Special chasing Balanchine win
Saeed bin Suroor has two of his best fillies in action at Meydan on Thursday with Very Special and Promising Run both turning out.
Very Special is in good order (Credit: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins)
Very Special runs in the Group Two Balanchine on the back of winning the Cape Verdi for the second year in a row three weeks ago.
She faces Mick Channon's Opal Tiara again, who is 3lb better off for half a length last time out, and William Haggas' Muffri'Ha, who was right on both their tails, also.
"Very Special won really well in the Cape Verdi and came out that race in good order," said Bin Suroor.
"She looks stronger compared to last year and her condition is much better.
"She did a very nice piece of work over the weekend and is ready to go again. I am hoping to see her win again."
Promising Run, a winner in Turkey in November, also made a winning return to action in the Al Rashidiya and takes on the boys in the Dubai Millennium Stakes.
"Promising Run won nicely in the Al Rashidiya and she also looks a stronger filly this year," he went on.
"This trip (10 furlongs) will suit her and she has been working well recently."
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Cymric made a successful debut for Charlie Appleby after leaving John Gosden a fortnight ago in a handicap but is upped in grade for the Group Two Zabeel Mile.
Stablemate Flash Fire, winner of the Victoria Cup at Ascot, is enjoying a great Carnival but faces a much tougher task in this company.
Appleby told www.godolphin.com: "Flash Fire produced a career best in the Al Fahidi Fort and backed that run up with another good performance in handicap company on his latest start, when he was narrowly beaten.
"He has been taking his racing well in Dubai and I think he will be fine on the easy mile at Meydan. He goes into the race in good health and doesn't look out of place in this field.
"I was very pleased Cymric's first start for our stable and he looks to have come out of that race in good order.
"He was placed in a Group One as a juvenile and he is going to be a contender if he can return to that level of form."
Taking on the Appleby pair is Hugo Palmer's Gifted Master, placed in several good races last season.
Palmer told his website: "He has really thrived physically since arriving there just over two weeks ago and has taken to training on the track really well, which was a relief given that he can be excitable at home. He is relaxed, in very good spirits and has really enjoyed himself during his final preparations for the race.
"Obviously the atmosphere at the racecourse will be very different on Thursday night and, having usually been saddled in the stables, hopefully he will take the saddling boxes in his stride like he has everything else.
"He is well drawn in the competitive field of seven and we have our fingers firmly crossed that he can get his Dubai campaign off to a good start."
Ertijaal looks the one to beat in the Meydan Sprint but Appleby takes him on with Jungle Cat
Appleby said: "Jungle Cat ran well on his seasonal return, when he was just denied by Baccarat.
"He was always going to come on for that run and the drop back to five furlongs will not be an inconvenience as he is tried and tested over that trip."
Meydan veteran Sole Power also lines up, as does his stable companion Moviesta.
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