Godolphin team out in force on Super Saturday at Meydan

Thunder Snow

Godolphin look well positioned to dominate at Meydan this weekend after assembling a formidable squad for Super Saturday.

Sheikh Mohammed's operation invariably leave their rivals in the shade in the desert and with principal trainers Saeed bin Suroor and Charlie Appleby both well represented across what is the main warm-up card to Dubai World Cup night on March 31, it should be another good night for the boys in blue.

Thunder Snow bids to provide Bin Suroor with a remarkable 12th victory in the third round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

The great Dubai Millennium (2000), Street Cry (2002) and Electrocutionist (2006) all won this Group One prize for Bin Suroor before going on to claim World Cup glory in the same year and Thunder Snow looks a major candidate following last month's triumph in round two.

Speaking on, the trainer said: " Thunder Snow has been doing well since his last victory. This is another big advance for him as it is a Group One race on dirt.I think that he will be fine with the step up to a mile and a quarter, but he is coming up against some very strong opposition.

"I am hopeful for another good result."

Team Talk appears to be the trainer's second string, while Appleby saddles Boynton, who steps up in class after impressing in handicap company.

"I was pleased to see Boynton win on his first appearance on dirt last time out, although he is taking a big step up in class and doesn't have the greatest draw in stall 11," said Appleby.

"We are hoping that he can run a solid race and potentially set himself up for Dubai World Cup night."

The Al Maktoum Challenge is one of two Group Ones on the night, with top-level honours also up for grabs in the preceding Jebel Hatta.

Eleven horses are set to go to post. Bin Suroor has three in Benbatl, Leshlaa and Promising Run while Appleby fires a twin assault, with Folkswood joined by stablemate Blair House.

Bin Suroor said: " Benbatl has done very well out in Dubai, winning nicely on both of his starts this year, and has been working well.We are looking for another good run.

"Leshlaa has also been in good form during the Carnival, having won well and finished second last time out. We wanted to give him a chance in a big race.

"Promising Run tries hard in her races. She beat the colts in the Group Two Al Rashidiya last season and I am looking forward to seeing how she gets on following two good wins against her own sex."

Folkswood was narrowly beaten by Roger Charlton's Decorated Knight in last year's renewal before going on to finish third behind the mighty Winx in the Cox Plate in Australia.

"We were delighted with Folkswood's (comeback) victory in the Dubai Millennium Stakes and he came out of that race very well," said Appleby.

"He has a nice draw in stall two and, if he can reproduce his seasonal return, he should be bang there."

The Dubai City of Gold is another race which Bin Suroor has farmed, with Prize Money giving him a 10th win 12 months ago.

This year he runs Best Solution, Elhaame, Gold Star and Memorial Day.

Setting the standard in the mile-and-a-half contest is Appleby's Hawkbill, who has been off the track since finishing second in the Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine last autumn.

Appleby, who also runs Frontiersman, said: " Hawkbill is in very good order and his preparation for this has gone well. Being drawn in stall 11 is probably not ideal, but he is the class horse in the race and the conditions are there to suit him.

"The drop back to a mile and a half is going to suit Frontiersman and he would be a live contender if he can reproduce his run in the Coronation Cup (second to Highland Reel)."

Appleby unleashes Classic hopeful Masar in the opening Al Bastakiya.

"This is a chance to learn a bit more about him.Obviously, we have Gold Town going for the UAE Derby on World Cup night, but Masar could establish his own credentials on dirt, which would add another dimension to his profile," said the Newmarket-based trainer.

"It is very likely this race will act as his prep for Newmarket's 2000 Guineas, which will be his first target back in the UK. All going well, he could then progress to the Derby trials."

Elsewhere on the card a six-strong Godolphin army take on the prolific Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned sprinter Ertijaal in the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint.