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The eyes of the horse racing world will be focussed on Bahrain on Friday as a world-class field compete in the second Bahrain International trophy to be held at the Rashid Equestrian Horse Racing Club (REHC), writes Mai Al-Khatib-Camille.
The runners have been busy preparing for the major £500,000 contest.
Shaikh Salman bin Rashid Al Khaifa, REHC’s executive director, said: “Last year we reached more than 60 countries and look forward to reaching even more enthusiasts across the globe.
“It’s anyone’s guess who will come out a winner.”
Last year, John Gosden, a British racehorse trainer who has trained more than 3,000 winners worldwide, saw Turgenev finish second in the inaugural race. He now hopes the five-year-old Global Giant, owned by Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, vice-chairman of REHC, will take the top prize, ridden by Frankie Dettori.
Gosden said: “Global Giant’s in great form. It’s been the plan all year to go to the Bahrain International and we’ve been very happy with him.”
Other horses aiming to impress include Japanese mare Deirdre (Mitsuru Hashida), Aidan O’Brien’s Sovereign supplemented by the Coolmore team and Lord Glitters represents David O’Meara.
Desert Encounter runs for David Simcock and Saeed bin Suroor calls on Dream Castle.
Andrew Balding and King Power Racing are back with Bangkok. Completing the European challenge are Lady Wannabe (Fozzy Stack) and Certain Lad (Mick Channon).
Another contender is dual group 2 Dual scorer Loxley (Charlie Appleby/William Buick).
The Bahraini-based contenders include Port Lions, Simsir (Fawzi Naas), What A Welcome (Hesham Al Haddad) and Coolagh Forest (Haider Ebrahim).
The trophy event is open to a maximum of 14 runners, racing 2,000 metres (10 furlongs) on the turf with horses rated 95 or over by their domestic authority.