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First City faces Godolphin in defence of title
January 24, 2013
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DUBAI: The highlight of Thursday’s third meeting of the 2013 Dubai World Cup Carnival, sponsored by the Meydan Group, is the Group 2 Cape Verdi, a 1600m contest on the turf restricted to fillies and mares.

Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Suroor conditioned Aspectoflove to win this in 2011 and saddles a live contender this year in the form of Sajjhaa, a Group 3 winner in Italy in 2010 and a dual Listed winner in the UK. She will be ridden by Silvestre De Sousa.

The trainer is responsible for the three of Godolphin’s four runners with Ted Durcan on Dark Orchid and Kieren Fallon aboard Spellwork Suroor said: “All three are working well and we expect them all to run well. Spellwork and Dark Orchid have both joined us this year from Andre Fabre in France so we are getting to know them.

Fellow Godolphin handler Mahmoud Al Zarooni relies on Falls Of Lora, his winner of last year’s Group 3 UAE Oaks and a Listed winner at Sandown in the UK over the summer. “She is versatile with regards to the ground and has won at Meydan on Tapeta, on fast ground as a juvenile and on a much softer surface last year, said  Zarooni.

This race was won last year by First City for Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe with stable jockey, Royston Ffrench in the saddle and they are back to defend their title.

Said by connections to be in fine fettle, First City, along with stable companion, Naseem Alyaseem face the Mike de Kock contender, Amanee as well as the might of Godolphin.

Amanee was disappointing on her local debut a fortnight ago when not enjoying the run of the race according to her trainer.

“That was a rough race and can be forgiven that effort,” De Kock, who won the race in 2008 with Sun Classique, said. “Taking on fillies and mares in a smaller field will hopefully suit her.”

The preceding race is a fascinating 1200m Conditions race on the all-weather and Ganas, trained by Ernst Oertel, seeks a fourth consecutive course and distance victory having progressed rapidly through the handicap ranks at the end of 2012.

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