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Last Updated: 22/01/14 12:36pm
Mike de Kock: Saddles three
Mike de Kock saddles three runners as he attempts to win a record sixth renewal of the Group Two Al Fahidi Fort at Meydan on Thursday.
The revamped contest is the highlight of a Gulf News-sponsored Dubai World Cup Carnival card and 14 have been declared for the first turf feature of 2014, contested this year over seven furlongs instead of its former distance of a mile.
He saddles dual course and distance winner, Anaerobio the mount of Christophe Soumillon, as well as Kavanagh and Gale Force Ten.
Thierry Thulliez rides Kavanagh, fifth in last week's Dubawi Stakes while Pat Cosgrave will be in the saddle on Gale Force Ten, the winner of the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot for Aidan O'Brien, who is having a first start for his new yard.
"Anaerobio won well two weeks ago and delighted us," De Kock told www.emiratesracing.com. "When he arrived in Dubai we really thought he was a classic hope but he missed that year and it took a long time to get him back near his best. This is the obvious place to test him over his optimum conditions.
"Kavanagh ran well on his first start back, the extra 200m should help and the switch to turf is not a problem. This was always the plan to start Gale Force Ten off here. Like all mine who have been through quarantine, he is likely to need his first run."
De Kock is not the only South African gunning for Al Fahidi Fort glory as Sean Tarry saddles Durban July winner, Heavy Metal. The mount of Johnny Geroudis, he has to concede weight to his 13 rivals and is dropping in trip.
De Kock has been supervising Heavy Metal's preparation and Tarry's runner is also expected to need the run.
Charlie Appleby has made a bright start to his first UAE campaign and is looking forward to saddling recent course winner Fulbright.
"It was very pleasing to see him bounce back to winning ways at the first meeting and this was the obvious next step for him. It is a better race but he deserves a chance in this company," said Appleby.
Frankie Dettori, who was in action at Lingfield on Wednesday, jets to the UAE in order to ride Mshawish for his main employer, HE Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani. Trained by Mikel Delzangles, Mshawish was fourth in the St James's Palace Stakes.
The second French runner, Pearl Flute, trained by Francis Henri Graffard, also represents Qatar interests and sports the silks of HE Sheikh Fahad Al Thani's Qatar Racing. He was sixth to Gale Force Ten at Royal Ascot and Jamie Spencer rides for his retained operation.
The 'local' challenge consists of the Abdulla bin Huzaim-trained Le Drakkar, Doug Watson duo Dafeef and Dux Scholar and two for Ali Rashid Al Raihe, Tamaathul and Mustaheel.
A fascinating field is completed by Roi De Vitesse, representing Bahrain, and a good fourth behind Anaerobio on his local debut.