01/18/2012 2:26PM

Dubai: Mahbooba in sharp form for Cape Verdi at Meydan


Mahbooba, a 5-year-old mare trained by Michael de Kock, can win her second race of the month when she starts as the leading contender in Friday’s $200,000 Cape Verdi Stakes over about a mile on turf at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.

Mahbooba won the Al Rashidiya Trial at Meydan on Jan. 5, her first start in Dubai following a 2011 campaign in Europe that included a stakes win at Newmarket, England.

In the Group 2 Cape Verdi Stakes, the Australian-bred Mahbooba faces seven other fillies and mares, including First City, a 6-year-old who was third in the Group 2 Windsor Forest Stakes at Royal Ascot and third in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket last summer. The field also includes the 2011 English stakes winners Sooraah (Valiant Stakes, Ascot) and Rhythm of Light (Sandringham Handicap, Royal Ascot).

De Kock trains Mahbooba for Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa al-Maktoum, who also starts Reem, a stakes winner at Meydan in 2011. Trained by de Kock, Reem was 10th of 14 in a six-furlong handicap on the Tapeta Footings synthetic track at Meydan on Jan. 12. She lost to Barbecue Eddie, who was second or third in five stakes in California in 2007 and 2008.

◗ Black Caviar, the undefeated Australian sprinter, has been nominated to two seven-figure sprints on the Dubai World Cup program on March 31 – the $2 million Golden Shaheen over about six furlongs on the Tapeta track and the Al Quoz Sprint over about five furlongs on turf.

A winner of 16 races, Black Caviar has not started since winning the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington, Australia, on Nov. 5. Trainer Peter Moody has stated that the Royal Ascot meeting in England is a long-term goal for the 6-year-old Australian-bred mare, who is expected to start in Australia late this month.