Friday Previews: 3-Year-Olds Lock Horns in Dubai

Lord Glitters | Emma Berry

Undefeated Colts Square Off In UAE 2000 Guineas

If Mohammed Khaleel Ahmed's undefeated Bendoog (Gun Runner) takes Friday's 1600-metre G3 UAE 2000 Guineas, the bay colt will become his sire's 10th black-type winner and sixth at the graded/group level. Gun Runner–the Horse of the Year and Three Chimneys stallion who was champion first-season sire in America last year-ran second to Arrogate in the 2017 G1 Dubai World Cup.

One of two in the race for his owner along with Bhupat Seemar stablemate and winner Conglomerate (Ire) (Central Banker), Bendoog faces 13 rivals. One of several legitimate threats is the two-for-two Azure Coast (Street Sense). Trained by Pavel Vashchenko along with Suvorov (Creative Cause) in the colours of Vladimir Kazakov, the $65,000 Keeneland September yearling scored by six lengths in Moscow last September before another success over 1400 metres locally on Dec. 16.


Lord Glitters Looks For Singspiel Double

A frequent visitor to the UAE for the Dubai World Cup Carnival, the dual Group 1 winner Lord Glitters (Fr) (Whipper) will be on hand to defend his title in the G2 Singspiel S. Third in the 2019 G1 Dubai Turf, the popular grey's greatest victory at Meydan was in the 2021 G1 Jebel Hatta on the Super Saturday card last March. Geoff and Sandra Turnbull's 9-year-old was fourth in the G2 Al Rashidiya on Jan. 21 after having to steady at the break. “We're happy with his training and we thought he ran well enough the other night in his first run at Meydan this season,” said trainer David O'Meara of the 2019 G1 Queen Anne S. hero.

The Singspiel has drawn plenty of rivals and the Godolphin homebred Zakouski (GB) (Shamardal) from Charlie Appleby's yard is aiming for his third Group 2 ring. Runner-up to Lord Glitters in last year's affair, the 2020 G2 Zabeel Mile victor also won the 2021 G2 Al Rashidiya, but he was a one-paced ninth to Lord Glitters in the G3 Bahrain International Trophy most recently. “We think he'll be better down in trip in the Singspiel as he ran really well in the race last year,” said Appleby.


Can Rebel's Romance Get Back On Track?

The 2000-metre Listed Curlin S. is usually a springboard toward both Super Saturday's G1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 and the G1 Dubai World Cup at the end of March. For the sparingly raced Rebel's Romance (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), however, it is a recovery mission. A winner of four of his six starts including last year's G2 UAE Derby, the 4-year-old gelding has only raced once since when a flat eighth in a rated conditions test at Meydan on Jan. 8.

Even if that race knocked some rust off Rebel's Romance, his quest is made more difficult by the presence of Victorious's Salute The Soldier (Ger) (Sepoy {Aus}). A horse that has thrived in the desert since arriving in January of 2020, the Fawzi Nass-trained gelding is capable of winning at the highest level with a win in the 2021 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 on his ledger. He was fifth in the Jan. 14 G2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round, and Nass said, “He's in good shape. Hopefully that race [on Jan. 14] has brought him on and he's ready to rock and roll this week in the Curlin S.”


Four On The Bounce For Modern News?

A winner in three starts as a juvenile in 2020, Modern News (GB), was on the sidelines for a year thereafter, during which he was gelded. A winner of three in a row since returning to the track last July, Modern News will be contesting his pet distance of 1400 metres on Friday in the Listed Business Bay Challenge S. His trio of wins at Newmarket (July 31), Doncaster (Sept. 9) and Lingfield (Oct. 28) were by a combined 3 1/2 lengths and he leaves from the inside post.

Another horse trying for four-straight victories is Bet Law (Brz) (Universal Law {Brz}) in the G3 Al Shindagha Sprint over 1200 metres for Antonio Cintra Pereira and owner Stud Crespi. The 3-year-old colt soared to a pair of wins in Uruguay and won a track-and-trip conditions stakes by 4 1/4 lengths switched to Meydan on Jan. 14.

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