Trainer sends first wave of strong team to Dubai
Marco Botti went close to landing his his biggest career win at last year's Dubai Carnival and is sending a strong team to this year's meeting, which kicked off last Thursday.
The Newmarket trainer may no longer have last year's Dubai Turf runner-up Euro Charline to go to war with but has a mix of established stars and promising three-year-olds to send in her place.
Among the young brigade is the progressive Zumurudee, who ran out an emphatic ten-length winner on his most recent start at Wolverhampton in November and is owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.
Botti, who saddled Planteur to be third in the Dubai World Cup in 2012 and 2013, said: "We have some nice types for Dubai this year including Zumurudee, who has always looked a smart colt and it was no surprise to see him win as he did at Wolverhampton. He'll be going out in our second batch as we plan to run him in the Listed Al Bastakiya on Super Saturday over a mile and then look at the Group 1 UAE Derby on World Cup night. As he's by Stormy Atlantic we are hopeful he'll handle the dirt and he's going well at the moment.
"We also have another maiden winner Qatar Man going and we could have a look at the UAE 2,000 Guineas with him. "
As well as the youngsters, Botti is this weekend sending older performers Fanciful Angel and Naadirr back to Meydan where they performed with credit a year ago.
Botti added: "Fanciful Angel won a handicap when he got off the plane there last year and he ran well the other day in his prep run at Chelmsford. He's going very well at present and we also have Naadirr who finished in the frame in two of his three starts there last year. Both of them fly out this weekend together with Magical Forest and an ex-Italian horse Brex Drago."