Friday's Preview: Godolphin Holds Strong Hand In Meydan Feature

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Star Safari | DRC/Erika Rasmussen

With the Saudi Cup card taking top billing among this weekend's Gulf action, Friday's Dubai World Cup Carnival card at Meydan has a quieter look than its predecessors in recent weeks, with just one black-type event. Godolphin holds a strong hand in the G3 Dubai Millennium S. named for its 2000 G1 Dubai World Cup winner and contested over 2000 metres on the grass, and its four runners-two apiece for Charlie Appleby and Saeed bin Suroor-are headed on ratings by Appleby's 6-year-old Star Safari (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), the defending race winner, at 110. The €200,000 yearling made just four starts across his first three seasons on the track, but came to life last season at Meydan, winning twice from four starts including the Dubai Millennium. He went winless in three European starts last summer while picking up a third in the G2 Princess of Wales's Tattersalls S., and after finishing second in the Listed Dubai Racing Classic off the layoff on Jan. 14, bested Marie's Diamond (Ire) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}) in the Listed Zabeel Turf over this course and distance on Jan. 28.

The Godolphin quartet also includes the useful Volcanic Sky (GB) (Street Cry {Ire}), who drops back in trip after a pair of thirds at Meydan to begin his campaign. Royal Fleet (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) goes the other direction, stepping up to 2000 metres off a pair of Group 2 placings at Meydan over a furlong shorter. Big Team (Speightstown) makes his fourth run of the carnival, his first three having resulted in placings.

The unknown quantity of the race is the Turkish Derby winner Burgas (Tur) (King David), who has won eight of 12 starts in his native land including four local Group 1s, but he has not run since Oct. 30.

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