03/08/2012 5:43PM

Dubai: Regally Ready gets race over the course in Al Quoz prep


When it comes to trips to Dubai, Regally Ready is on the Curlin career path.

Back in 2008, trainer Steve Asmussen gave Curlin two starts in Dubai – a victory in a prep race in late February that led to a win in the Dubai World Cup a month later.

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Regally Ready, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs last November, starts in Saturday’s $175,000 Meydan Sprint at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai as a prep for the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint Stakes on March 31. Both races are run over a straightway five furlongs on turf.

The Meydan Sprint will be Regally Ready’s first start since a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes at Santa Anita in early January.

“I think it’s a big advantage to get a good race in him,” said Scott Blasi, Asmussen’s assistant in California. “He always seems to do better when he’s been somewhere awhile.”

Blasi pointed out that Regally Ready was settled at Woodbine in the weeks before his win in the Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes for turf sprinters last October.

A 5-year-old gelding owned by Vinery Stable, Regally Ready will be ridden by Frankie Dettori in the Meydan Sprint, which drew a field of 15. The competition includes Margot Did and Prohibit, who were first and third in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York, England, last August.

The Meydan Sprint is the fourth of seven stakes for Thoroughbred on Saturday’s Meydan card, all preps for the Dubai World Cup program. The richest race on the program is the $400,000 third round of the Maktoum Challenge, a prep for the Dubai World Cup.

In the $300,000 Jebel Hatta Stakes over about 1 1/8 miles on turf, Presvis can win for the first time since the $5 million Dubai Duty Free last March. The same race is a goal this year. Presvis is part of a field of 14. Master of Hounds, fifth in 2011 Kentucky Derby, and the

2011 French stakes winner Pisco Sour merit respect.

The four-time Group 1 winner Campanologist starts in the $250,000 City of Gold Stakes over 1 1/2 miles on turf, a prep for the $5 million Sheema Classic. Campanologist races for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Racing, which also starts Songcraft, unbeaten in four starts in France and Dubai.

August Rush, a Group 1 winner in South Africa last July, makes his Dubai debut in the $200,000 Mahab al Shimaal over six furlongs on the Tapeta Footings synthetic track. The Mahab al Shimaal is a prep for the $2 million Golden Shaheen for sprinters, a race expected to draw the multiple American stakes winner The Factor.

The $250,000 Al Bastakiya Stakes over about 1 1/8 miles on the synthetic track will offer clues toward the $2 million UAE Derby on March 31. The race is open to 3-year-olds from both the southern and northern hemispheres.

Kinglet and Mickdaam, first and second in the UAE 2000 Guineas on Feb. 9, and Burano, the winner of the Meydan Classic on turf on Feb. 23, are part of the field of 15, which includes one horse on an also-eligible list.

In the $200,000 Burj Nahaar over a mile on the synthetic track, Gitano Hernando, the winner of the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes at Santa Anita in 2009, makes his first start since a win in the Group 1 Singapore Airlines Cup in Singapore last May. Musir, the winner of three consecutive stakes in Turkey and Dubai, will be a deserving favorite.