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Mathea Kelley/Dubai Racing Club

Presvis Takes on Musir in Al Rashidiya

Luca Cumani-trained 8-year-old gelding defends his title at Meydan Jan. 26.

Presvis is set to make his 2012 debut when he faces Musir and seven other challengers in the $200,000 Al Rashidiya-Sponsored by Dubai Duty Free (UAE-IIT) at Meydan Racecourse Jan. 26. The nine-furlong turf contest is the highlight on the sixth night of racing in the Dubai World Cup Carnival.

The Luca Cumani-trained Presvis won the Al Rashidiya last year on his way to a gutsy victory over River Jetez in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free Sponsored by Dubai Duty Free (UAE-IT) on World Cup night. In between those two races the 8-year-old Sakhee gelding finished third to Wigmore Hall in the Jebel Hatta Sponsored by Emirates Airline (UAE-IIT). He wrapped up his year with off the board finishes in the BMW Champions Mile (HK-I) and the Singapore Airlines International Cup (Sin-I).

Connections of Presvis are looking forward to Thursday’s race, with assistant trainer Charlie Henson telling reporters, “He worked well on Saturday and seems in the same kind of form he was last year when winning this race. He has been off since Singapore and will certainly come on for the run.”

Ryan Moore will be in the saddle.

Presvis will face some stiff competition in the form of Musir. The son of Redoute's Choice enters the Al Rashidiya off an easy three-length victory in the Al Maktoum Challenge-Round 1 Sponsored by Etisalat (UAE-III) Jan. 12. Even though the Maktoum Challenge was run over the all-weather Tapeta course, Musir has proved quite adept at any surface, winning stakes on both the turf and all-weather, and compiling a record of seven wins in 13 starts. Christophe Soumillon will ride for trainer Mike de Kock.

Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe will send out French raider Rajsaman. The gray son of Linamix was recently transferred from Freddy Head to the Meydan-based Al Raihe by owner Saeed Nasser Al Romaithi. The 5-year-old horse, a group II winner in his native country, ran twice at Meydan last year, with his best finish being a sixth-place finish to Twice Over in the Al Maktoum Challenge-Round 3 Sponsored by Emirates Airline (UAE-II). Royston Ffrench will ride.

City Style enters the Al Rashidiya off a strong 1 1/2-length victory in an eight-furlong handicap Jan. 5 at Meydan. This will be the first stakes attempt for the 6-year-old gelding, who sports a record of six wins from 15 starts. Mahmood Al Zarooni trains City Style for owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum. Mickael Barzalona will ride.

$200,000 Al Rashidiya-Sponsored by Dubai Duty Free (UAE-IIT, race 5, 12:15 p.m. EST), 3YOs (SH-bred) & up, 9 furlongs, (turf).
PP, Horse, Wgt., Jockey, Trainer
1. Le Drakkar (Aus), 126, L. Dettori, A. bin Huzaim
2. Trois Rois (Fr), 126, T. O’Shea, I. Mohammed
3. City Style (KY), 126, M. Barzalona, M. Al Zarooni
4. Rajsaman (Fr), 129, R. Ffrench, A. Al Raihe
5. Marcret (Ity), 126, M. Demuro, M. Botti
6. Presvis (GB), 126, R. Moore, L. Cumani
7. Musir (Aus), 129, C. Soumillon, M. de Kock
8. Win For Sure (Ger), 126, G. Benoist, X. Nakkachdji
9. Sandagiyr (Fr), 125, S. de Sousa, S. bin Suroor