Kimbear, Yulong Warrior, Secret Ambition and Chiefdom, all Meydan superstars will be returning to the Meydan track for their 2020 Dubai World Cup Carnival.
Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi’s Kimbear, who embarks on his 2019-2020 season will be returning in the Dubai Creek Mile (Listed). The Doug Watson trained 3YO, did not quite live up to expectations in the last Dubai World Cup Carnival.
Kimbear finished second in the Gr.2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 to North America and fourth in the Gr.3 Firebreak Stakes to stablemate Muntazah. The trainer confirmed that last season his charge was affected by ‘foot issues’ and was not performing at his peak.
“He’s doing pretty well right now. We’re hoping for a better year than we had last year with him,” said Watson.
“I almost wanted to run him Thursday night in the Garhoud Sprint, he’s doing that well. We ran (third) in that last year. His last work was exceptional. He’s going into the race great.”
Another horse with great potential, returning to Dubai is the Al Bastakiya (2018) winner-Yulong Warrior, who will be making his first start for Dubai’s veteran trainer, Satish Seemar. The son of Street Cry is owned by Australia-based Yuesheng Zhang’s Yulong Investments. He was last seen finishing seventh in the Gr.2 UAE Derby which was won by Adian O’Brien trained-Mendelssohn.
Yulong Warrior has recently completed a four-race USA tenure under the tutelage of trainer Doug O’Neill—the highlight of which was a second-stakes win in Emerald Downs’ Getaway Day Stakes. He currently carries a 98 rating.
“He looks good,” said Bhupat Seemar, assistant to Satish. “I think he probably wants a little farther than a mile, but this is a good place to start him. He looks a picture and this is where he performed the best, so it’s good to get him back."
Zabeel Stables will also be represented in the Dubai Creek Mile by 104-rated Secret Ambition, who finished fifth last season in the US$1.5 million Gr.2 Godolphin Mile. Last season, the 6YO son of Exceed And Excel won the Gr.3 Jebel Ali Mile and placed runner-up in the Gr.3 Firebreak Stakes, as well.
“They’re both doing really well and hopefully will keep doing well to the race,” Seemar continued. “Secret Ambition is a good, solid performer who has run in the Godolphin Mile a couple of times—fifth last year—he’s just never been very lucky in the gate draws. He’s ready to roll. Sometimes, in his first run, he can throw in the towel, but he’s healthy and looks very well.”
Chiefdom, is not yet a household name on the UAE flat racing scene, but the Sheikh Hasher bin Mohammed Al Maktoum owned sprinter has already won a maiden by 8½ lengths over well-regarded Doug Watson trainee Dark Thunder and went on to win a handicap by 6½ lengths under Royston Ffrench.
“He’s a good horse,” said trainer Bin Ghadayer.
He is expected back on the Meydan track in the latter half of December, over a distance of 1600m. Winning this race could flag him as a major player in the DWC Carnival.
“We won’t put pressure on him—just go step-by-step,” Bin Ghadayer concluded. “He’s not so far from a Carnival horse, but he must improve, so we will see. I think he will probably run on the 19th in the mile handicap. He has options and we need one more race. I know he’s good and it’s not the quality I am concerned about, it’s his mind.”