01/18/2011 2:13PM

Deem returns in Cape Verdi Stakes at Meydan

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Deem renews her partnership with Olivier Peslier at Meydan on Thursday night when the lightly raced 6-year-old mare should start as the favorite in the Group 2, $200,000 Cape Verdi Stakes at a mile on turf. The Irish-bred daughter of Dalakhani and the French rider combined to win the 1 1/8-mile, Group 3 Balanchine Stakes here last February. Since then, the Jerry Barton trainee was a game fourth behind Dar Re Mi and Buena Vista in the 1 1/2-mile Dubai Sheema Classic.

This will be Deem’s first start since March 27 and just the 12th of her career. The half-length Balanchine runner-up, Godolphin’s Aspectoflove, has since won one-mile listed races at Ascot and Lingfield and is the main threat with Frankie Dettori aboard.

A pair of French raiders deserve consideration. Ayun Tara, trained by Xavier Nakkachdji, is a four-time allowance winner on the Parisian circuit and was second in last winter’s UAE 1000 Guineas on the Meydan Tapeta. The Mikel Delzangles-trained Thai Haku, winner of the listed one-mile Prix La Sorellina at Bordeaux, closed her 3-year-old campaign with a length second against older males in the 1 1/4-mile, Group 3 Prix Andre Baboin.

In the seven-furlong UAE 2000 Guineas Trial on Tapeta, Godolphin sends out listed seven-furlong Washington Singer Stakes winner Janood and Signs in the Sand, an allowance winner on the Kempton Polytrack whose dam Gonfilia was a stakes winner in Britain, France, Germany, and Dubai. Mike de Kock will counter with Zanzamar, the third-place finisher in the Group 1 Premier’s Champion Stakes in his native South Africa.

The 1 3/8-mile, $120,000 Al Forsan Trophy Handicap is headed by Azmeel, the John Gosden-trained winner of the Group 3 Sandown Classic Trial and the Group 3 Dee Stakes last spring. The Robert Collet-trained War Artist, winner of the 2010 Group 3 Prix du Ris-Orangis at Maisons-Laffitte and the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint at Meydan, heads the $150,000, Al Hadeerah Trophy Handicap going five furlongs on turf.