Mike De Kock: won UAE 2,000 Guineas with Slow Falling RainPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Specific Gravity can give De Kock more success
Preview: UAE, Saturday
Meydan: First race 2.45pm GMT
FOLLOWING the excitement of the UAE 2,000 Guineas Carnival meeting on Thursday, domestic action returns to Meydan on Saturday evening with the Mike De Kock-trained Specific Gravity an interesting runner in the 1m2f handicap, one of two turf races on the card.
An excellent third over a mile on his first start for the trainer, still celebrating Thursday's victory of Slow Falling Rain, providing the trainer with a record fifth win in the UAE 2,000 Guineas on both his birthday and Valentine's Day, De Kock thinks the extra two furlongs will suit.
He said: "Considering virtually all of our horses have needed their first run that was a good effort and hopefully he will appreciate the extra distance. We expect a big effort."
Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor has seven runners on the card, including three in the 1m2f handicap, headed by Flag Officer, the mount of Silvestre de Sousa. Mickael Barzalona rides Expense Claim with James Doyle taking the ride on Club Oceanic.
It looks an ultra competitive heat though with locally-based trainers Musabah Al Muhairi and Doug Watson both saddling two with obvious chances, Trojan Nights and Entifaadha for the former and Dr Faustus and Jawhar for the latter.
Paul Hanagan chooses to ride Jawhar for his main employer Sheikh Hamdan over Entifaadha, who will be ridden by Dane O'Neill.
Bahraini trainer Fawzi Nass is also doubly represented by Rocks Off and Royal Destination but it could be that Muraweg, his runner in the other turf race, a 6f handicap, holds stronger claims of a winner on the card.
Having his third UAE start, Muraweg, the mount of Kieren Fallon, reverts to turf having run up a sequence on grass in Bahrain last season and Nass said: "He ran very well first time over six furlongs before finding the first round of the Maktoum Challenge a bit much over a mile. He should appreciate the return to turf and we have to be hopeful in an open race."
Hanagan rides Nawwaar for Sheikh Hamdan and the pair won their most recent start, two weeks ago, over a mile at the track on turf.
He was chased home on that occasion by the bin Suroor-trained Les Troyens (with Specific Gravity third) and it would be no surprise were the Godolphin runner to reverse that form over this trip, although Hanagan said: "He ran well first time on Tapeta but was very good last time, showing plenty of speed to suggest the drop in trip will not be a problem."