Andrea Atzeni has a strong book of rides at Meydan on Saturday night but it his booking for the big draw-card Postponed and fellow UK raider Decorated Knight which really stand out.
Postponed is the top international performer on the card as the Roger Varian-trained superstar will look to follow up his victory in last year’s Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold, when also partnered by Atzeni. Officially rated 124 , Postponed enjoyed a brilliant campaign last year following up his success here with a win in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic and then further Group 1 wins in the QEII Coronation Cup at Epsom and York’s Juddmonte International. The six-year-old’s run came to an end when a below-par fifth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe where he looked in need of a break. Postponed does have to overcome the widest draw of all in barrier ten but in all fairness if he is anywhere near his best he should outclass this standard of opposition.
Roger Charlton’s Decorated Knight is due to run in the finale, the Group 1 Jebel Hatta, off the back of an excellent win in what looked an above average Listed Winter Derby Trial at Lingfield. That was the five-year-old’s first run on an all-weather surface but connections have decided to bypass the Winter Derby itself with a trip to Meydan’s turf track on Saturday night which could be used as stepping stone to the World Cup night.
Formerly trained by Roger Varian, Decorated Knight enjoyed a good first season for Charlton with two wins from four including a Group 3 in Ireland and a runner-up in the Group 3 Investec Diomed Stakes at Epsom. Saturday represents another step up for the improving son of Galileo in a race that has been dominated in recent years by Godolphin and Mike De Kock. Charlie Appleby won this last year with Tryster while fellow Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Suroor took out the 2013 and 2015 renewals. De Kock meanwhile won in 2012 and 2014.
Saeed Bin Suroor is represented by Promising Run who will be partnered by Ryan Moore and is in form in Meydan having won over the track and distance (1800m) in a Group 2 before racing too freely and not seeing out an extra 200 metres in Group 3 company last start and will be a big danger back in trip. Meanwhile his fellow Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby has entered Folkswood who is a typically improving type for his trainer and following a track and distance success last month takes the step out of handicap company for the first time.
Mike De Kock has three entries with Light The Lights, Sanshaawes and Ertijaal with the latter third in this race last year.
The Super Saturday Meydan card is the major prep for Dubai World Cup day and boasts two Group 1, a Group 2 and two Group 3 contest,s all which can be seen live on Sky Racing 1.