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Al Bastikiya: Derby prep with international field
by Handicappers ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2007-02-19 09:34:43 (First published: 2006-03-01 08:38:39 )

Nad Al Sheba 2 March: Eleven runners will go to post for the Al Bastikiyia, an important prep race for the UAE Derby (G2).

Godolphin are not represented but the 9-furlong contest still has a fascinating, and most international, look. Chile’s champion juvenile Simpatico Bribon runs for South Arabia, the ex-Irish Where’s That Tiger is part of a double assault from South African trainer Mike de Kock, who is also sending out Nomoretaxes. English stables are represented with two runneres. Perhaps the opening day winner Well Armed can bounce back to form? Or is the German trained Flashing Numbers, who takes French Group 1 form into the battle, more interesting?


Nad Al Sheba 2 March 2006 – 1800 metres / 1 1/8 miles dirt

Horses presented with sire, best Globeform and rider.
Top ranked horse on 100 with others ranked down in pounds (1 length = 2lb).

100 – WHERE’S THAT TIGER (Storm Cat) GF 106+ / W Marwing
..?+ – SIMPATICO BRIBON (Election Day) GF ?+ / J Murtagh
..97 – UNIFICATION (Dixie Union) GF 103+ / L Dettori
..97 – KILWORTH (Kalanisi) GF 103 / M KcEvoy
..94 – FLASHING NUMBERS (Polish Numbers) GF 100++ / A Starke
..94 – WELL ARMED (Tiznow) GF 100+ / R L Moore
..93 – NOMORETAXES (First American) GF 95++ / K Shea
..93 – WOVOKA (Mujadil) GF 99 / T E Durcan
..81 – JACKSON (Clackson) GF 91 / M J Kinane
..79 – SAND CAT (Cadeaux Genereux) GF 85 / W Supple
…? – SWEET ABILITY (Starborough) R Smith

Scratched: AL QASI

Where’s That Tiger will probably start favourite, following his game run in the UAE 2000 Guineas, where he was caught late by the impressive Gold For Sale. As the ex-Irish colt had some of today’s rivals behind him – it is easy to draw the conclusion that he will be the best one again in the Al Bastikiya. But is that the right conclusion? Possibly not. Yes, he had a tough race – running up with the pace throughout – and, yes, he kept on well when coming under pressure. There are three factors counting against Where’s That Tiger, however, and he makes little appeal at a short price. Firstly, he may not be at all happy over further than a mile. Secondly, he did get a hard race last time and could well bounce. Thirdly, he is not likely to improve as much as our selection:

Flashing Numbers is very interesting over this distance. The German trained son of Polish Numbers ran on well to take fourth in the Guineas, which was his dirt debut. He raced in kick-back for most of the way, hardly a help, and his inside post was probably a disadvantage. But it gave him valaubel experience. Flashing Numbers was 6 lengths behind Where’s That Tiger, a gap that he may well close as they meet over 9 furlongs. He did not get a hard race in the Guineas.

Last year, he ran third in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud (G1) over 2000 metres. Flashing Numbers was staying of from the back (on unsuitably heavy ground) and checked in 3 lengths behind the winner, Linda’s Lad, who was one of the better juveniles in France last year and is now being trained for the Epsom Derby (G1). His trainer Mario Hofer mentioned one target for the colt after this fine stakes debut, and it was the Prix du Jockey-Club (G1) – no less! Well, he seems to be on course for the UAE Derby (G2) first.

Simpatico Bribon is coming off two wins in at Janadiriyah in Saudi Arabia and this is a step up in class, but the Chilen bred colt was high class in his native country, where he won the Clasico Tanteo de Potrillos (G1) and was voted Champion juvenile on dirt. He was a strong favourite in an 11-runner field and he came home by 7 lengths from Ramaje, with Noble Guerrero a distant third. It was Simpatico Bribon’s fourth win on the bounce at the dirt course at Hippodromo Chile. In all probability, Simpatico Bribon is capable of GF 105 or better, and he should not be underestimated – even with a G1 penalty.

Well Armed ran a game race to win over 7 furlongs on opening day but was never in the hunt in the Guineas – where he was heavily eased in the straight. He could bounce back here. His win was quite a good performance. Racing up with the pace throughout, he kicked for home early in the straight and ran out a solid 3 ½-length winner over Godolphin’s ex-American colt Testimony, with the South African Nomoretaxes in third and the English gelding Wovoka fourth.

Well Armed’s winning time was 1:24.57. His average quarter was thus 24.16 seconds. Blatant’s average quarter, as he outclassed his opponents in the Group 3 race over a mile, was 24.17 seconds.

Nomoretaxes finished third behind Well Armed in January, disappointed in the Guineas, then came back to form with an easy win over Sand Cat last week. This is a Brazilian bred Stud TNT colt trained by Mike de Kock, and he was second in a Grade 3 in Brazil last year. He is probably better than what we have seen so far at Nad Al Sheba and he proved last time that this distance is not a problem.

Unification has joined Ismail Mohammed, after having a successful season for Darley Stable in Canada last year. He ran a respectable seventh in the Guineas, but stepping up in distance may not be to his liking. Unfication made his debut at Saratoga last year (5.5-furlong maiden, finished fourth), before winning a Woodbine maiden by 17 lengths, and land the Grey Breeders’ Cup Stakes (G3) over 1 1/16 miles at the same venue. It looked a smart performance but the time was moderate, as he won in 1:46.5, nearly six seconds slower than the track record. Unification beat Badge of Truth by ¾ length. The runner-up, who was conceding 3lb, was coming off a second place finish in the Summer Stakes (G2) on turf.

Kilworth ran his best race when second to Leo in the Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) over a mile (straight / turf) at Newmarket last September. On that form, he has a chance, but this horse had a hard juvenile campaign and he also disappointed in the Racing Post Trophy (G1) in October. His dirt debut (6th in the Guineas) was an acceptable effort and his best performances will make him popular but he does still not make much appeal in this office.




6 Flashing Numbers

EW DOUBLE: Flashing Numbers & Crosspeace (City of Gold)


A: 6 with 11
B: 11 with 6
C: 6 with 1, 10
D: 1, 10 with 6


A: 6 with 1, 3, 10, 11 with 1, 3, 10, 11
B: 1, 3, 10, 11 with 6 with 1, 3, 10, 11
C: 1, 3, 10, 11 with 1, 3, 10, 11 with 6

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