William Haggas: could take Special Season to MeydanPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Special Season victory would set up Dubai trip
SPECIAL SEASON will test his Dubai credentials at Lingfield on Tuesday in a race that has shaped up into a trial for next month's UAE 2,000 Guineas.
Owned by Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum, Special Season appreciated the return to today's distance when accounting for Good Trip here last month. Before that, the William Haggas-trained three-year-old had some useful form on turf, including a good second to subsequent Group 1 runner-up Stormy Antarctic at Newbury.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to the owner, said: "Special Season won well there last time and should take all the beating. If he wins well the plan is to take him out to Meydan for the UAE 2,000 Guineas. I would expect the main danger to be Hombre Rojo, who I was quite impressed with last weekend."
Also on a Dubai ticket is the Marco Botti-trained Lazzam, who returns to Polytrack after finishing sixth in a Listed contest at Pontefract in October.
The son of Archipenko had earlier posted some solid efforts at Chelmsford including when losing his maiden status over this trip in August.
Botti said: "Lazzam probably didn't like the ground at Pontefract and he's fresh and well after a nice break. Special Season looks the one to beat and we're using this as a prep for the UAE 2,000 Guineas as there aren't any races like this at Meydan just now."
Course and distance specialist
Not yet invited for Dubai is Hombre Rojo, who is chasing a swift course-and-distance hat-trick after a six-length romp in a handicap last Saturday.
Trainer Simon Dow said: "We'll see how he is in the morning as he's had a busy spell, but there aren't that many races around for him at the moment. It's a valuable race and he loves it around there, so should have a big shout."
Making up the quartet in the £11,500 contest is the former Irish-trained Red Rannagh, who has his first taste of British action since joining David Simcock after a recent private purchase by Fitri Hay.
The son of Teofilo showed consistent form on his four starts for Willie Browne last year, most recently when shedding his maiden tag over this distance at Dundalk in November.
Simcock said: "He's a relatively new horse to us and we're just finding out about him. He's a big scopey type and this race will tell us plenty."