The Listed Garhoud Sprint is a tried and tested route to Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen stardom and 11 horses have this as a potential target on Friday. The 1200metre dirt dash, sponsored by Azizi, takes place as race six on the nine-race extravaganza which is night three of the Dubai Racing Carnival. Switzerland took this race in 2022 en-route to Golden Shaheen glory and this time it is Colour Up (pictured) who looks a leading contender to run in both races. Trained by Doug Watson for owner Sayed Hashish, the five-year-old returns for the first time since running fourth in the G3 Mahab Al Shimaal on Super Saturday.
“He went from strength to strength last season,” said the eight-time Champion Trainer. “We thought he might get in on World Cup night, which didn’t work out, but it might have been a blessing in disguise.
“I think he would have run well there; I don’t know if he’d have won, but he’s strengthened up over the summer and he’s looking great.” Switzerland’s trainer Bhupat Seemar fields three: Bay Of Honour, Freedom Fighter and Leading Spirit, a winner over course and distance last time out.
“Bay Of Honour was unfortunate. I think he just took a misstep at Jebel Ali as he was completely sound after the race,” he said. “I think he will appreciate a flat track anyway.” Of Leading Spirit, he added: “He’s been with us since he was a two-year-old and he was just touched off on Super Saturday, when we ran one-two in the Mahab Al Shimaal with Wafy. Touch Gold Racing bought him and he’s won for them on turf, dirt, he’s been a good bargain.” Michael Costa, this year’s leading trainer with 14 wins, runs local debutante Saleymm, a four-time winner in the UK for Simon and Ed Crisford.
“Saleymm arrived last year and took a season to settle in, but his work at home has been well above average,” he said. “He’s had a couple of spins around Meydan on the dirt and seems to handle it well.”