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Faatinah in good shape for Valley return

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Faatinah will be out to enhance his already good first-up record in the McEwen Stakes at The Valley.

Senior Lindsay Park trainer David Hayes has not ruled out another Dubai trip for Faatinah, but first the sprinter will attempt a first-up win at The Valley.

Faatinah makes his return in Saturday’s Group Two McEwen Stakes..

Now a seven-year-old, Faatinah has travelled to Dubai for the past two carnivals, registering two wins and three placings from seven starts.

Those Dubai victories have come at Faatinah’s first outing off the plane and Hayes said if the gelding returns to next year’s carnival he would be aimed at a specific race.

After winning first-up at Meydan this year, Faatinah was placed at his next two starts, including a second to Blue Point who went on to win the King’s Stand Stakes and Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting in June.

“He hits form off the plane and then tapers off so we’ll pick a race and have him right for it,” Hayes said.

“He won a race in Dubai this year and ran second to the best sprinter in the world which is pretty good form for 1000-metre race around The Valley.”

Faatinah has an excellent fresh record of four wins from six starts including last year’s Carlyon Stakes.

He was one of many horses to gallop at The Valley on Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s meeting.

Hayes said Faatinah was holding more condition ahead of Saturday’s first-up assignment.

“He’s got an amazing fresh record, but I’m not sure on the wet as there is rain forecast,” Hayes said.

“But if it’s dry, I’d be pretty confident he’ll run well.”

Hayes said Faatinah would be kept fresh for later spring assignments which could include the Group One Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 27.

Faatinah is yet to win at the highest level, but has proven successful at the next tier.

“We’ll likely go to the Moir and then he’ll probably race once more, but he’ll be having a light spring,” Hayes said.

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