TRILLIUM Place flag-bearer Sheikhzayedroad will represent David Simcock on Dubai World Cup night this Saturday at Meydan.
The trainer flew out today (Mon, March 20) ahead of the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup, staged over two miles and worth $1million.
Sheikhzayedroad, owned by Mohammed Jaber, has been nothing short of a superstar for connections season after season.
The evergreen eight-year-old has enjoyed many career highlights with five Group-race triumphs among his 11 overall wins.
He was won in Pattern company at an extended 10 furlongs all the way up to two miles. What a versatile, tough and, above all, classy campaigner.
Sheikhzayedroad is expected to once again be very competitive in good races this year. And assignments don’t come much tougher than the one he’ll face this weekend.
A superb field has assembled in Dubai, including his old adversary Quest For More, who he beat twice in 2016. Also in the mix are staying stars such as Big Orange and Vazirabad.
The latter finished one place ahead of Simcock’s charge last month when both were beaten by Beautiful Romance, who is another scheduled for Saturday’s line-up.
David is anticipating that Sheikhzyedroad’s first run of 2017 will have tightened him up fitness-wise. His exercise since then will have done likewise.
Indeed, there is one last ‘breeze’ for the gelding tomorrow morning which will hopefully him have right where his trainer wants him for the big day in Dubai.
David assessed: “Sheikhzayedroad will definitely improve for his first run.
“The winner would have been have been absolutely spot-on and probably at its peak.
“The second and third definitely wouldn’t. We’re going to improve but so will the second, so he is going to be a tough nut to crack.
“But it looks a very, very good renewal – probably the best ever. It’s red-hot.
“We’re under no illusions; it’s going to be a tough race. But he doesn’t let you down. If he doesn’t win, he’ll run very well.
“He’s obviously a little bit slower than he was a couple of years ago but that’s why he has gone down the staying route. He seems in as good a form as ever.”