You only have to go back two years to find Pevensey Bay (pictured), the last overseas winner of the G2 Cape Verdi, and two more Europeans are aiming to follow in her hoofprints on Friday.
The AED800,000 mile turf feature of the seventh Dubai Carnival meeting has attracted a field of 10, including two from the UK; Mystic Pearl and Stenton Glider. The two four-year-olds, trained by William Haggas and Hugo Palmer, respectively, have met before, finishing one-two in the Listed Coral Distaff at Sandown in July.
“This has been the target since she disappointed at Haydock [in August],” said Palmer of Stenton Glider. “She’s had a break since then, the first real break of her life. She’s grown and strengthened, filled out, and is a much stronger filly now.
“She’s taken to Dubai really well; she’s trained super and been very relaxed, so we hope she can run a very big race.”
Charlie Appleby has won the Cape Verdi a record five times, including last year with With The Moonlight, and he saddles three; English Rose, Silver Lady and Shining Jewel. The former is the pick of William Buick and is unbeaten in her two starts to date, most recently winning at Kempton by two and a half lengths.
Shining Jewel, the mount of Richie Mullen, arrives in good form, having won two of her four starts, while Silver Lady, to be ridden by Mickael Barzalona, won on debut before stepping up to Listed and Group company.
“Shining Jewel is a nice spare to get,” said Mullen. “She won her last two starts and looks like she’s improving. I had a sit on her the other day and she’s a lovely big filly by Siyouni and I think she’ll get further in time, as well.