Charlie Appleby’s Barney Roy will be the star attraction at Meydan when he lines up in the Al Rashidiya.
A Group One winner back in 2017 when scoring in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, Barney Roy found himself back on the racecourse last season after a failed spell at stud.
Also second in the Eclipse at his best, he showed the enthusiasm still remains when winning in France last season – before a respectable eighth of 16 in the Queen Anne behind Lord Glitters, beaten five lengths.
“Barney Roy has enjoyed a nice break since the summer, and the Dubai World Cup Carnival has been the long-term plan – with the aim of working back from the Jebel Hatta,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com.
“We are hoping for a bit of improvement on whatever he does this week, but he is the class horse in the field and should run well.”
Appleby also runs Loxley in Thursday’s Group Two, in which Godolphin counterpart Saeed bin Suroor fields Mountain Hunter and Dream Castle.
“Loxley was a bit free on his latest start, and we are hoping that the drop back down in trip will suit,” said Appleby.
“We will try to ride him forwardly and hope that he can rediscover some of last year’s form.”
The Meydan Cup looks interesting too, with two smart stayers having their first runs for new trainers.
Dee Ex Bee – second to Stradivarius in the Gold Cup at Ascot, the Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup at York – will have his first outing for Salem bin Ghadayer, since leaving Mark Johnston.
Mekong, second to Dee Ex Bee at Sandown in May, runs for Jamie Osborne – having been bought out of Sir Michael Stoute’s yard.
David Simcock’s Universal Order takes them on too.
There is plenty of British and Irish interest elsewhere on the card, with David Marnane’s Meydan regular Alfredo Arcano having his first run on dirt in the Al Shindagha Sprint.
Mick Channon’s Certain Lad just got the better off Mick Halford’s Simsir two weeks ago, and the pair clash again in the Jebel Ali Port, while Halford’s Surrounding is top weight in the Mina Rashid Handicap over a mile.
“We ran Surrounding the other week in a Group Two, but it transpired she was in season – it was too bad to be true,” said Halford.
“She’s been training really well since and has been pleasing us. We could have done with a better draw – stall 14 isn’t great – but I think we’ll see the real Surrounding this time.
“Simsir was green the last day and didn’t get a clear run.
“He’s in great form, and his last run should have brought him on. He’s lightly raced and is improving with every run. He’s got a wonderful attitude.”