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Al Maktoum Challenge R3 - Form Comments


G1 - 2000m �V Dirt

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Gun Pit

Has a terrific record around Sha Tin's tight dirt track with an unbeaten tally of seven wins. He apparently didn't handle the surface in Japan two starts back, though his close sixth in Sha Tin's Centenary Vase on turf last month indicated that he is in good shape. Gate one might help for a ground saving trip, and the last two winners of this G1 contest have come from that gate. The surface is the main issue.



Mainly consistent in useful handicap company in the UK, though not an easy ride. He started his Meydan career off when clinging on to victory in a handicap over this distance in January. He went from the front in a G2 subsequently but was mowed down to finish fourth, today's rivals Gold City and Faulkner finishing ahead of him.



A lightly raced well bred cross continent raider from Kiaran McLaughlin's New York stable. In the US he had winning form at both Keeneland and Saratoga and, stepping up to 1600m for his Meydan debut he ran a good third to stablemate Confrontation - with the second horse boosting the form with an easy win since. An interesting contender especially as his breeding says that this even longer trip may suit nicely.



His stunning 8L victory in last year's G2 UAE Derby encouraged connections to go for the US Triple Crown races and he ran two very respectable races behind superstar American Pharoah in both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. Most observers expected him to win on his return here last month and, though he finished only fifth, his trainer insists that will see a much sharper Mubtaahij this time.



Has a great attitude and has finished in the first three in 31 of his 52 starts. However he has consistently failed to make an impact when moving into hot Group race company and, as a veteran, that is hardly likely to change now even though he arrives here fresh off two victories in Jebel Ali.


Special Fighter

Nothing special in the UK but his numbers have improved significantly since moving to Dubai and especially on to the dirt surface. He posted a clear career best when shooting 5L clear of his nearest rival in a handicap here in January, winning in a fast time. A wide trip didn't help in a G2 last time, but it was still a less good performance.


Gold City

It would be a shock if he won this given his very low strike-rate, having gained just one victory since 2011. He is also best known as a 1600m horse and is tackling this distance for the first time, though he did run 5L second to top class US horse Frosted over 1900m here last time, finishing ahead of more fancied contenders including rivals here Faulkner, Munaaser and Special Fighter.



He has plenty of problems which explains his light career history. However this six-year-old who is described as 'chilled out' by his trainer proved what he could do when beating 13 rivals in a handicap over 1900m here last month. Admittedly he did enjoy a lovely ground saving trip from a low gate that day, and also this slightly longer distance may not be a plus.


Golden Soul

By far the highlight of his career was finishing second in the 2013 Kentucky Derby, suited by the sloppy dirt condtions that day and running past fading rivals. There have been plenty of disappointments since but, now in the hands of Mike de Kock, a revival looks possible. And he showed plenty of dash when third in a turf handicap here last month, though no surprise that he is back on dirt now.


Storm Belt

A wide gate is probably helpful as he apparently doesn't like being crowded. He had no chance once US star California Chrome was unleashed in a handicap over this distance here last month, but it was still an improved display to finish second. Facts and figures suggest he has a difficult task here.


Keen Ice

His winning strike-rate is low, but the win he did achieve last August in Saratoga over this distance made him famous - fighting off Triple Crown winner and all-round US equine hero American Pharoah. Not so good since and, though he started favourite for the prestigious G1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park last month, he was behind early and could never get competitive. He is the highest rated horse on Meydan's Super Saturday card.



Certainly not the strongest of trainer Mike de Kock's raiding party on Super Saturday prizes and Pylon has been beaten at least 10L in each of his last three starts at Meydan. He moves up from 1600m to 2000m but his winning chance appears very remote indeed.


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Dubai Super Saturday


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