Rebel’s Romance and Mouheeb top favourites for UAE 2000 Guineas Trial - GulfToday

Rebel’s Romance and Mouheeb top favourites for UAE 2000 Guineas Trial


With two victories in as many starts and a pedigree that appears dirt-friendly, Rebel’s Romance will be favoured in the 1600m affair for trainer Charlie Appleby.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Racing at Meydan on Thursday is highlighted by a pair of 3-year-old races, including the 1600m UAE 2000 Guineas Trial sponsored by Hamdan Bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal, for which 11 have been declared, three for Godolphin seemingly headed by the Charlie Appleby-trained Rebel’s Romance.

The mount of William Buick, Appleby’s charge, a homebred Dubawi gelding, is undefeated after two starts as a juvenile, both on all-weather surfaces, in late October and the middle of November.

Appleby said: “As a gelding Dubai is ideal for him because he can aim at the Classics here. He has done nothing wrong so far and is pleasing us at home. He should run well.” Fellow Godolphin handler Saeed Bin Suroor saddled Soft Whisper and Pat Cosgrave to win the 1400m UAE 1000 Guineas Trial last week, but his two runners in this, Line Of Attack and Rich Waters, to be ridden by Hector Crouch and Harry Bentley respectively, would both appear to need to improve significantly on their British form. The former is a once raced maiden, the latter won once from three starts.

For his main patron, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Jebel Ali trainer Nicholas Bachalard relies on Mouheeb, impressive winner of his sole start to date in a 1200m Jebel Ali maiden a month ago when ridden by Tom Marquand. Stable jockey Ryan Curatolo, suspended on that occasion, is back in the saddle and the colt by Flatter is seemingly held in high regard.

Bachalard said: “We have some nice young horses, and he is definitely among the better ones. We decided to keep him at Jebel Ali first time even though the 1200m would be his absolute minimum trip, so we were very pleased with the way he won.

“Obviously, this is a better race under different conditions, but the 1600m should be ideal at this stage of his career.” Similarly unbeaten, albeit after two starts, Zhou Storm is one of two in the race, alongside Grand Dubai, for Ali Rashid Al Rayhi who celebrated a Meydan treble last Thursday. Stable jockey Connor Beasley enjoyed a double on that Meydan card and, unsurprisingly, sticks with Zhou Storm.

Beasley said: “He had to work hard the first day over 1200m, but was then very impressive, under a penalty, over 1400m. He has had a nice six week break and the extra 200m should suit, but we do have a wide draw to overcome this time.”

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