Former Bob Baffert trainee Conveyance will make his 2011 debut in the Mahab Al Shimaal Sponsored by Emirates Airline (UAE-III) at Meydan Racecourse March 3. A full field of 12 will contest the six-furlong event that will be run over the Tapeta main track.
Owned by Zabeel Racing International, the grey son of Indian Charlie will be making his first start since an off-the-board finish in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Prior to that, however, Conveyance notched victories over one mile in both the San Rafael Stakes (gr. III) and the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) before just missing in the nine-furlong Sunland Derby (gr. III).
Now trained by Satish Seemar, Conveyance will be shortening back up to what is probably his best distance, and he could pose a real danger if left unchallenged on the lead. Richard Mullen will ride.
Bank Merger is another colt who started his career stateside, racing for Kiaran McLaughlin under the Darley banner. After winning his first two career starts, the son of Consolidator jumped into grade I company and finished a good second to Discreetly Mine in the NetJets King’s Bishop Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. Bank Merger capped off his 3-year-old season with a victory in the Gallant Bob Stakes. He will look to improve off a poor showing in his 2011 debut, in which he faded to 10th in a seven-furlong handicap here on Feb. 11. Mickael Barzalona will be aboard.
Hard-knocking Bankable will be trying to reach the winner’s circle after two recent fourth-place finishes. The Herman Brown-trained 7-year-old was victorious in the 2010 Al Fahidi Fort Sponsored by Commercial Bank of Dubai (UAE-IIT) and was second in the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-IT). Ryan Moore retains the mount.
One that might be overlooked is Green Beret, who comes into the Mahab Al Shimaal off a victory in a six-furlong handicap two weeks ago. Prior to that win, the 5-year-old gelding by Fayruz finished second and third, respectively, in two six-furlong handicaps over the dirt course at Jebel Ali. Royston Ffrench will be in the irons.
Other runners in with a shot are Alazeyab, who was second to Dynamic Blitz in the Al Shindagha Sprint Sponsored by Etisalat (UAE-III) Feb. 3, before finishing third to Green Beret last time out. Iver Bridge Lad, Barbeque Eddie, and Rileyskeepingfaith enter stakes company after strong showings in recent handicap contests at Meydan.
$200,000 Mahab Al Shimaal Sponsored by Emirates Airline (gr. III, race 4, 11:20 a.m. EST), 3yo & up, six furlongs, Tapeta. All carry 126 pounds.
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Green Beret (Ire), R. Ffrench, A. Al Raihe
2. Bank Merger (KY), M. Barzalona, S. bin Suroor
3. Alazeyab (KY), R. Hills, A. Al Raihe
4. Indomito (Ger), W. Smith, P. Vovcenko
5. Force Freeze (KY), K. Fallon, D. Watson
6. Bankable (Ire), R. Moore, H. Brown
7. Silaah (GB), A. Nicholls, D. Nicholls
8. Conveyance (KY), R. Mullen, S. Seemar
9. Iver Bridge Lad (GB), M. O’Connell, J. Ryan
10. Barbeque Eddie (MD), T. O’Shea, D. Watson
11. Rileyskeepingfaith (GB), A. Ajtebi, M. Al Zarooni
12. Global City (Ire), L. Dettori, S. bin Suroor