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Hukum was last seen romping to the victory in the Group Three Cumberland Lodge at a soggy Ascot, but now he faces slightly warmer conditions in Saturday’s World Pool event from Meydan - Dubai Super Saturday. 

The Owen Burrows stable star heads a field of 14 runners for the Group Two Dubai City Of Gold, and his trainer is hopeful that he can win this on his way to better things this year, but admits it might take a while to see him at his very best.

Burrows said, “He’s top rated and you know there are one or two we’ve come up against before, my only slight concern is that last year he took a run or two before he hit top form so we always felt that this would be used as a prep run.

“If we’d have just brought him straight over for the Sheema Classic and expected him to run to a career high mark, just a week after getting off the aeroplane, it was going to be a lot for him, so we’ve had the Dubai City Of Gold in mind.

“It is a prep run, but I’m hoping he might be good enough to get away with it, but whatever he does on Saturday, he’ll come on massively for.”

So far we’ve seen Hukum do arguably his best work with some cut in the ground, winning on soft at Ascot most recently along with winning the Listed Tapster Stakes on similar going at Goodwood back in May last year. 

However, Burrows says that is shouldn’t be an issue for the five-year-old, “I had a coffee with Jim Crowley and he’s already rode at Meydan this week and he said it was just nice fast ground. 

“He’s won on soft ground but I always felt he was a better horse on good ground until he did what he did in the Cumberland Lodge, so I think he’s pretty versatile ground wise.

“One slight drawback is we’re drawn 14 of 14, which isn’t ideal, but look it’s a mile-and-a-half so once those gates open we’ll just have to leave it to Jim and hope he can slot in as best as he can.

Victory at Meydan would be an emotional one for the Shadwell connections and personally for Burrows, who saddles what will be his first runner in Dubai when Hukum lines up on Saturday.

“As you say it’s my first runner out here in Dubai. You know he’s got a good chance and as far as I know, I think Sheikha Hissa is coming racing on Saturday which is great. If we could get his head in front it would mean a huge amount”

“He’s taken it all very well. He flew over last Saturday, settled in great, eaten up and his temperature has been good. My head lad, John Lake who has been with him has been very pleased with him and he rides him all the time. So the initial signs at the moment are that he’s taken it very well.” 

Plans for the Season

Hukum’s happy travels means he could be set for more international this year with World Pool events at home in the UK and aboard on his radar for later in the year.

“All being well, he will go well on Saturday and then we’ve got three weeks then until the Sheema Classic, then you know he could possibly go back to Royal Ascot. 

He is obviously a multiple Group Three winner, but unfortunately there's not a load of Group Two’s in the UK to go up to that natural progression. 

“If he’s a genuine Group One horse, then he needs to probably find five or six pounds I would have thought, but I can’t see why he can’t do that. 

“We had contemplated going to Hong Kong in early December, but he’d been on the go since April so with our minds thinking that he might need a prep run to go for the Sheema Classic, he had a little bit of a break after Ascot last year.

“I’m hoping he’ll be able to add a few more pounds and be up there in all these mile-and-a-half races, and you know he might be on his travels again with him taking the flight well to here. He might get a few more stamps on his passport this year.”

World Pool on Dubai's Super Saturday

Saturday's fixture at Meydan is officially a World Pool event, which means that several of our bet types will be commingled into Hong Kong pools on Races 4-11 including Win, Place, Quinella, Swinger and Trifecta.

Tote+ will also be available on Win, Place, Swinger and Trifecta giving you a 10% boost at win bets, plus we'll have a locally hosted Placepot and Quadpot.

Non World Pool Bet Types

Placepot – Races 4-9, Tote+ available

Quadpot – Race 6-9, Tote+ available


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