The return to the track of Walking Thunder headlines a busy few days in the UAE for the Phoenix Ladies Syndicate.
A three-time winner last season, before taking his place in the UAE Derby the son of Violence became the flagship horse for the all-female group in their debut campaign. Those successes came over seven furlongs and a mile, but at Meydan, on Thursday the Ahmed bin Harmash trainee takes his place in the Listed six-furlong Garhoud Sprint.
“He’s doing very well at the moment and I think this race will be to his liking,” Bin Harmash said. “He’s a very fast horse, even though he hasn’t raced over 1200m. Don’t forget—he was running very well at seven furlongs last year and we tried to go more distance than a mile with him because of the UAE Derby, but I’m not sure he likes more than a mile.”
Walking Thunder won’t be the only horse carrying the orange and white silks of PLS at Meydan on Thursday with bin Harmash also sending out Mambo Mischief for his second start. A promising third on debut the two-year-old colt takes his chance in the second race of the evening.
The ladies can also look forward to a potentially very interesting newcomer to the UAE with Argentinian import Talento Puma set for his first start in Dubai. Lining up against the likes of Dubai World Cup second Gronkowski in the Listed Entisar Stakes trainer Salem bin Ghadayer is looking towards this race as a test to see where the four-year-old’s future might lie.
“He’s a new horse and we have just had him since this summer,” Bin Ghadayer explained. “He’s had three starts in Argentina and he won going seven furlongs, but how he shows at home that he could be a nine- or 10-furlong horse. We need to see one race to confirm how he will be and how far (he wants to run). For me, he’s not a seven-furlong horse. We’ll see, because Thursday is a different test. We’ll need the race and right now he’s rated 99 and I’d like to improve his rating.”
After Meydan, the members of the UAE’s first all-ladies ownership group will turn their collective attention to Abu Dhabi on Sunday where Golden Jaguar returns to the turf. A winner on both surfaces last season the Animal Kingdom colt made an encouraging seasonal bow at Jebel Ali finishing strongly having badly missed the break. Connor Beasley takes the ride in the Listed National Day Cup, the 5th race on the card.