AL MAKTOUM CHALLENGE R1 SPONSORED BY ETISALAT (GROUP 3) (TAPETA)

Welcome back, another year, another dollar.

1200 plus pattern races to go. The cream on the cake of racing.

We kick off the season here in Meydan with the first Pattern race of the Dubai Carnival. Run over a mile on tapeta it sees the return of some good quality performers headed by Mendip. He didn’t prove as effective on turf last year when coming sixth in the Duty Free but before that he proved very useful on the this surface.

He is reopposed by Musir, a winner of the UAE Derby in 2010 where he got the better of Mendip by 3L. That was his last win here at Meyden where his 2011 campaign could be considered a failure. Three starts resulted in two seconds and a down the field seventh on his last outing in the Dubai World Cup. The previous second being to Twice Over. He comes here off a win in the Topkapi Trophy in Turkey in September.

Mike De Kock is also represented by newcomer Master Of Hounds, an ex Aidan O’Brien inmate. A nose separated him from victory in last years UAE Derby. This encouraged the Ballydoyle team to have a crack at the Kentucky Derby where he ran well going down 5 1/4 L to Animal Kingdom. A follow up in the Belmont didn’t go so well where 30 L deficit ended his season.

Derbass has plenty of track experience and shows up here for his third carnival. His highlight was the Al Fahidi Fort here last year over this mile. He beat Riahana on that occasion whose nose then got the better of Master Of Hounds in the Derby.

Fanunalter will have the benefit of Ryan Moore in the plate. Marco Botti’s horse was at his best in the Summer Mile at Ascot last year when coming up 3/4L short to Dick Turpin. His two runs last year at Meyden resulted in two placing where the third in the Zabeel Mile was the superior. That was on turf.

This will be viewed as a starting point for all concerned but we should remember that in 2010 it produced the subsequent winner of the big one, the Dubai World Cup in Gloria De Campeao.

Will today’s winner have similar success? Frankie and Godolphin might harbour similar dreams for Mendip.

Footnote :

In the last we here at Pattern Racing would like to wish the best of luck to Summit Surge who features in our banner above.

It’s great to see him back.

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