Gask not ruling out an upset with course regular Medicean Man
Veteran sprinter Medicean Man knows Meydan better than most and his trainer Jeremy Gask is not ruling out another bold run when the redoubtable 11-year-old takes to the course for a 16th time in Saturday’s Al Quoz Sprint.
With three-time Grade 1 winner Limato and local hero Ertijaal among his 11 opponents, it will take a special performance for Medicean Man to open his Group 1 account on his 77th start but Gask is not completely ruling out an upset.
“I think he can be very competitive,” said Gask, who was not too downbeat after the rain scuppered plans to work him on the turf on Tuesday morning.
“He’s always underrated but has run fourth twice in the Al Quoz and was 50-1 when he got nosed out of the King’s Stand. He’s been the bridesmaid a few times and I’d love him to have his day in the sun.”
Medicean Man is rated a 40-1 outsider with Ladbrokes and Coral, with Ertijaal narrow favourite from Limato at a top-price 2-1 and Gask thinks last year’s runner-up is arguably the one to beat.
He added: “I think there are a few major dangers in there but Ertijaal has been sensational from what I’ve seen.”
Having previously been run over five furlongs, the Al Quoz has been extended to six this year but Gask is undeterred by the additional furlong.
He said: “You’d look at his form and say five furlongs would be his preferred option but we’ve not had many chances to run over six on tracks I think suit him, so I’m quietly confident six is fine.
"They’ll go quickly and that’s the key to him. He just needs some luck and hopefully he can finish strongly.”
Medicean Man’s two runs at Meydan this year have yielded a first and a second and he has even had time for a fleeting trip to Qatar, finishing a close eighth in the Dukhan Sprint at Doha last month.
“He’s a wonderful traveller,” said Gask. “I think he enjoys the change. Doha worked really well with our programme and gave us an extra week rather than running on Super Saturday.
“I’d say the logical next step is the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot. It’s likely that it will be his last year but I won’t put that in stone. He’s given us some wonderful times.”