down cross

Halford's Rehana expected to come on for last run in Cape Verdi

Dubai dreaming: runners round the bend in the Kahayla Classic at Meydan on Saturday
1 of 1

The Aga Khan looks for an eighth UAE success in Thursday afternoon’s Cape Verdi (4.50), when his Rehana faces seven rivals, including three from Britain.

Trained in Ireland by Michael Halford, Rehana has always been held in high regard and beat Rhododendron – winner of last year’s Group 1 Prix de l’Opera – in a Curragh maiden in June 2016 as a juvenile.

She started her four-year-old campaign a fortnight ago with an excellent fourth in an ultra competitive 7f turf handicap on the first night of the carnival. She will be ridden by Pat Smullen who said: “The team are very happy since that run and she appears to be thriving.

“She travels very strongly in her races and really enjoyed the fast Meydan turf last time. It was a good effort but one we expected her to improve from so, if that proves the case, she must have a big chance in a typically competitive Cape Verdi.”

Both Clinet and Soneva have landed the spoils for Britain with three runners trying to emulate them this year, including last year's runner-up Opal Tiara for Mick Channon.

Channon said: “We gave her a prep run this year and were delighted with her fourth in the Singspiel Stakes. That should have put her spot on for Thursday.”

Silvestre de Sousa, aboard in the Singspiel Stakes, rides again and they are joined by the David Simcock-trained Singyoursong and Absolute Blast, who is a first UAE runner for Archie Watson.

Saeed bin Suroor has won the race four times – including the last two renewals with Very Special. He saddles Promising Run for Godolphin, seeking a sixth win in the race, and he said: “She does not show a lot at home but seems in the same kind of form as she was when winning on her first start of 2017 in the Al Rashidiya.”

Saeed Bin Suroor: has two chances with Tumbaga and Mutarabby

Elsewhere, the UAE 2,000 Guineas Trial was divided into two races of 12 runners at the declaration stage, meaning it is an eight race card. In the second division (5.25), Richard Hannon saddles Tangled, winner of the ultra valuable Goffs Premier Yearling Stakes at York in August.

His opponents include Moqarrab and Racing Country, both trained by Bin Suroor, for Godolphin – who are also represented in the first heat (4.15) by the Charlie Appleby-trained Gold Town.

The carnival turf sprints generally attract maximum fields and this week’s 5f dash (6.00) is no exception with 14 going to post. British interest comes from Polybius, Encore D’Or, Out Do, Sir Maximilian, a dual course and distance winner for Ian Williams, and Tis Marvelous, trained by Clive Cox who said: “He's in great form and I'm very happy with him.

"He's trained well since he arrived and I'm looking forward to him running; he was competing against the best last season and has been gelded since then. I'm hoping he's a horse we'll have a lot of fun with this year."

Read exclusive previews from 6pm daily on


He was competing against the best last season and has been gelded since then. I'm hoping he's a horse we'll have a lot of fun with this year

Key data

E.W. Terms
Sky bet