Mahab Al Shimaal Features Hitchens, 'Krypton'
by Mary Schweitzer
Date Posted: 3/9/2012 7:01:45 AM
Last Updated: 3/10/2012 9:12:04 AM
Hitchens (left) defeated Krypton Factor by a head in the Al Shindagha Sprint.
Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club
Krypton Factor and Hitchens are set to renew their rivalry when they go to the post in the $200,000 Mahab Al Shimaal Sponsored by Skywards (UAE-III) at Meydan Racecourse March 10.
The six-furlong contest is one of six stakes that compose the “Super Saturday” program at Meydan. The races serve as key preps for the $27 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) program on March 31.
Hitchens and Krypton Factor last met in the Al Shindagha Sprint Sponsored by Gulf News (UAE-III) on Feb. 3. The two geldings battled neck and neck through the final furlong of the race, with Hitchens edging his rival by a short head to gain the victory.
This will be the third start at Meydan for Hitchens, a 7-year-old gelding by Acclamation. In his first start at the Carnival meeting, the David Barron trainee finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length by Captain Obvious, a rival he later defeated in the Al Shindagha Sprint. In addition to the Al Shindagha, Hitchens has won the listed Golden Rose Stakes and the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes (Ire-III). Silvestre de Sousa will ride.
Krypton Factor sports one win and two second-place finishes in his three starts this season during the Carnival. The consistent 4-year-old gelding has notched six wins from 18 career starts, finishing in the money 14 times. Kieren Fallon will ride for owner-trainer Fawzi Abdulla Nass.
Trainer Herman Brown has an interesting pair of runners in August Rush and Ergiyas. August Rush, a 6-year-old South African-bred gelding by Var, will be making his first start since winning the Mercury Sprint (SAf-I) in July. A winner of five of his 18 starts, August Rush also finished a close second in the Golden Horse Casino Sprint (SAf-I). Ryan Moore will ride.
Ergiyas is a Kentucky-bred son of War Chant who was purchased for $10,000 as a yearling at the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale. The 6-year-old horse is owned by Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, and has won 10 of 15 career starts while racing primarily in Russia. Regular rider Khamzat Ulubaev comes in to ride.
The rest of the field includes Iver Bridge Lad, Alazeyab, Jaasoos, Addictive Dream, Global City, Kanaf, Seachantach, Dark Matter, Right to Dream, and Green Beret.
Kinglet Goes for Second Jewel of UAE Triple Crown
In the first stakes on the “Super Saturday” card, Godolphin’s Kinglet takes on 13 challengers in the listed $250,000 Al Bastakiya Sponsored by Emirates. The 9 1/2-furlong contest is the second leg of the UAE Triple Crown.
Kinglet, a 3-year-old colt by Kingmambo, won the UAE 2000 Guineas Sponsored by Dubal (UAE-III) Feb. 9 by a neck over Mickdaam, who is also in the field. Kinglet is trained by Mahmood al Zarooni, who will also send out Counterglow, a recent allowance winner at the track.
Other contenders include Burano, winner of the listed Al Naboodah Meydan Classic, and the filly Mary Fildes, who comes off a second-place finish to Falls of Lora in the UAE Oaks (UAE-III) Feb. 23.
Regally Ready Headlines Meydan Sprint
Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IIT) winner Regally Ready will take on a quality field of turf sprinters when he lines up in the $175,000 Meydan Sprint, a five-furlong contest that serves as a prep for the Al Quoz Sprint (UAE-IT).
Regally Ready, a 5-year-old gelding by More Than Ready , enters the Meydan Sprint off a third-place finish in the Daytona Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita. Frankie Dettori has the call for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Trainer Michael Bell sends out Margot Did, winner of the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Eng-I) last year. The 4-year-old filly will be making her first start since a disappointing run in the Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye (Fr-I) in October. Regular rider Hayley Turner will be in the irons.
Other contenders include Prohibit, winner of the King’s Stand Stakes (Eng-I), and Nocturnal Affair, a recent allowance winner over the course.
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