Mahbooba: won the Al Rashidiya Trial on the opening night of the carnivalPICTURE: Dubai Racing Club
Mahbooba heads eight entries for Cape Verdi
TRAINER Mike de Kock looks to hold the key to the Group 2 Cape Verdi, the 1m turf feature on Friday's fourth meetingof the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival.
Mahbooba, already winner of the Al Rashidiya Trial on the opening night two weeks ago, heads the eight entries in the race restricted to fillies and mares and would appear the one they all have to beat assuming she copes with the drop in trip.
A winner over 1m4f at Newmarket, the 1m would probably be her minimum trip but the handler has a great record with horses he has dropped back in distance, including winning a Group 3 6f Al Shindgaha Sprint with his UAE Triple Crown winner Asiatic Boy.
Stable companion Reem beat the subsequent UAE 1,000 Guineas heroine when they clashed over 7f on Tapeta at the start of the 2011 Carnival before chasing home the same stablemate in the Guineas. She then won over 1m2f but showed little on turf in the UK or back over 7f on Tapeta last week.
De Kock said: "Mahbooba has been great ever since we have had her and has proved herself particularly versatile. She is a 1m Classic winner here in the UAE on Tapeta, won over 1m4f on turf in England and then started her 2012 campaign in the best possible way here over 1m1f. She still shows plenty of speed so 1m should be ok.
"Reem disappointed in England but ran a great race on the Meydan turf last year behind our River Jetez over 1m1f so hopefully she can show us a bit more on Friday."
The trip looks a minimum for the De Kock duo but perhaps a maximum for Al Sharood, a 7f Tapeta winner on her local debut for Doug Watson.
She seemed to be tiring close home on that occasion under Tadhg O'Shea and Watson said: "That was, basically, her prep for this race on Friday. She won over a mile in France so hopefully the extra furlong will be fine but she does show a lot of speed at home.
"She is in great form and weare looking forward to running her but obviously Mahbooba is going to be hard to beat."
First City, who was third in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes for David Simcock, looks set to have her first start for UAE Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe, with the remaining four entries divided equally between England and Ireland.
Tom Dascombe's Rhythm Of Light was second in Turkey on her most recent start in September, while Sooraah was a Listed winner for William Haggas at Ascot in July.
Jim Bolger trains Hurricane Havoc and she is joined by the Ken Condon-trained Marvada who improved throughout 2011.
Addictive Dream, who would be seeking a rapid carnival hat-trick, is among three Dandy Nicholls-trained entries in a 6f Tapeta handicap. Winner of two turf handicaps already, he is joined among 21 entries by stable companions Inxile and Silaah.