Peter Snowden trained colt Helmet gets a chance to show the world why he is a three time Group 1 winner in Dubai on Saturday (Sunday 1:25am AEDT) when he competes in the 2012 UAE Derby.
The much-hyped three-year-old last ran on March 3 in the Australian Guineas where he finished a disappointing twelfth after going into the race as one of the favourites.
A son of Exceed And Excel, the 2011 Caulfield Guineas winner is currently paying $12.00 (bookmaker.com.au) to take out top billings in the $2 million event and trainer Snowden is happy with his preparation so far.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way they [Helment and fellow Snowden horse Sepoy] have settled in since their arrival from Australia,” Snowden said.
Snowden said the criticism Helmet copped following his Australian Guineas and C S Hayes Stakes failures was unfair.
“He blew the start in the Australian Guineas at his last start and first-up he got cluttered up on the inside which made it very difficult for a horse that likes to free roll,” he said.
The UAE Derby stands as part of the high class nine-race card in Dubai this Saturday that is highlighted by the Sheik Mohammed created $10 million Dubai World Cup.
Sheikh Mohammed is the owner of Helmet and following this weekend’s race he will travel to Europe to join the Sheikh’s Godolphin stable.
Up against Helmet this weekend is his barrier draw as he has received the widest barrier of the 14 horses in the field.
Snowden was staying positive about the talented colt’s chances yesterday after he successfully got through a hit out on the all-weather surface at Meydan.
“At least if he does miss the start as he did at Flemington [the Australian Guineas] at his last start he should be able to keep out of trouble,” Snowden said.
“The all-weather is not as firm as some of the artificial tracks in Australia and I’ve noticed that some horses tend to labour on it but Helmet has tended to skim over it.”
The 2012 UAE Derby favourite is Irish horse Wrote ($4.00) who arrived safely in Dubai on Monday.
The Australian owned bookie is preferred by Races.com.au due to their $300 bonus bet offer and top odds on all the horse racing action.