A minor injury sustained to reigning champion Solow appears to have left the door for Saturday’s Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World wide open for Godolphin’s Tryster (IRE).
Winner of both his UAE starts, most recently in Super Saturday’s Jebel Hatta sponsored by Emirates, Tryster looks a potential superstar for Charlie Appleby.
Previously considered an ‘all-weather specialist’ having won all six starts on synthetics in England last year, he has again shown an amazing burst of acceleration this year.
That Jebel Hatta win was achieved over the same 1800m course and distance as the Dubai Turf.
“We thought he would be a Dubai World Cup horse,” said Appleby. “But he could not use that amazing turn of foot out of the dirt so went the turf route. He has been amazing in both starts this year, so fingers crossed he can continue on Saturday.”
His jockey, William Buick added: “I have ridden plenty of top horses but this fellow has an amazing turn of foot. His acceleration is remarkable and a truly potent weapon.”
That fact has certainly not been overlooked by Mike de Kock who saddles both Ertijaal (AUS), third to Tryster on Super Saturday, and Forries Waltz (SAF).
He said: “I think we are running for second! Tryster looks a different class on what we have seen; he quickens off a slow pace and then did the same off a stronger gallop.
“He will be very hard to beat but we have two nice horses. Ertijaal will run another solid race but Forries Waltz, who we have freshened up, after his two early Carnival wins, may be our best chance.”
Intilaaq (USA), representing owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is a fascinating contender having swapped targets from the Dubai World Cup.
His trainer, Roger Varian, explained: “We were aiming towards the Dubai World Cup and had prepared him for that in the UK but the Dubai Turf opened up when Solow came out and Sheikh Hamdan felt that this was the right race for him.
“All five of his career runs have been on turf, so he knows all about that and the World Cup would have been something entirely different. There is always next year though, and he could run in the World Cup in 12 months’ time.”
Now trained by Varian, Postponed looks the one to beat in the Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines, having impressed with a smooth victory over the same 2410m course and distance in Super Saturday’s Dubai City Of Gold sponsored by Skycargo.
Winner of last year’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes when trained by Luca Cumani, his owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum moved him to Varian after he took the Prix Foy.
That, in September, was supposed to be his prep race for the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe but injury ruled him out of that contest.
His Super Saturday victory was his first outing since then and delighted his new trainer.
“He was very good on Super Saturday,” said Varian. He should have improved for the outing and we have to be very hopeful.”
Japanese challenger, Duramente (JPN), looks a serious threat under Mirco Demuro. Trained by Noriyuki Hori, he won his homeland’s 2000 Guineas and Derby last year.
He was then injured but returned to action last month with a victory and could be the main danger.
Ireland’s Aidan O’Brien has just one runner on the card, Highland Reel (IRE), winner of last year’s Hong Kong Vase and Secretariat Stakes.
He should run a big race but Postponed very much looks the most likely winner.