Salem bin Ghadayer's charge back in race action after 320-day hiatus
Capezzano will take the first step towards rebuilding his reputation as one for the big occasion when he returns to race action following a long hiatus.
Almost this time last year, the son of Bernardini had been marked out as the one to watch in the $12 million Dubai World Cup contest after he had beaten Thunder Snow handsomely in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3.
But as fate would have it, Salem bin Ghadayer's charge went on to finish last of the 12 runners as Thunder Snow went on to create history.
Well rested and well trained in the interim, Capezzano will get his first taste of a race in 320 days when he lines up at the starting post of the Meydan Racecourse in the seventh race meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival on Thursday.
Capezzano will contest the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes over eight furlongs, but his connections clearly have their gaze fixed on even tougher battles that lay in wait.
This race will be a sort of a prep before he runs in the inaugural Group 1 $20 million Saudi Cup at the end of this month and the Dubai World Cup at the end of March.
"I delayed this horse and didn't use him at all in training until the end of September," said bin Ghadayer, who revealed that he had kept him wrapped in cotton wool for the big ones.
"He's a Bernardini, is always keen and I made a programme for him that is just February and March to keep his big performances saved for the big nights," he added.
With that in mind, bin Ghadayer felt that a run now will be the ideal prep for Capezzano.
"At the end of the day, he was invited to Saudi Cup and it's only two weeks until that race. But he will need the race and I think the two weeks is enough time for recover. I think he can be 100% for Saudi and then Dubai World Cup, but this race will not be an easy race," bin Ghadayer said.
A win on the morrow would be nice but bin Ghadayer said that his performance would be more important than the result.
"We will go and try to win this race, but we must be very careful with him and his mentality. We have tried to keep him happy and relaxed, which is not easy, but he has trained and galloped well and he's healthy and sound," reported bin Ghadayer.
Apart from Capezzano, bin Ghadayer also saddles Heavy Metal and Matterhorn, in the silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
Multiple UAE Champion Trainer Doug Watson has three runners in Thegreatcollection, Muntazah and Quip, while Satish Seemar saddles Secret Ambition.
Meanwhile, Godolphin handler Charlie Appleby is double handed in the Group 2 Balanchine with Magic Lily and Divine Image, while Saeed bin Suroor saddles Dubai Blue.