Five-year-old Very Special is seeking to follow up her mile Cape Verdi victory with success in the nine-furlong Balanchine [19.05 GST] for a second time, having completed the G2 double in 2016 with a pair of impressive victories.
Promising Run also scored by a half-length at the January 26 meeting, when bravely taking the nine-furlong G2 Al Rashidiya Stakes. The four-year-old now takes on male opposition again in the G3 Dubai Millennium Stakes [22.00 GST] over a mile and a quarter.
The Hard Spun filly, ridden by Oisin Murphy for the first time, faces nine others headed by last year’s G1 Prix du Jockey Club runner-up Zarak and German G1 winner Elliptique. Promising Run is drawn on the outside in stall 10.
Saeed bin Suroor, who trains both horses, said: “Very Special won really well in the Cape Verdi and came out that race in good order. She looks stronger compared to last year and her condition is much better.
“She did a very nice piece of work over the weekend and is ready to go again. I am hoping to see her win again.
“Promising Run won nicely in the Al Rashidiya and she also looks a stronger filly this year. This trip will suit her and she has been working well recently.”
FLASH FIRE & CYMRIC OUT TO MAKE ZABEEL MILE MARK
Flash Fire and Cymric, who have both been successful in handicaps at this year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival, take a step back up in class for trainer Charlie Appleby in the G2 Zabeel Mile [20.50 GST] on turf at Meydan on Thursday, February 16.
Flash Fire [William Buick, drawn one], stormed to a decisive win over seven furlongs on his seasonal return on January 5 and has subsequently twice finished second over the same course and distance, in the G2 Al Fahidi Fort on January 19 and when going down by a nose in a handicap on February 9.
Four-year-old Cymric [Mickael Barzalona, drawn seven], a close second at G1 level as a juvenile, made an exciting debut for his new trainer on February 2 when running on to score by a half-length in a mile handicap.
Charlie Appleby said: “Flash Fire produced a career best in the Al Fahidi Fort and backed that run up with another good performance in handicap company on his latest start, when he was narrowly beaten.
“He has been taking his racing well in Dubai and I think he will be fine on the easy mile at Meydan. He goes into the race in good health and doesn’t look out of place in this field.
“I was very pleased Cymric’s first start for our stable and he looks to have come out of that race in good order. He was placed in a G1 as a juvenile and he is going to be a contender if he can return to that level of form.”
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