Frankie Dettori and Mendip will look to notch their second straight stakes win when they go to the post in the $200,000 Burj Nahaar Sponsored by Emirates Airline (UAE-III) Mar. 3. The eight-furlong contest is the fifth race on the Super Thursday stakes program at Meydan Racecourse.
The son of Harlan's Holiday has always been highly-regarded by his connections and even though he’s lightly-raced, the 4-year-old colt sports four wins from five career starts. After a third place finish to Musir in the 2010 UAE Derby (UAE-II), Mendip was given a lengthy vacation by trainer Saeed bin Suroor. The colt justified his trainer’s patient handling with a decisive 2 1/4 length romp in the Al Maktoum Challenge R1 Sponsored by Longines (UAE-III) in his seasonal debut.
Crowded House will look to make amends for his poor showing in the Al Maktoum Challenge R2 Sponsored by Etisalat (UAE-III) last time out. The 5-year-old horse by Rainbow Quest will be shortening up in distance, which trainer Ben Cecil hopes will be to his benefit. Ryan Moore will ride.
Outsider Zafeen Speed enters the Burj Nahaar off of three straight victories over the same course and distance. Although the 4-year-old son of Zafeen will be making his stakes debut March 3, all three of his wins have been quite impressive, with the gelding winning each quite easily by several lengths. Jockey Wayne Smith, who has ridden Zafeen Speed in all four of his career starts, will once again be aboard.
Famous Warrior and Sangaree will once again lock horns, after having faced each other in an eight furlong handicap two weeks ago. Famous Warrior came out on top by a length over Sangaree that day, and will hope to have the same good fortune again.
Other contenders include Mike de Kock’s Our Giant, Cat Junior, and Snaafy, winner of the listed Jebel Ali Mile Feb. 4.
Reem Takes on the Boys in Al Bastakiya
Mike de Kock looks to have the heavy favorite when he sends the filly Reem postward in the listed $250,000 Al Bastakiya Sponsored by Emirates Airline. The 9 1/2 furlong contest is the second leg of the UAE Triple Crown, and will be the first stakes race on the Super Thursday program.
Reem, an Australian-bred daughter of Galileo, will attempt to step out of the shadows of two of her more illustrious stablemates, Mahbooba and River Jetez. After a victory over Mahbooba in the UAE 1000 Guineas trial, Reem had to settle for second in the listed UAE 1000 Guineas Sponsored by Etisalat, a race which Mahbooba won by 3 3/4 lengths.
Reem then made her next start in the nine-furlong Balanchine Stakes Sponsored by Emirates NBD (UAE-IIT), where she ran into the buzz saw named River Jetez, who rolled past her in the final yards to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Kevin Shea will ride.
Bridgefield, Abjer, and Paulinho are hoping that they will have much more of a say in the outcome of this race since Splash Point or Zanzamar won’t be running. All three colts finished well behind that duo in the UAE 2000 Guineas Sponsored by Dubal (UAE-III) last month. Bridgefield finished the best of the trio, getting up for fourth in the late stages of the race.
Ahlaain, a 3-year-old son of Bernstein, wheels back off of one week’s rest for trainer David Simcock. The bay colt closed late to finish second to Introvert in the listed Meydan Classic. William Buick will once again ride.
$200,000 Burj Nahaar Sponsored by Emirates Airline (gr. III, race 5, 11:55 a.m. EST), 3yos & up, 8 furlongs, Tapeta.
PP, Horse, Weight, Jockey, Trainer
1. Our Giant (Aus), 126, C. Soumillon, M. de Kock
2. Banna Boirche (Ire), 126, J. Murtagh, M. Halford
3. Prince Shaun (Ire), 126, P. Dobbs, D. Watson
4. As De Trebol (KY), 126, O. Peslier, M. Delcher
5. Famous Warrior (Ire), 126, T. O’Shea, D. Watson
6. Sangaree (KY), 126, M. Barzalona, S. bin Suroor
7. Cat Junior (KY), 126, W. Buick, N. Petersen
8. Zafeen Speed (GB), 126, W. Smith, M. Al Muhairi
9. Mendip (KY), 126, L. Dettori, S. bin Suroor
10. Falcativ (GB), 126, A. Murgia, I. Mohammed
11. Crowded House (GB), 126, R. Moore, B. Cecil
12. Snaafy (KY), 126, R. Hills, M. Al Muhairi
13. Verde-mar (Brz), 120, R. Mullen, E. Martins
14. Kinky Afro (Ire), 121, K. Fallon, J.S. Moore
$250,000 Al Bastakiya Sponsored by Emirates Airline (listed, race 2, 10:05 a.m. EST), 3yos (3yo NH-bred, 4yo SH-bred) 1 3/16-miles, Tapeta.
PP, Horse, Weight, Jockey, Trainer
1. Paulinho (Arg), 130, R. Moore, H. Brown
2. Ahlaain (KY), 119, W. Buick, D. Simcock
3. Abjer (Fr), 119, K. Fallon, I. Mohammed
4. Bridgefield (KY), 119, A. Ajtebi, M. Al Zarooni
5. Air of Grace (Ire), 119, A. Murgia, I. Mohammed
6. Sonoran Sands (Ire), 119, T. O’Shea, J.S. Moore
7. Borug (KY), 119, T. Durcan, S. bin Suroor
8. Amica (SAf), 126, R. Ffrench, G. Kelleway
9. Reem (Aus), 126, K. Shea, M. de Kock
10. Energia Carioca (Brz), 130, R. Mullen, E. Martins