in I Am Superman throughout his Australian spell, the seven-year-old takes on a five-strong Godolphin team in Friday’s Group Two feature.
O’Callaghan said: “We’re delighted to have him back and he’s settled in well since he got to Dubai. He hasn’t ran in four months, but he’s in great form.
“It looks a tidy enough contest and we’re stepping back up to a mile, which I don’t think will be a problem.
“Whatever he does he’ll probably improve a shade from it, but he’s as good as we can get him without having a run, so we’re looking forward to running him.”
Explaining I Am Superman’s journey so far, the trainer added: “We still own him in the same partnership that’s owned him since he was a yearling.
“He was sold to go to Hong Kong as a three-year-old after he won three (races) and he failed the vet for something insignificant, which often happens.
“We thought he was such a decent horse we’d send him to Australia for the prize-money, he won over $750,000 down there and he was beaten a head in a Group One on his last start.
“He’s as good as ever and I was keen to get him home to go pot hunting with him here this year, both in Dubai and in Europe.
“He’s a seven-year-old now and most horses wouldn’t still be improving, but his last run was the best run of his life, so hopefully there’s a good year left with him and we’ll have a bit of fun.”
The highest-rated horse in the field is Master Of The Seas – one of two runners for Charlie Appleby along with Modern News.
Master Of The Seas won the Earl of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket on his only start of 2022 and Appleby is expecting him to improve for his comeback run.
“Master Of The Seas hasn’t been seen since the Earl of Sefton but has settled in well out in Dubai,” the Moulton Paddocks handler told the Godolphin website.
“His preparation has gone well, although we are very much working back from Dubai World Cup night and Super Saturday, so there will be some natural improvement from whatever he does here.
“He looks to be in great order and we are very much looking forward to getting him back on track.
“Modern News is a consistent horse, who showed some decent form in Group and Listed races in the UK last year. He goes into this fit and well, and certainly won’t look out of place in the field.”
Appleby’s fellow Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor saddled Real World to claim the Zabeel Mile 12 months ago and this year launches a three-pronged assault.
Assessing their prospects, he said: “Desert Fire, Land Of Legends and Laser Show have been working well, but this looks a tough race for the three of them.
“Desert Fire has won over this course and distance in the past, so dropping back to a mile won’t be a problem, while Land Of Legends enjoys racing around Meydan.
“Laser Show has had soundness issues, which has kept him off the track for a long time, but I was pleased with his latest piece of work and he is ready to go again.”
David O’Meara’s Shelir and the Ahmad bin Harmash-trained Erzindjan complete the field, having finished third and fourth respectively in the Al Fahidi Fort a fortnight ago.
Harry Eustace’s Cite d’Or carries British hopes in the UAE 1000 Guineas.
The Galiway filly won at Brighton and Beverley last year and rounded off her juvenile campaign with sixth place in the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud.
She makes her first start since in the Listed event on dirt and sets the standard on ratings.
“She’s in good form. I’ve actually visited her myself since she’s been out there and what I’ve seen I’ve been very happy with,” said Eustace.
“The main thing is the dirt is the question mark. If she does handle it she’ll run well and if she doesn’t she won’t basically.
“If we’re in contention after the first three or four furlongs and we’re there turning in she’ll run a race, and if she’s had to work hard for the first half it usually means they’re struggling on the surface, so we’ll see.
“There are other options later on, both on dirt and turf, so in a way this will help us decide where we go next.”