Pat Cosgrave has been a trusted lieutenant of Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Suroor for a few years now and the Irishman has enjoyed a profitable 2020 Dubai Carnival. His two winners have both come in the royal blue silks and Cosgrave has five chances to add to his tally at Meydan’s Super Saturday.
Dubai Blue lines up in the Listed Al Bastikya. This 3yo filly improved nicely from her first dirt effort in the 1000 guineas trial to run out an impressive winner of the guineas itself on January 23rd. The UAE Oaks was next on the agenda. She looked to have strong claims but she bumped into a resurgent and dominant Down On Da Bayou. Being a daughter of Night of Thunder out of a Dylan Thomas mare, Dubai Love will have no problems with this 1900m trip. That cannot be said of many of her rivals.
“She impressed me in the guineas and then just bumped into a very smart filly. She has done absolutely nothing wrong all carnival and she is my best ride of the day. The 1900m trip is no problem at all and she will be better if she is able to follow horses into the straight before making her challenge. Down On Da Bayou was away and gone in the guineas and we were forced to make our own way home. That didn’t really suit. Her chance is obvious.”
Leading Spirit is a 4yo sprinter that we haven’t yet seen the best of. He was a very impressive winner of a five-furlong handicap at Jebel Ali on his penultimate start but stall 14 will make life tough now up in grade in the G3 Mahaab Al Shimaal.
“This horse is up in class but is definitely unexposed. Stall 14 is a horrible draw so that makes life very difficult. I always find that there isn’t a whole lot between the top graded sprinters and the top sprint handicappers so he could easily take a hand in a race like this. I will have to speak with connections before making a plan on how to ride him from this draw.”
Major Partnership is consistent in that he has won races at the Dubai Carnival in 2019 and 2020. It is the races in between those wins where the problems lie. The grey son of Ifraaj steps down in trip and up in grade for this G3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint.
“This horse has a bit of an engine. He is a funny horse in that things have to fall right for him, but he is very talented. We are drawn high which is a big positive in the turf sprint course. He does need to raise his game but If I can get some cover on him and the go quick, this fella could come home very well. Never write off a horse trained by Saeed Bin Suroor.”
Mark Of Approval lines up in Round 3 of the Al Maktoum Challenge. This 6yo is well worth his place in what looks to be a sub-par renewal and his late running style could pay dividends if the principals go a fast pace in the first half of the race.
“He is a 6yo but hasn’t got many miles on the clock. He has done nothing wrong all season, he likes Meydan and stays very well. It was nice to get a win on him in the Jebel Ali Stakes last time and he was impressive on the day. If they go hard which they always tend to, we could be placed although Military Law is without doubt the horse to beat.”
Mountain Hunter is a three time Meydan winner and has been holding his form well in some competitive handicaps in 2020. He has plenty on his plate in the G2 Dubai City Of Gold but on his best, he could give Defoe and Desert Encounter at least something to think about.
“Defoe will be very hard to beat and David Simcock’s horse will improve massively for his last run. Mountain Hunter was set a tough task on his latest start when trying to carry top weight from stall 16 of 16. That was a shocking draw. He was given a nice break to freshen him up since then and he looks great at home.”