(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Deauville is fancied to top in the $200,000 Singspiel Stakes Group 3 race on the first night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at the Meydan Racecourse on Thursday.
With prize money boosted to a total of $12,670,000, the eagerly awaited 2019 gets underway at evening with a six-race card worth a total of $995,000.
The Singspiel Stakes, won last year by subsequent triple Group 1 winner Benbatl, has attracted a maximum field of 16 and serves as a 1800m turf course and distance prep for the $6 million Dubai Turf on Dubai World Cup night-one of Benbatl's aforementioned trio of top-level wins.
On official ratings, with a mark of 115, Deauville is the class in the race on his debut for Fawzi Nass and owners Victorious. Previously trained by Aidan O'Brien, his four career victories are highlighted by success in the 2016 Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes (G1) and he has placed in some of the top grass fixtures in the world, including the Arlington Million (G1), Irish Champion (G1) and Queen Anne Stakes (G1). The 6-year-old son of Galileo will be ridden by Luke Morris.
"He is an exciting acquisition and we are delighted to have him. He is going to benefit for the run, but we hope he is going to have a good Carnival," said Bahrain-based owner.
Saeed bin Suroor saddles three for Godolphin, with Christophe Soumillon aboard Dream Castle, thus appearing the strongest of the triad. Bin Suroor, seeking a fourth win in the race since its 2011 inauguration, also saddles Team Talk, the mount of Benbatl's pilot Pat Cosgrave, as well as Racing History, who has the assistance of Kevin Stott.
"All three are very well and in good form at home, but will certainly improve for the run," Bin Suroor said. "Dream Castle is a horse we have always really liked, but has disappointed us at times. He has had a nice break and we are hopeful of a big run. Racing History is a really nice horse, but we have only been able to run him once in each of the last two years. He has been showing up nicely at home, as has Team Talk, who worked well the other day."
Multiple Group 3 winner Degas hails from Germany and is a first UAE runner for trainer. Fabrice Veron rides the late-running chestnut, who may be at the mercy of the pace scenario.
Charlie Appleby, top trainer at last year's carnival, saddles three more Godolphin runners. Top international rider James Doyle has chosen Key Victory over Salsabeel (Brett Doyle) and Bay of Poets (Colm O'Donoghue).