Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained Jaasoos is seeking a repeat win in the listed HH The President's Cup that highlights the Dec. 23 race card at Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
A field of 11 has been entered for the 1,400 meter (about seven furlongs) turf test.
Not only has no horse won this race twice, but Jaasoos, owned by Sheikh Ahmed, has already won two National Day Cups as well as finishing runner-up in that race in each of the last two seasons.
"There is no doubt that he goes particularly well at Abu Dhabi," said Selvaratnam. "He ran well enough on his comeback over 1000m at Jebel Ali and it was a good effort when second again in the National Day Cup last time. The winner of that, Derbaas, is a good horse trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe and it is his filly, First City, I really fear most this time."
James Doyle takes the ride.
Royston Ffrench, who rides First City, a group II winner at Meydan last season, said: "She seems in good shape at home and the yard remain in good form. The trip will be as short as she wants and she has a penalty for her good win last season but she has a touch of class and we are hopeful."
The Satish Seemar/Richard Mullen combination remain in great form and they rely on Escape Route, runner-up in this race in each of the last two seasons who also has a course and distance victory to his credit and dead-heated over this trip at Jebel Ali on his penultimate start.
Mullen said: "He has run well both times this season and we know the 1,400 meters at Abu Dhabi really suits him. He deserves a change of luck in this race having been second the last two years and should go close."
Stable companion Montmorency and Garbah, a stablemate of First City, have to be considered as does Marching Time, trained by Doug Watson for Sheikh Hamdan. Retained jockey Paul Hanagan takes the ride.
Watson said: "He goes well at Abu Dhabi and has a good draw this time as opposed to the National Day Cup when he was very wide. I am hopeful of a good run but it is a tough race."