A defining week in Godolphin's year began in disappointing fashion yesterday when it was revealed that Gamilati, one of the stable's leading Classic contenders, will miss the opening phase of the European season. Two stylish wins at Meydan this year had earned the filly (pictured) a quote of 12-1 for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas, but the Godolphin manager revealed that she is now in the Dubai Equine Hospital. "Unfortunately, Gamilati has required surgery to remove a chip from her near-fore ankle," Simon Crisford explained. "She will have a little bit of time out of training, and when she starts back in a few weeks we will reassess her programme for the summer."
The local stable will as usual be heavily represented on the world's richest race meeting on Saturday, though its traditional adversaries at Ballydoyle are sending out their strongest ever team. In addition to So You Think in the Dubai World Cup, Aidan O'Brien saddles St Nicholas Abbey and Treasure Beach in the Sheema Classic; Await The Dawn in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes; and Wrote and Daddy Long Legs in the UAE Derby.
The draw has already been made for the supporting card, with British raiders seemingly dealt a tough hand in the Duty Free over nine furlongs. Presvis and Wigmore Hall, respectively first and third last year, this time start from stalls 12 and 15 of 16.
That was only one of many lucrative days in the globe-trotting career of Presvis, but he is now eight and an inadequate gallop in both his rehearsals over the track has left his trainer uncertain as to how much fuel may remain in the tank. "There is a question mark over whether he is still the horse he was," Luca Cumani admitted. "We won't know until we get a race run to suit him. His prep races have not told us a lot, as there has been no pace. He looks as good as ever, and works as well, but there is a difference between a piece of work and a race. We need to find out if he can still hack it on this circuit."
Dubawi Gold, who will start from the widest berth of all, will be ridden by Johnny Murtagh – unless Richard Hughes succeeds in an appeal tomorrow against British reciprocation of a lengthy ban picked up in India.
Chris McGrath's Nap: Dansili Dutch (5.30 Southwell)
Produced a new peak when tried on this surface on return from a break.
Next best: Captain Bellamy (4.30 Southwell) is threatening to become one of the elite specialists on this surface. Unbeaten on his last four visits here.
Where the money's going: Most Improved is again in demand for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, now 7-1 from 8-1 with Paddy Power.