Group 2 winner Championship returns to defend G2 Al Fahidi Fort

Championship (IRE)
Championship (IRE) sets a course record in the Zabeel Mile February 2017.
(DRC/AW)
Multiple Group 2 winner Championship has done little wrong at Meydan and trainer Ahmad bin Harmash would like that to continue when the Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed Al Maktoum-owned 7-year-old makes his seasonal debut on Thursday.

The son of Exceed and Excel, who has three wins and two seconds from six runs over the previous two Dubai World Cup Carnivals, will defend his title in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort (1400m).

“He’s doing very, very well,” bin Harmash said. “We’ll see how he’s going to run, but he’s doing well. He looks the same as always and is a fresh horse.

“His handicap (rating) is so high, we had to save him for this spot,” bin Harmash continued. “Don’t forget that last year he started at 102 and now we are 117, so you can’t run him in handicap races because of the weight (assigned to him).

“I think he will do his job (on Thursday).”

The Al Fahidi Fort is the fifth of seven races on Thursday’s Carnival card.

Silvestre De Sousa is booked to ride, substituting for suspended Colm O’Donoghue, who piloted the chestnut gelding to a pair of open-length Group 2 wins last season, including a course record-setting win in the Zabeel Mile (1:35.19).

Championship also set a track record when winning last year’s Al Fahidi Fort (1:22.82), a record that was lowered earlier this meet by Godolphin’s Charlie Appleby-trained D’Bai (1:22.32), who lines up in opposition on Thursday.