Twelve evenly-matched colts and geldings are set to face the starter in the $250,000 UAE 2000 Guineas Sponsored by Dubal (UAE-III). The one-mile contest is one of two stakes that will be run on Feb. 10 over the Tapeta all-weather surface at Meydan Racecourse.
Mike de Kock will send out Zanzamar for owner Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum. By leading South African sire Fort Wood, Zanzamar has won three of seven starts, and has finished in the money six times. The bay colt wrapped up his juvenile season with a good third in the Premier’s Champion Stakes (SAf-I). In his debut at Meydan last month, Zanzamar looked sharp when capturing the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial by a length over Splash Point, who will also contest the 2000 Guineas. Richard Hills has the mount.
Argentine-bred Paulinho will be seeking to improve off of his second-place finish in a seven-furlong conditions race at Meydan on Dec. 30. Trained by Herman Brown for owners Malkinsky Stud and Zalim Bifov, Paulinho was undefeated as a juvenile in his native Argentina, winning his three starts by a combined 25 lengths. He capped off his season with an impressive six-length victory in the Estrellas Juvenile (Arg-I) on June 26. The son of Equal Stripes will be ridden for the first time by Ryan Moore.
Godolphin will send out the lightly-raced pair of Buffum and Bridgefield. Buffum, from the first crop of champion Bernardini, was purchased for $1.2 million by Sheik Mohammed at the 2009 Saratoga Select yearling sale. After winning his debut going a mile at Belmont Park last October, Buffum ran in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II), where he finished last of five to the highly-regarded To Honor And Serve. Originally trained by Tom Albertrani, Buffum was transferred to the barn of Saeed bin Suroor. Frankie Dettori has the mount.