Three-year-old colts Youmkin and Bay Of Poets get a chance to race on the unique Epsom Downs course, UK, in the 10-furlong Investec Derby Trial (14.45hrs local time) on Wednesday, April 26.
The £50,000 conditions race offers a rare opportunity for aspiring G1 Investec Derby contenders to be tested on the famous undulating course, with the winner receiving free entry into the £1.5-million Classic (12f) on June 3.
Youmkin (Saeed bin Suroor/Oisin Murphy) already holds an Investec Derby entry and the son of Street Cry makes his second start after staying on well to take a Nottingham maiden over an extended mile in October.
“Youmkin is ready to make his first start of the season but he doesn’t show a lot in the mornings and is a little lazy in his work,” said trainer, Bin Suroor.
“We will see how he gets on this week before deciding where to go with him, but I am hoping for another good run.”
Bay Of Poets (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) won a mile Polytrack maiden easily at Kempton Park in September but failed to make much impact in three subsequent Pattern appearances, including when eighth in the mile G1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October.
“Bay Of Poets has wintered well and settled down a lot mentally. His work has been good and suggests that this step up in trip is going to suit,” said Appleby.
“We were struggling to get a handle on him last year because his work was so good and then he disappointed on the racecourse. We know that he has ability and, if he turns up in the same form as his morning work, then he is going to be very competitive.”
Their main opponents could be two unbeaten colts, Cracksman and Tartini.
The 23rd running of the Dubai World Cup has been scheduled for Saturday, March 31 next year.
This was announced Monday by the Emirates Racing Authority (ERA), who released the fixture list for the 2017-2018 UAE racing season.
The ERA season will offer 62 race dates and opens at Jebel Ali on Friday, November 3, this year.
The curtains go up in Abu Dhabi Racecourse a day later, while Meydan Racecourse will host its first domestic meet on Thursday, November 9.
Sharjah Racecourse gets its season underway on November 11 and Al Ain on November 24.
The international racing season kicks off with the opening Dubai World Cup Carnival (DWCC) meeting at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday, January 11.
In total, the UAE racing season will include 10 meetings at Al Ain Racecourse, 15 at Abu Dhabi Racecourse, 11 at Jebel Ali Racecourse, six at Sharjah and 20 at Meydan.
Malih Al Basti, ERA Board Member, said: “We are pleased to release the fixtures for the 2017-2018 UAE racing season. The schedule offers trainers and race goers a comprehensive season of racing across our five tracks.
“We offer racing for domestic and international horses in both the Thoroughbred and Purebred Arabian ranks and look forward to the start of another successful season of racing in the UAE.”
A fortnight after Polarisation’s win in the G1 Sydney Cup for Godolphin was declared invalid, there was no trouble this time as the Charlie Appleby-trained horse was victorious in Saturday’s re-run.
Polarisation had turned in the performance of his life earlier this month to ‘win’ in Australia only for stewards declaring a ‘no-race’ due to a fall in the early stages which threatened the safety of horses and riders.
Polarisation’s rider Corey Brown was one of six jockeys unaware of the mid-race decision in the original Sydney Cup, which led to most of the field being pulled up.
No such problems occurred the second time around with Polarisation again given a perfect ride by Brown to hold off Who Shot The Barman and Big Duke.
Polarisation took Appleby’s winning tally in Australia to six, following an extraordinary display in the spring when his team won five feature races at G3 and G2 level with Qewy also finishing fourth in the Melbourne Cup and Scottish taking second place in the Caulfield Cup.
“It’s been a fantastic team effort to achieve the results we have in Australia,” said James Ferguson, Appleby’s assistant who supervised the spring campaign and autumn preparation of Polarisation. “So many people are involved in getting the horses into the right shape.
“It’s made it all worthwhile and I’m absolutely delighted for Sheikh Mohammed, Dubai and Godolphin. Fortunately, things have finally gone right for Polarisation who showed he is a very good, courageous stayer to come out and win a couple of two-mile races only two weeks apart.”