Darley purchased the 5-year-old son of Artax from Jeff Puglisi and trainer Steve Klesaris after his Vanderbilt victory, with the idea of campaigning him in Dubai this season. Diabolical has been working forwardly, and trainer Saeed bin Suroor expects a big effort from the chestnut horse.
Diabolical faces some stiff competition in the six-furlong sprint, mainly in the form of UAE Triple Crown winner Asiatic Boy. The Argentine-bred was undefeated in four starts in Dubai last year for trainer Michael De Kock, and then went on to perform well in two group I contests in England.
Diabolical and Asiatic Boy each carry top weight of 131 pounds in the field of 10 older horses. Diabolical will be ridden for the first time by jockey Frankie Dettori, while Asiatic Boy will be piloted by Johnny Murtagh.
$200,000 Al Shindagha Sprint (UAE-III), 3 and up, 6 furlongs (dirt)
PP., Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Valiance, 127, Kevin Shea
2. Sea Hunter, 127, Royston Ffrench
3. Diabolical, 131, Frankie Dettori
4. Terrific Challenge, 127, Ted Durcan
5. Malayeen, 127, Ahmed Ajtebi
6. Power Politics, 127, Wayne Smith
7. Botanical, 127, T. P. O’Shea
8. Salaam Dubai, 127, Richard Mullen
9. Asiatic Boy, 131, Johnny Murtagh
10. Mercury Chief, 127, Adrian T. Nicholls