Treasure Beach and St Nicholas Abbey are just two of the seven grade/group I-winners that will go to the post in the $5-millon Dubai Sheema Classic Presented by Longines (UAE-IT) at Meydan Racecourse March 31.
Post positions were drawn on Monday for seven of the eight Thoroughbred stakes races that will be run on Dubai World Cup day, a total program worth $27 million. Post positions for the $10-million Dubai World Cup will be drawn on Wednesday, March 28.
Aidan O’Brien will send out a total of six runners on Saturday, with Treasure Beach and St Nicholas Abbey representing him in the 12-furlong Sheema Classic. St Nicholas Abbey, a 5-year-old horse by Montjeu, will be making his first start since winning the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT). That victory wrapped up a banner year in which he also scored victories in the Investec Coronation Cup (Eng-I) and Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes (Eng-III).
Joseph O’Brien, who piloted St Nicholas Abbey in the Breeders’ Cup, will once again be aboard.
Treasure Beach, a 4-year-old colt by Galileo, captured both the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Ire-I) and the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) last year. He also finished second to Pour Moi in the Investec Epsom Derby (Eng-I), and third in the Pattison Canadian International (Can-IT).
Treasure Beach will be making his first start for a new partnership that includes Mrs. Fitri Hay, who bought a percentage of the colt over the winter. Others in the partnership include Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith; the same group also campaigned Eclipse champion Cape Blanco and Ascot Gold Cup (Eng-I) winner Fame And Glory. Jamie Spencer will ride.
QIPCO Champion Stakes (Eng-I) winner Cirrus des Aigles will be making his second start of the season in the Sheema Classic. The 6-year-old gelding by Even Top was named champion older horse in Europe for 2011, a year in which he also won the Lucien Barriere Grand Prix de Deauville (Fr-II) and was second to Sarafina in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I). Cirrus des Aigles enters Saturday’s race off a second-place finish in the Prix Meydan Hotel, a 10-furlong conditions race over Chantilly’s all-weather course. Olivier Peslier will be in the saddle.
Trainer Mike de Kock will send out the entry of Bold Silvano and Mahbooba in the Sheema Classic. Bold Silvano has run twice so far at the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival, most recently finishing 12th behind Capponi in the Al Maktoum Challenge-Round 3 Sponsored by Emirates (UAE-I). The 6-year-old horse by Silvano, who is a group I-winner in his native South Africa, won the 2011 Al Maktoum Challenge-Round 2 Sponsored by Etisalat (UAE-III). Christophe Soumillon will be in the irons.
De Kock will also send out Mahbooba, a 5-year-old mare by Galileo who captured the Balanchine Stakes Sponsored by S.O.G. (UAE-IIT) Feb. 17. Prior to that, the bay mare came up just a nose short to First City in the Cape Verdi Stakes Sponsored by the Saeed and Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (UAE-IIT). Kevin Shea will ride.
Godolphin will be represented by Cavalryman, Songcraft, and Shimraan. Saeed bin Suroor trains both Cavalryman and Songcraft, the second and third-place finishers in the Dubai City of Gold Sponsored by Skywards (UAE-IIT) March 10. Cavalryman, a 6-year-old bay horse by Halling, has not won since his sophomore season, when he captured both the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-I) and the Qatar Prix Niel (Fr-II). Songcraft, a 4-year-old bay gelding by Singspiel, was undefeated in four starts prior to the Dubai City of Gold, which marked his stakes debut.
Frankie Dettori will partner Cavalryman, while Silvestre de Sousa will be aboard Songcraft.
Mahmood Al Zarooni sends out the third Godolphin runner, Shimraan, who finished eighth in the Dubai City of Gold. Mickael Barzalona will ride.
Other runners in the field include Jakkalberry, winner of the 2010 Gran Premio Di Milano (Ity-I), and the undefeated Beaten Up, winner of the 2011 Worthington’s Champion Shield Stakes (Eng-III).
$5,000,000 Dubai Sheema Classic Presented by Longines (UAE-I, race 8, 1 p.m. EDT), 3yo (SH-bred) & up, 12 furlongs (turf).
PP, Horse, Wgt., Jockey, Trainer
1. Songcraft (Ire), 125, S. de Sousa, S. bin Suroor
2. Bold Silvano (SAf), 126, C. Soumillon, M. de Kock
3. Beaten Up (GB), 125, J. Murtagh, W. Haggas
4. Mahbooba (Aus), 121, K. Shea, M. de Kock
5. Cavalryman (GB), 126, L. Dettori, S. bin Suroor
6. Treasure Beach (GB), 125, J. Spencer, A. O’Brien
7. Jakkalberry (Ire), 126, R. Moore, M. Botti
8. Cirrus des Aigles (Fr), 126, O. Peslier, C. Barande-Barbe
9. St Nicholas Abbey (Ire), 126, J.P. O’Brien, A. O’Brien
10. Shimraan (Fr), 126, M. Barzalona, M. Al Zarooni