We gave Thunder Snow a good break after his last run on Champions Day at Ascot in October, when the ground was very soft. He has been working well out in Dubai and looks to be in good form ahead of R1 of the Al Maktoum Challenge. We will see how he gets on this week before deciding where to go next but I am looking forward to seeing him back on the dirt at Meydan.
Benbatl has had a nice break after a good European season that included winning the G3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot and running well in the G1 Epsom Derby. He is ready to go and we are starting him off over nine furlongs in this week’s G3 Singspiel Stakes. We will see how he goes on Thursday and then make a plan for the rest of the Carnival. Physically, he looks a better horse this year.
Prize Money enjoyed a very good Carnival last year, headed by his victory in the G2 Dubai City Of Gold on Super Saturday, and has again been training well out in Dubai. He goes well fresh and I am hoping for a good start to his Carnival in a 12-furlong handicap this week, particularly as he twice won over the same course and distance last year.
Natural Scenery is an improving filly, who ran really well in two of the UK’s top staying handicaps last season, finishing second in the Northumberland Plate and third in the Ebor. She has been enjoying herself out in Dubai and has been training very well. We will have a look at the nice staying races during the Carnival and I have been very happy with her progress.
We have a few three-year-olds in consideration for the UAE Classics, including Deyaarna, who won on the all-weather in the UK on his final two appearances last season. Thunder Snow’s half-sister Winter Lightning, whose full sister Ihtimal won both the UAE 1000 Guineas and UAE Oaks, is also a possible filly for the Classics.