Dubai: The UAE 1000 Guineas, the first Classic of the season, boasts a substantial purse of $250,00 and has consequently attracted some of the best fillies from the UK, South Africa and the UAE.
For good reason, it is unsafe to attempt to pick a hot favourite as it is a race that brings together several three-year-old horses who have previously not encountered the 1600m trip and class.
Yet, Godolphin’s Ihtimal catches the eye and looks the one they will all have to beat.
A winner of the Group 3 Sweet Solera and a consequent third in the Group 1 Shadwell Fillies’ Mile the daughter of Shamardal looks a progressive sort and can give trainer Saeed Bin Surour an eight victory in the race, and first since Siyaadh in 2010.
Assessing his fillies’ chances the trainer said: “She is a lovely filly, not the biggest but very tough. She is in good form and we expect a big run.
“Her form in England is very good; she has a good draw and works well on the surface so she has a lot in her favour.”
Fellow Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby saddles two hopefuls, Wedding Ring, winner of the 1400m trial three weeks ago, and the newcomer Feedyah.
“Wedding Ring should be fine over 1600m at Meydan and clearly relished the surface when winning the trial. This is obviously a stronger race and Ihtimal looks the one to beat,” said Appleby.
“This was always the plan with Feedyah who needs at least 1600m and will hopefully develop into a filly for the UAE Oaks.”
South Africa’s Mike De Kock, who won the race in 2011 with Mahbooba, saddles three runners including Mensoora, Magroora and Magrooma.
The William Haggas trained Oxsana, looks to give the UK only a second success in the race after Vague won in 2006 for trainer Jeremy Noseda.