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Salateen flying the flag for O'Meara on latest foreign expedition

Salateen is no stranger to racing in sunnier climes with victory in Meydan already, but he will make his first start in Doha on Friday when contesting the Group 2 Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cup (4.15) over a mile at Al Rayyan. 

The seven-year-old, last seen winning a conditions race at Lingfield in January, leads the British challenge for trainer David O'Meara and will be ridden by James Doyle.

"He's been to Dubai a couple of times and won nicely over a mile at Lingfield last time out," said O'Meara. "He'll enjoy the ground and the sharp mile should suit, so he should be competitive." 

The $200,000 (£153,000) race has attracted plenty of international interest, with French runners Diplomat and Marianafoot, trained by Carina Fey and Jerome Reynier, joined by Yu Change from Japan.

Tusk! Prince curses wide draw

Middleham Park owner Mike Prince was cursing his luck after Raymond Tusk was given the widest possible draw in stall 15 for Saturday's $1 million (£766,000) Group 1 HH The Amir Trophy (1.15) at Al Rayyan.

His pained expression as he read the card on stage gave the game away long before the result announced to the audience.

Trained by Richard Hannon, Raymond Tusk finished sixth in last September's St Leger and was last seen a month later winning the Group 2 Gran Premio del Jockey Italiano at San Siro under Jamie Spencer, who takes the ride on Saturday.

"I would have preferred a much lower draw because this was always going to be a tight track for him and he's not really got a turn of foot due to his long stride," said Prince.

"We wanted him to be handy because he's got plenty of stamina, but now we're going to need a Jamie Spencer special. Hopefully he can get him rolling into a good rhythm."

There was better news for Irish raider Hunting Horn, highest-rated of the 15 runners, who was drawn in stall six and will be ridden by Ryan Moore, his only ride on the card. 

The Aidan O'Brien-trained four-year-old, winner of the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot, did light work on Thursday after reaching his stable at 4am. 

This race has not yet been won by a British or Irish raider and once again the local challenge is strong, with last year's winner The Blue Eye, who also won in 2016, lining up in stall 15. 

He is trained by Jassim Mohammed Gazali Jahromi, Qatar's leading trainer for the last five seasons, and will be ridden Harry Bentley, who tops the jockey standings. 

The big race of the day is the Group 1 HH The Amir Sword for purebred Arabians, in which all of the major Qatari owners are represented, including Al Shahania Stud. 

They have won the last three runnings of the race and last year's winner Gazwan lines up in stall six, with 2017 victor Ebraz in stall one.

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