02/28/2012 2:59PM

Dubai: Viscount Nelson heads Zabeel Mile

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Viscount Nelson, a stakes winner in Ireland last year and in Dubai on Feb. 16, is the top contender in a field of 12 in Thursday’s $250,000 Zabeel Mile at Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates.

Trained by Michael de Kock, Viscount Nelson won the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort at Meydan in his most recent start, ending a three-race losing streak. In the Zabeel Mile, run on turf, Viscount Nelson, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred by Giant’s Causeway, must beat Gingerbread Man, a shipper from Singapore; Fanunalter, a stakes winner in England last June, and Sandigiyr, the winner of the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes at Meydan on Feb. 9.

Viscount Nelson, eighth in the Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park last June, was trained by Aidan O’Brien last year, and joined de Kock in Dubai this winter.

The six-race Meydan program ends with the $200,000 Nad Al Sheba Trophy over about 1 3/4 miles on turf, a prep for the newly-created $1 million Dubai Gold Cup over two miles on the Dubai World Cup undercard on March 31.

The Nad Al Sheba Trophy drew 14 entrants, but will be limited to 12 runners.

Opinion Pool, second in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup last June, and the winner of two Group 2 long-distance stakes later in the year in England, makes his first start of 2012. The field features the 10-year-old Kasbah Bliss, the winner of the Group 1 Prix du Cadran in Paris last October.