Racing’s richest day, the 22nd running of the Dubai World Cup, takes place on Saturday.
Here’s five horses to watch out for at Meydan, as picked by Dubai Racing TV presenter Laura King.
He’s officially the best horse in the world and he could become the richest ever if adding the $6million Dubai World Cup first prize to his haul of $12million that he collected when winning the Pegasus World Cup in January. Trained by dual Dubai World Cup-winning handler Bob Baffert, the four-year-old grey seems to have settled right in at Meydan since arriving last week. He should be far too good for the opposition in the big race.
Something of a legend in European racing circles, Highland Reel has won four Group I races on three different continents. He was only fourth in the Dubai Sheema Classic 12 months ago, but could be a better horse now. He heads a nine-strong contingent trained by Aidan O’Brien, who will fly his horses to Dubai later than everyone else, giving them just two days to acclimatise before racing on Saturday.
“Fawree is nuts” read the memorable quote from trainer Mike De Kock before the three-year-old won his first race at Meydan in January. Since then, his issues with the starting stalls manifested themselves when he broke through the front and ran loose on his intended prep run on ‘Super Saturday.’ A ‘Horse Whisperer,’ Malan Du Toit, was flown in from South Africa to work with him, seemingly with good results. We’ll find out on Saturday just how good, when he lines up in the UAE Derby.
Taking on Fawree is Thunder Snow, who may well be Godolphin’s best chance of a winner on the night. Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, he was an impressive victor of the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas on his most recent start, his first in Dubai. The opposition will be stronger in the UAE Derby, but he has plenty of class and can provide HH Sheikh Mohammed with another win.
From a top stallion, Dubawi, and out of an unbeaten racemare, Zarkava, Zarak is bred to be a star and he looked just that when cantering home in the Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes last time out. He didn’t beat many top-notchers on that occasion, but he looked the real deal and might be hard to beat in a very strong edition of the Group 1 Dubai Turf, race seven on the card.
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