Where The Real World Begins, As Baker's Dozen Clash In Zabeel Mile

Real World | Scoop Dyga

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The Dubai Racing Carnival continues at Meydan on Friday, with a pair of group races on tap for the turf milers and main-track sprinters, with the G2 Zabeel Mile the highlight of the nine-race card.

Godolphin's Real World (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) is the clear standout on ratings, and won this contest in 2022 before placing second in both the G1 Lockinge S. and G1 Queen Anne S. back on UK soil for trainer Saeed bin Suroor. Now seven, the gelding is aiming at a return to form after running a too-keen fifth in the G2 Al Rashidiya to fellow royal blue colourbearer Measured Time (GB) (Frankel {GB}) locally on Dec. 22.

“Real World won this contest a couple of years ago and ran two excellent races over a mile in Europe the same season,” trainer Saeed Bin Suroor said. “He has been running over further since but should appreciate the drop back in trip. It looks as though he has improved for his run in the Al Rashidiya.”

A former steady fixture in Italian group company, G3 Premio Ambrosiano hero Sean (Ger) (Excelebration {Ire}) now races in the Barratt Racing silks and will make the Godolphin runner's task more difficult.

“It's his first run for us so this is a bit of a fact-finding mission,” said Jamie Osborne, whose multiple Dubai successes include Toast Of New York in the G2 UAE Derby. “It's possible he will need further on this track.”

American ex-pat Doug Watson will saddle the Classic-placed San Donato (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum and he has drawn widest in stall 13. The multiple listed winner ran second in the Listed Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup at Abu Dhabi on Dec. 3.

“It's a bit tough from out there but it's a great race for him, albeit Real World is in there and Marbaan for Michael Costa,” said Watson. “I'm looking forward to seeing how he finishes. Hopefully he can get some nice splits from off the pace.”

The race is further enhanced by the presence of G2 Vintage S. hero Marbaan (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) for Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum and trainer Charlie Fellowes.

Sprinters Primed For Dubawi Stakes

In the G3 Dubawi S., one race earlier on the card, Watson will saddle both Sound Money (Flatter) and Colour Up (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}). The former won the G3 Mahab Al Shimaal on Super Saturday last March and was unplaced in the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen on Dubai World Cup night, while the latter, a dirt-loving son of Mehmas, earned his first listed badge in the Al Garhoud Sprint last out on Dec. 8.

“Both Sound Money and Colour Up are in really good shape,” said Watson. “The draws are good for both of them; they're horses who don't need to go to the lead; they can settle off it. Colour Up has to step up a bit, with Mouheeb (Flatter) and Tuz (Oxbow) and Sound Money in there, so it will be interesting to see how he goes. I'm really happy with Sound Money and looking forward to getting him started.”

Successful in the G3 UAE 2000 Guineas at three and the Listed Al Garhoud Sprint over Group 3 winner Tuz at four in 2022, Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Mouheeb went winless in 2023.

“He's had a kind first half of season with the aim of heading towards 8f [1600metres] later on,” said trainer Michael Costa of Mouheeb. “He's a much more relaxed horse this year.”

Another Mahab Al Shimaal hero alongside Sound Money, Eastern World (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) will attempt to bounce back to form after making just one start in 2023–a 12th place to Tuz in the G3 Al Shindagha Sprint in February.

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