2015 Dubai World Cup Contenders Hail From Around The Globe
Jump racing fans may still have Aintree and Punchestown to look forward to, but the flat season is now starting to cast a pretty large shadow, most immediately with the 2015 Dubai World Cup.
That’s especially true this Saturday when both Doncaster and Meydan are set to thrill the flightless fanatics.
The rather modestly titled Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline, is the world’s richest race meeting, and will feature nine top-class races. The headline act is the $10 million 2015 Dubai World Cup. The world's richest meeting has attracted horses from around the globe, with the star of the show likely to be California Chrome, currently favourite for the showpiece.
The Dubai Sheema Classic looks to have a particularly cosmopolitan flavour, with France represented by Andre Fabre’s Flintshire; second in the Breeder’s Cup Turf in November; whilst Japan has the mighty jet-setter Harp Star looking to fulfil some of that huge potential. In the same event ex-UK, now American Main Sequence will hope to add to his Breeder’s Cup Turf success. Charlie Hills’ Just The Judge flies the flag for Britain over an unfamiliar 12 furlong trip.
The Grey Gatsby runs in the Dubai Turf for Kevin Ryan and will be ridden by Ryan Moore, though the trip could be on the sharp side and he has Freddy Head’s fast improving Solow to contend with.
Moore also has the leg-up on Amber Sky in the Group 1 sprint, a race the horse won last year when defeating Charlie Appleby’s Ahtoug and the outstanding Shea Shea. The former is in opposition again though Hong Kong’s Peniaphobia is likely to be a tough nut to crack. Ed Lynam’s Sole Power has another shot at a Meydan pot, though he’s yet to strike gold in eight previous attempts.
One of the more interesting contenders at the meeting is Sir Fever who was bought last winter by the Godolphin operation. A winner of the Uruguayan Triple Crown last year, he had won each of his six starts as a two-year-old for trainer Jorge Piriz before a Classic campaign which saw him take the three legs of the Triple Crown by a cumulative distance of over 19 lengths. Tried at Meydan earlier in the month, he ran an encouraging race and is in the UAE Derby on Saturday.
Another Brit who’s used to hitting the target is Michael Owen, and his Brown Panther is set to take his chance in the Dubai Gold Cup. Favourite for Saturday's $1 million Group 2, Tom Dascombe’s classy stayer is starting what is likely to be his final season and the trainer thinks his seven-year-old can begin his swansong with a bang, saying: "I'm very excited about his prospects. It would mean an awful lot to me and it's a pleasure to come back to Dubai with a live chance on 2015 Dubai World Cup night.”