03/25/2015 1:40PM

Euro Charline back from extended layoff for Dubai Turf

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Euro Charline, winner of the Beverly D. Stakes, will return off an extended layoff Saturday in the Dubai Turf at Meydan Racecourse.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – On Aug. 16 at Arlington, Euro Charline won the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes by three-quarters of a length over the excellent mare Stephanie’s Kitten. She has yet to perform an encore.

Racing for trainer Marco Botti at Arlington, Euro Charline was transferred to Todd Pletcher for a North American fall campaign but suffered a setback and never raced for Pletcher. Instead, she was returned to England and rejoined Botti’s barn. On Saturday, she makes her first start since the Beverly D. in the $6 million Dubai Turf.

Euro Charline races for Team Valor, which won the Dubai Turf, known until this season as the Duty Free, with the mare Ipi Tombe in 2003. Euro Charline has not yet reached Ipi Tombe’s level, but she is just a 4-year-old with seven starts, and her best racing still could be in front of her. Whether that may come Saturday or later this season is uncertain.

:: DUBAI WORLD CUP: Get PPs, watch Saturday’s Meydan card live

“By the time she came back to us and we could start to get her ready, it was all a tight schedule,” said assistant trainer Lucie Botti, who saddled Euro Charline at Arlington. “Luckily, she didn’t miss anything. She’s in good form, but she still has a bit of a winter coat on from being in England.”

Team Botti might have run Euro Charline but could find no suitable prep race for the Dubai Turf and instead took the filly to Chelmsford Racecourse two weeks ago for a one-mile workout with two stable companions. Euro Charline has worked well, Botti said, and this year’s Dubai Turf is not as deep as the 2014 edition, but even if Euro Charline proves to be a race away from her best, at least she is racing again.

Mubtaahij has Derby ticket waiting

On Wednesday, trainer Mike de Kock said a first- or second-place finish by Mubtaahij in the UAE Derby would probably earn the colt a start in the Kentucky Derby. There are 170 Kentucky Derby qualifying points at stake in the race, in which Mubtaahij once again squares off with the talented Godolphin 3-year-old Maftool. The two colts have traded wins this winter during the series of races leading to the World Cup card.

“The Kentucky Derby is a dream, but we’ll see on Saturday whether it’s just a dream or for real,” said de Kock, who has not hesitated to ship horses to the U.S. in the past.