Friday Previews: 'Express' Train Leaves The Station

Acklam Express | Racingfotos.com

'Express' Hoping For a Rebound in Blue Point Sprint

The 1000-metre G2 Blue Point Sprint features the return of Acklam Express (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}), who was a good second in the Mar. 6 G3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint last year and third in the Mar. 27 G1 Al Quoz Sprint. Off the board in two races when returning to the UK including a 10th in the June 15 G1 King's Stand S., the bay appears after a lengthy break and trainer Nigel Tinkler is hoping for a reversal of fortunes for his 4-year-old gelding.

“He surprised us a bit last season with how well he ran here, against his elders,” said pilot Rowan Scott. “Then he ran a brilliant race to be third in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup night. We've got him as fit as we can at home, so I have to be hopeful of a big run.”

Also signed on are the Australian Group 2-placed Parsifal (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}) who was sixth in the Listed Dubai Sprint at Meydan on Jan. 28 and his stakes-placed stablemate He's A Balter (Aus) (Spirit of Boom {Aus}), last seen running second in a Meydan conditions race on the same card. The pair are trained by the Adelaide-based Will Clarken, who is stabling them at Meydan through the carnival.

“He's A Balter's run last time, only just being beaten, was a great thrill,” said Caitlin Jones, who will ride the gelding. “He's such a gentleman, he tries so hard and he's very honest. But Parsifal also ran really well in a slightly better grade of race, so it was a difficult decision.”

Godolphin's Lazuli (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), a dual Group 3 winner in the UK, was second in the Dubai Sprint, and breaks from post nine.

Shahama Ready For The 1000 Guineas/Oaks Double?

KHK Racing's Shahama (Munnings) is the clear star of the 1900-metre G3 UAE Oaks. Yet to taste defeat in three starts locally, the Fawzi-Nass trained filly ventures beyond a mile for the first time in her young career. If successful on Friday, she would be the seventh filly to complete the Listed UAE 1000 Guineas/Oaks double going back to 2001, and the first since Polar River (Congrats) in 2016. Named a 'TDN Rising Star' after her second start earlier in the Dubai World Cup Carnival, she ran out a 3 3/4-length winner of the UAE 1000 Guineas on Jan. 28 against several of these. Doug Watson saddles the maiden Minwah (Cupid), who was second to Shahama in the 1000 Guineas.

Manobo Faces 'King' in Nad Al Sheba Trophy

The four-for-four Manobo (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) tries his hand over the Meydan turf for the first time in the G3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy. A homebred for Godolphin and Charlie Appleby, the 4-year-old gelding struck at Newbury and over the Kempton all-weather in May and June of last year, respectively. Back in action in the Listed Prix Turenne, he was a stunning 10 lengths ahead of his nearest pursuers in September and clawed his way to victory in the G2 Prix Chaudenay at ParisLongchamp on Oct. 2.

“Manobo's preparations have gone well and this is very much a stepping stone towards Dubai World Cup night,” said Appleby. “He had a lovely year as a 3-year-old and we are looking forward to seeing him back in action.”

Despite the hype for Manobo, he will be stiffly challenged by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum's Dancing King (Ire) (Free Eagle {Ire}). Goodwood's August G3 March S. went the latter's way in his final start for Mark Johnston and Kingsley Park 16. He will be making his bow for his new connections in this turf marathon on Friday after selling for 380,000gns at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses-in-Training Sale.

Silent Speech to Use Meydan as a European Pattern Vault?

The two-for-three Silent Speech (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) could make some noise in the European Pattern races once his stay in the desert concludes, and on Friday, the son of Epitome (Ire) (Nashwan) will attempt to land the Al Wasl S. over 1200 metres on grass. The chestnut captured a synthetic seven-furlong maiden at Wolverhampton in November and drew off to win by two lengths switched to this surface on Jan. 21. William Buick will ride the half-brother to Group 1 winner Ultra (Ire) (Manduro {Ger}) and G3 Prix Minerve heroine Synopsis (Ire) (In The Wings {GB}). The pair break from stall two. GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf hero Modern Games (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) is out of another half-sister to Silent Speech.

Click here for the group fields.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. Mitole's Lahfaty Glides To Meydan Maiden Victory
  2. Desert Debuters: Mitole Train Rolls Into Dubai
  3. Medaglia d'Oro Colt Annexes Belated Debut at Meydan
  4. Desert Debuters: Breeze-Up Sales Grad Makes Quick Appearance at Meydan
  5. Algiers, Carla's Way Take Aim at Breeders' Cup

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.