FOLLOWING ON from a dirt track feature last week, the renowned Meydan turf track takes centre stage for this second meeting of the 2022 Dubai World Cup Carnival with seemingly joint highlights in a pair of Group Two contests, the Al Fahidi Fort and Al Rashidiya, both carrying a prize pot of $180,000.

Pride of place, arguably, goes to the 1800m Al Rashidiya with dual Group One winner and globetrotter Lord Glitters appearing to hold serious claims at ending a Godolphin monopoly on the race that started in 2017. Stable star for David O’Meara, the 9yo gelded son of Whipper was twice successful at the 2021 carnival, starting his Meydan foray by winning the Group 2 Singspiel Stakes but highlighted, on Super Saturday, with victory in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta, both over this 1800m course and distance.

His most recent racecourse appearance, in the middle of November, was also victorious, landing the Group 3 Bahrain International Trophy at Sakhir. For Godolphin, Charlie Appleby has won the two most recent renewals and his Art Du Val looks a big danger to all and was less than a length behind Lord Glitters when fourth in the aforementioned Jebel Hatta.

The 6yo gelded son of No Nay Never has not been seen in public since but that is not a concern from the Appleby yard and he too is a course and distance winner, albeit in a February 2020 handicap. That was his most recent success.

He was also fourth to Lord Glitters on his seasonal return last year in the Singspiel Stakes so will be hoping to make it ‘third time lucky’ against that grey rival. Appleby may have won the two most recent renewals for Godolphin, but the previous three winners for the owners were saddled by Saeed bin Suroor.

His best chance this year could well be Bedouin’s Story, a 7yo gelded son of Farhh and a 1600m carnival handicap winner almost a year ago. His most recent of six victories was in early October, in the prestigious Cambridgeshire Handicap over 1800m on the Rowley Mile in Newmarket. Godolphin, unsurprisingly, also have a strong recent track record in the 1400m Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort, a prize they have landed five times in the last seven years.

That would be six if including Glorious Journey who scooped the title in 2020 for Appleby but in the maroon and white silks of HH Sheikha Al Jalila Racing. Bin Suroor saddled the winner last year in the shape of Land Of Legends who is back to defend his crown, a feat most recently achieved by Appleby’s Safety Check in 2016 having won the race 12 months earlier.

Back in the Nad Al Sheba era, Linngari also won consecutive renewals in 2006 and 2007 so history certainly suggests Bin Suroor’s charge does not face an impossible task. A 6yo Iffraaj gelding, he has not raced since finishing a highly creditable fifth in the Group 1 Dubai Turf on the Dubai World Cup card but has a good record fresh.

Before Bin Suroor’s charge won the race last year, Appleby saddled the three previous winners and his Naval Crown looks sure to run a big race. A 4yo Dubawi colt, Appleby’s charge has two victories to his name, the most valuable UK 2yo maiden, York’s 1400m Convivial Stakes, in August 2020 and last year’s Listed Meydan Classic, over 1600m, last February.

He was only beaten three lengths when fourth in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket before finishing second at Royal Ascot in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes, won by stable companion and subsequent Group One winner Creative Force. The best of the dirt action is the 1200m Group 3 Dubawi Stakes in which Canvassed, Al Tariq and Freedom Fighter all appear to hold major claims.


Race 1: Albion Square
Race 2: Island Falcon
Race 3: Albahr (Nap)
Race 4: Lord Glitters (NB)
Race 5: Naval Crown
Race 6: Canvassed
Race 7: Rebel’s Romance