Sulamani Faces Tough Cast in Dubai Sheema Classic

Godolphin's exciting new recruit Sulamani will carry the stable's hopes in reversing a frustrating recent run in the $2 million Group I Dubai Sheema Classic.

Sulamani proved himself among the outstanding 3-year-olds in Europe last season, winning the French Derby on his third start and ending his campaign with a second to Marienbard in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October.

Following that effort he was purchased by Godolphin and the Dubai World Cup meeting was the target for his run in the blue colors. There was much conjecture as to whether he would run in the Dubai World Cup or the Dubai Sheema Classic.

Sulamani will now seek to become Godolphin's first winner of the race since the inaugural year, when Stowaway won what was then called the Dubai Turf Classic.

New Godolphin recruit Highest will provide strong support to Sulamani as will Califet, another new Godolphin entry after his fourth in the Arc last year, and Pugin. Highest was an impressive winner of the Group III Dubai City Of Gold on his first run for Godolphin. However that race, despite being the main lead-up to the Dubai Sheema Classic, hasn't proven to be the strongest guide.

History is against Highest winning the Dubai Sheema Classic. No winner of the Dubai City Of Gold has yet to go on and win the Dubai Sheema Classic.

Morshdi has his first start for Jebel Ali trainer Allan Smith, having returned from a failed career at stud. The horse having not raced since his 3-year-old career.

Last year's winner, Nayef went on to Juddmonte International success after winning while Boreal (third) won the Coronation Cup and Marienbard (fourth) went on to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

The German runner Boreal has returned and is among a strong group of international entries aiming to continue the winning sequence of runners from abroad. Jockey Kieran Fallon will be attempting to win his third Dubai Sheema Classic after the victories of Fruits Of Love in 1999 and Fantastic Light in 2000.

Mark Johnston, who prepared Fruits Of Love to win, will be strongly represented this year with the Hardwicke Stakes winner Zindabad while the French raider Ange Gabriel has looked particularly well since he arrived.

Raced in the same interests as last year's Dubai Duty Free winner Terre A Terre, Ange Gabriel will challenge Sulamani for favortism as he seeks to record his second successive international success after his impressive defeat of Aquarelliste in the Hong Kong Vase last December at Sha Tin.