Mount Athos set for Dubai Sheema Classic
Connections are delighted with the preparation of Mount Athos ahead of Saturday's Dubai Sheema Classic.
Last Updated: 24/03/14 4:00pm
The seven-year-old is an experienced traveller having contested two renewals of the Melbourne Cup as well as running in Hong Kong and Japan and he has already had one race in Dubai ahead of this weekend's Group One contest.
New trainer Marco Botti opted to give the Montjeu gelding a prep race and his wife, Lucie, told www.dubairacinclub.com that she was pleased with his third place, beaten just half a length, in the Group Two Dubai City of Gold.
"He pleased us with his run on Super Saturday," she said. "It was very much a prep race for the Sheema Classic. He needed the race and it was his first start for us. We are still learning about him but Jamie Spencer was very happy with him."
Mount Athos is one of 15 runners remaining in contention for the mile and a half contest on the turf track and they include last year's runner-up, the brilliant Japanese mare Gentildonna.
She disappointed on her seasonal reappearance but is in good form according to her assistant trainer, Taihei Inoue, who commented "last year when she worked on turf for the first time at Meydan, she was shying at the markers which kept her on the outside rail. But this time, she got used to them and cantered smoothly. She was settled and keeps her good condition."
Other possibles include French veterans Cirrus Des Aigles and Dunaden while Aidan O'Brien could run Festive Cheer and Magician.
Former Ballydoyle inmate Mars could represent Mike de Kock while Godolphin's sole entry is the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Excellent Result.