03/09/2004 1:00AM

Imports head UAE Oaks


The apparent weakness among Godolphin's 3-year-olds this season is amply illustrated by the fact that not one of the eight entries in Thursday's UAE Oaks at Nad Al Sheba is trained by Saeed bin Suroor.

Godolphin fillies have won the 1 1/8-mile test each of the last three years. This year's $250,000 contest could boil down to a battle between the Satish Seemar-trained South African import Festive Style and the Clive Brittain-trained British import Menhoubah.

Those two were second and third in the UAE 1000 Guineas behind Catstar, a Godolphin runner who is skipping the Oaks. While Festive Style has since won a one-mile turf allowance at Nad Al Sheba by 6 1/2 lengths, Menhoubah is a Dixieland Band filly who is better suited to dirt and who should appreciate nine furlongs.