Runners from 13 countries clash at Meydan Racecourse
It’s the second-biggest day of the year at Meydan Racecourse and ‘Super Saturday’ has certainly lived up to billing, with bumper field sizes across the nine races and runners from 13 different countries.
The official highlight of what is a well-established Dubai World Cup trials day is G1 Maktoum Challenge R3, sponsored by Emirates Airline, a prep race for the $12million Dubai World Cup itself.
The field of 14 includes four Group 1 winners, one of which is the Fawzi Nass-trained Salute The Soldier, successful in this race in 2021. If he wins again, he will be the first dual winner of the contest, which dates back to 1994. “He’s in good form,” said jockey Adrie de Vries. “Last time he stumbled coming out of the gate, overreached and pulled a shoe. That cost him his position early on and he was at the back of the field and got a lot of dirt, which he doesn’t really like. You can forget about that run. “He doesn’t have the best of draws  on Saturday, but if we can overcome that and get a good position out of the kickback then I’m hopeful he’s going to run another big race.”
Taking him on is four trained by Bhupat Seemar. Bendoog will be ridden by James Doyle, Kafoo by Dane O’Neill, Law Of Peace by Tadhg O’Shea and Sanad Libya by Richie Mullen. “Bendoog is drawn in four and he’s done really well this year,” said Seemar. “He’s kept on improving with every run and he was quite impressive when he was behind a very talented horse in Algiers last time. He’s a forward-going horse with a good draw, so hopefully he’ll get a good break.”
Kafoo was fourth in this race 12 months ago and arrives here after finishing fourth in the G3 Jebel Ali Mile last time out. “Kafoo has also done well and this is his true distance,” said Seemar. “He’s drawn well in eight as he doesn’t want to be too far in or too far out. “The other two horses come from the back, so if the pace is fast it will suit Law Of Peace and Sanad Libya.”