Averroes camp confident of repeat Meydan success
Preview: UAE, Thursday
Thursday is Meydan's final meeting before the eagerly awaited Dubai World Cup Carnival begins next week and Averroes (Ernst Oertel/Tadhg O'Shea) appears the one to beat in the 1m6f handicap he won last year.
The success provided the springboard for a campaign which began with a handicap second and ended with a close fourth in the Group 3 Dubai Gold Cup.
That career-best effort on Dubai World Cup night resulted in his handicap rating being raised to 112 and as a result five of his six rivals find themselves out of the handicap.
Averroes was not disgraced on his return over an inadequate 1m2f last time and O'Shea said: "The yard are in great form which is always a big plus and these are his optimum conditions. He worked very well the other day and made a very pleasing return over a trip too short.
"They are the positives but he does have a big weight and giving away a stone plus to all bar one of his rivals is a big ask. We have to be very hopeful but the likes of Royaaty and Almiqdaad, on whom I won at Abu Dhabi last year, are serious rivals."
Royaaty (Mubarak bin Shafya/Xavier Ziani) chased Averroes home in this race last season and arrives on the back of a win over 1m4f on the Abu Dhabi turf.
Xiani said: "He is a real favourite of mine and stays this trip well. That win will hopefully have done his confidence a lot of good and we should go well."
Like Royaaty, Almiqdaad (Erwan Charpy/Paul Hanagan) needs a big run to qualify for the carnival but has to bounce back after finishing last behind Royaaty last time.
Hanagan said: "That was a bit disappointing last time but he is a big, big horse and maybe needed the run more than we thought.
"Erwan reports him in great form since, he does nothing but stay and seems to handle the Tapeta so hopefully he will be competitive this time. We hope he is a stayer for the carnival so we need him to run well."