Saeed Bin Suroor: runs three in his bid for a fifth win in the Al RashidiyaPICTURE: Getty Images
Trial winner Sharestan bids for Group 2 glory
Preview: UAE, Thursday 4.50pm GMT (live on Sky Sports 2)
Meydan: Al Rashidiya Sponsored By DUBAL (Group 2) 1m1f, turf, 3yo+
SHARESTAN was ultra impressive when winning the course-and-distance trial on the first night of the 2013 Carnival three weeks ago and will bid to give trainer Saeed Bin Suroor a fifth win a race that has twice thrown up the winner of the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free on World Cup night (2011 Presvis and 2004 dead-heater Right Approach).
The Godolphin trainer is responsible for three of the ten declared runners in the 1m1f turf feature. Silvestre de Sousa will be aboard Sharestan, as he was in the trial, with Ted Durcan on Do It All and Kieren Fallon an interesting booking for Group 1 winner Aesop's Fables, who is having his first start for the yard since leaving Andre Fabre.
Sharestan, trained previously by John Oxx for his breeder the Aga Khan, looks the first string but Fallon's mount Aesop's Fables did win the Prix Jean Prat last year, for which he is penalised, for Andre Fabre and Do It All was the shock winner of the Zabeel Mile at Meydan last March.
Bin Suroor said: "They are three nice horses and we are very much looking forward to it. Sharestan really pleased us at the first meeting and this is obviously the next step for him. He came out of that race well and his last piece of work was very pleasing.
"This will be a first start for us with Aesop's Fables and I really like him. He is going very nicely at home and he is a nice new horse for us but does have to give weight away.
"Of the three, I just feel Do It All may need the race but he is in good form."
Paul Hanagan: rides So BeautifulPICTURE: Martin Lynch
Fellow Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni relies on City Style, twice a Carnival winner last year before excelling himself when second in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday and arguably improving on that when third in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free on World Cup night.
Al Zarooni said: "He kept on improving here last year and is in good shape at home but I do think he will probably need this run having been off since July."
Sheikh Hamdan's famous blue and white silks are set to be well represented with three runners and retained jockey Paul Hanagan chooses to ride So Beautiful, runner-up to Sharestan in the trial and trained by Doug Watson, as is the owner's third runner Alsaabil, the mount of Pat Dobbs.
Watson said: "Things did not really pan out for So Beautiful last time and he was finishing well so hopefully we can get a clearer passage this time. He is a lovely horse to have in the yard for Sheikh Hamdan, as is Albaasil. He does not have the benefit of a run but is as fit as we can get him at home."
The owner's second jockey, Dane O'Neill, rides Derbaas for champion trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe. A Group 2 winner in 2011, he arrives here at the top of his game having won both starts this season, most recently the Listed National Day Cup at Abu Dhabi.
Like Bin Suroor, South African trainer Mike De Kock has saddled four winners of this race and introduces The Apache to the UAE. He will be having his first start for the yard and De Kock said: "He has come all the way from South Africa and those we have run from home - other than Soft Falling Rain - have really needed their first outing so I expect he will.
"Basically he is as straight as I can get him without a run but he will probably prefer further in time."
Ireland's Jim Bolger, seeking a first UAE winner after 16 previous runners, is represented by Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial winner Light Heavy who was then third (of five) in the Irish Derby to Camelot before finishing fourth (of six) in the Irish Champion Stakes behind Snow Fairy.