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Mahbooba faces six in UAE Oaks
This week's 2011 Dubai International Racing Carnival meeting will feature a seven-race, all Thoroughbred, card highlighted by the 10th running of the UAE Oaks (UAE-G3) on Thursday.
The about 9 1/2-furlong test has attracted a field of seven and the Mike de Kock-trained MAHBOOBA (Galileo [Ire]) is going to be very hard to beat after her impressive win in the UAE One Thousand Guineas on February 3. The bay lass captured a pair of stakes last season, including the Golden Slipper S. (SAf-G1), and followed a nice runner-up effort in her seasonal bow at Meydan with the 3 3/4-length Guineas tour de force. (Photo courtesy Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)
De Kock won the UAE Oaks race last year with Raihana (Elusive Quality), who also returned during the Carnival to be a close second in the Al Fahidi Fort (UAE-G2) last out, and clearly holds Mahbooba in high regard.
"(Mahbooba) is a good filly and has really pleased us this year," de Kock remarked. "The Guineas was a good win and this extra distance should suit. Hopefully she is the one they all have to beat."
Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor, seeking his seventh win in the race, saddles both ABTASAAMAH (Distorted Humor) and KHAWLAH (Cape Cross [Ire]). Frankie Dettori partners the latter, who finished third in the Oh So Sharp S. (Eng-G3) to close out her juvenile campaign in October, while Ted Durcan has the call on Abtasaamah.
Abtasaamah is one of four in the field who were well beaten in the UAE One Thousand Guineas. She finished fifth, one spot behind fourth-placer EMPIRE ROSE (Sunray Spirit). QUICK VAL (Val Royal [Fr]) was sixth and AMICA (Silvano [Ger]) ran seventh.
Saudi Arabia's Group 3-winning sprinter ELECTRIC WAVES (Exceed and Excel) looks a doubtful stayer at this trip and completes the Oaks field.