Three weeks before the UAE’s biggest day of horseracing, the Dubai World Cup card, this weekend’s Super Saturday is a ‘dress rehearsal’ with all seven races mirroring the conditions of one of those on the big day, officially highlighted by the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 on dirt along with the Group 1 Jebel Hatta, the turf highlight.
The seventh meeting of the 2021 Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan, is sponsored by Pillar Partners Emirates.
Group 1 $390,000 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 (2000m D)
Over the same 2000m on dirt as the $12million Dubai World Cup, the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 sponsored by Emirates Airline has on three occasions been won by a subsequent Dubai World Cup winner with Dubai Millennium (2000), Street Cry (2002) and Electrocutionist (2006) all completing the double at Nad Al Sheba for Godolphin and Saeed bin Suroor.
Frankie Dettori rode all three to win this, though did not partner Street Cry in the World Cup, and is aboard dirt debutant Dubai Mirage for the same connections this year. Competing at his first Meydan carnival, the 4-year-old gelding has finished second on both local starts, in turf handicaps over 1600m and 1800m.
Being a gelded son of Dubawi, he certainly looks worth trying on the dirt surface and did lose his maiden tag on his sole all-weather appearance in Britain.
Saeed bin Suroor said: “Dubai Mirage has run well on the turf so far this season, finishing second on both occasions, and we wanted to give him a chance on the dirt. This will be a very tough race, but he has been going nicely at home.”