Dubai Future Intrigues In Friday's G2 Al Rashidiya S.

Dubai Future | Megan Rose

by J.N. Campbell & Heather Anderson

The pulse intensifies week-to-week at Meydan Racecourse, as it's almost a fortnight into the Dubai World Cup Carnival. A seven-race card this Friday sports the 1800-metre G2 Al Rashidiya Presented By Azizi, and a well-matched field of 11 will vie for group honours over the Meydan turf.

That distance might be a touch long for Godolphin-bred, Dubai Future (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}). He is poised to make a splash in what is his 7-year-old debut for trainer Saeed bin Suroor as he points towards what could be his third consecutive appearance in the G1 Sheema Classic come March. It should be noted that he bested stablemate Passion And Glory (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}), who also reappears here, in the G3 Bahrain International Trophy at Sakhir Racecourse on Nov. 18.

“He [Dubai Future] hasn't had a run for two months but he's been back in full training a while now, he's working well and I'm happy with him,” said Bin Suroor. “The Bahrain Trophy was obviously a good result and this is the best race for him before World Cup night.

“We will see how he runs here before deciding where he ends up. He's a tough horse, a fighter, and we'll just have to see how he runs before the World Cup meeting.

“Passion And Glory has also been training well since Dubai and I expect him to run well as well.”

As expected, more royal blue will be present in the form of a pair of lightly-raced Charlie Appleby runners–namely, Newmarket listed hero Ottoman Fleet (Fr) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) and Valiant Prince (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}). The former gained valuable experience when fourth in the G2 King Edward VII S. at Royal Ascot last summer, and he was also runner-up two starts later in the G3 Darley S. at HQ. The latter won a pair of handicaps over the winter at Meydan in 2022, and earned a career-best black-type score in the Listed Ganton S. at York in June. This old fashioned 'horse-for-the-course' angle from his winter exploits could offer a clue as to what is expected from this sharp-looking  5-year-old gelding.

One other runner that warrants a look is the Doug Watson-trained San Donato (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}). An ultra-consistent performer against listed-types, this 7-year-old competed more often as a miler for Roger Varian's barn. Gelded last April, he came to his new outfit and won a listed tune-up by two lengths at Abu Dhabi on Dec. 4.


Classic Pointer On The Undercard

Besides the stakes action later on in the evening, race three is the purview of colts with potential Classic aspirations, with an octet signed on for the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial Presented By Azizi over 1400 metres on the main track. The most accomplished runners in this conditions heat hail from South America, with the three-for-four Loreley (Brz) (Kentuckian) amply supported by fellow dual listed winner Es-Unico (Brz) (War Secretary), and Group 3 victor Eye On The Prize (Arg) (Il Campione {Chi}).

Godolphin also holds a strong hand in the Ipi Tombe S. Presented By Azizi, as a quartet of runners represent bin Suroor and Charlie Appleby, split two apiece. 2021 Listed UAE 1000 Guineas heroine Soft Whisper (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) squares off with stablemate White Moonlight (Medaglia d'Oro). Appleby's duo of Grade I winner Wild Beauty (GB) (Frankel {GB}) and Light Of Peace (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) also step out in this conditions heat over 1400 metres on the Meydan lawn.

“Soft Whisper is working well and likes it in Dubai, I'm really happy with her, she worked really well last week,” said bin Suroor. “She's in the right race over the right trip [seven furlongs], so we'll see how she goes.

“White Moonlight had three years off but she still shows me something on a morning, the problem is she is unsound.

“Every time she got close to a run she'd get another problem. I've given her lots of time, but I know she still has class. She's better than she showed last time. What I see on the morning is very good. We just thought we'd give her a chance out here in Dubai before deciding on her future.”

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