2019 Dubai World Cup: Will This Be the Pace Setup?

The ensuing proverbial chess match meets the absolute apex of horseracing excitement. While multiple storylines exist—as they often do in a complex renewal of any world-class race—one that shines in this year’s edition is that of the luckless and much-loved North America, a truly local product and hero trained at Zabeel Stables by Satish Seemar.

Big in size and style, the front-running 7-year-old bay son of Dubawi who failed to break in last year’s event—losing all chance as one of the favourites—has returned with a vengeance in 2019, winning both his starts on the local dirt in emphatic style. On Wednesday, in the official post position draw, he landed in barrier three among the 13 set to contest the 2000m affair. Jockey Richard Mullen will team up with Ramzan Kadyrov’s imposing gelding for a 12th time, hoping for an eighth victory.

“Given we both break on terms, it looks the pace will be between my horse North America and Capezzano,” Mullen said. “I think North America has more natural speed than Capezzano, so I hope that will leave us in front to dictate and use the huge stride pattern he has once we get into the back straight. I am happier with him being drawn outside Capezzano. If it was the other way around, he would be able pressure us, but we might have that advantage now. Thunder Snow will probably be up close, as he has shown in the past from wide draws. I think Axelrod is another that could be racing prominently.”

Salem bin Ghadayer makes a splash back in action with a trio of entries in the world’s richest race, topped by Sultan Ali’s aforementioned Capezzano, a progressive type who has manhandled his foes by a combined 25¾ lengths in his last three tries, all wins, including a 9½-length drubbing of defending Dubai World Cup champion Thunder Snow in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3. The mount of Mickael Barzalona upped the intrigue when landing in barrier two, as he very much has the same forwardly inclined modus operandi as market favourite North America.

Bin Ghadayer’s other two are Grade 1-placed American imports bearing the banner of Phoenix Thoroughbreds and partners, Gronkowski and Axelrod. The pair landed adjacently in posts seven and eight, with Oisin Murphy and Royston Ffrench set to take the respective reins of two horses who failed to factor in their Super Saturday preps.

Godolphin’s popular Thunder Snow is certainly the standard in the race as he bids to become the first two-time winner one year after becoming the first UAE Derby (G2) victor to pull off the double. Without a win since his tour-de-force last year, the Saeed bin Suroor trainee has accounted well for himself, including a second in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) and third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1)—both over 2000m on dirt. Christophe Soumillon will once again have to work out a trip from a wide post, as he did when breaking from 10-of-10 in 2018 and 13-of-16 in the 2017 UAE Derby, when he jumps from barrier 12.

Bookending Thunder Snow in second and fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic were Salomon del Valle’s Gunnevera and WinStar Farm, China Horse Club et al.’s Yoshida, who bring ample class into a deep field. Five-time Grade 1-placed Gunnevera hopes to finally break through at the top level when he is ridden by Emisael Jaramillo from the rail. The deep closer was last seen disappointing in sixth in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) on Jan. 26—a race in which fellow entrants, Charles Fipke’s Seeking the Soul and WinStar Farm, China Horse Club et al.’s Audible, finished second and fifth. The Pegasus, in its current and previous form as the Donn Handicap (G1), has produced no less than five Dubai World Cup winners, including Bill Mott-trained inaugural victor Cigar.

Mott seeks a second win when he returns with his first runner in the big race since Lea (third in 2015) when he saddles multi-surface Grade 1 winner Yoshida. A decisive winner of the Woodward (G1) last September in his dirt bow over Seeking the Soul and Gunnevera, he exits the worst effort of his life when finishing sixth in the turf equivalent of the Pegasus over soft ground. A five-time winner from 13 starts, he and Todd Pletcher-trained Grade 1 winner Audible are owned in part by WinStar, whose Well Armed brought the curtain down on Nad Al Sheba in a 2009 Dubai World Cup romp. Jose Ortiz rides Yoshida from post 10, while Audible, who must improve to factor, landed in the four for jockey Flavien Prat.

Seeking the Soul is Fipke and trainer Dallas Stewart’s second runner in the race after Forever Unbridled’s fifth last year after a wide trip. The dark bay homebred has been impressive in morning track work, but must prove his effectiveness over the 2000m trip, as well as at this level of competition, when Mike Smith takes the reins from a plum draw in five. Finishing a short head in front of Forever Unbridled in 2018 and returning again is Reddam Racing’s Pavel, who breaks from post six under Joel Rosario for trainer Doug O’Neill. Interestingly, he adds blinkers after having breezed in them earlier in the week.

Japan’s K T Brave, a flashy chestnut with a big blaze, appears to have shipped well and was a good third two back in the Tokyo Daishoten (G1), finishing 1½ lengths behind Dubai World Cup alumnus Gold Dream. He must improve to factor here for trainer Haruki Sugiyama and owner Kazuyoshi Takimoto. The same can be said for another Asia-based chestnut, South Korea’s Dolkong, who was a romping winner of the Curlin Handicap on Feb. 28, but could only manage third last out in Round 3, nearly pipping Thunder Snow. The Simon Foster trainee is owned by Lee Tae In and breaks from the outside post 13 under Olivier Doleuze.

Rounding out the field is a horse many, including trainer Ahmad bin Harmash, believe is one to watch for the 2020 Dubai World Cup—as well as a serious factor in 2019—Hamdan Sultan Ali Alsabousi’s New Trails. The regally bred son of Medaglia d’Oro has raced five times this season and risen from the handicap ranks to Group 2-placed when second to North America in Round 2. Fourth in Round 3, he was 1¼ lengths shy of becoming the 13th horse in this field to have won or placed in G1 company. Connor Beasley rides from barrier nine.

2019 Dubai Gold Cup plans for Star runner Cross Counter

Cross Counter powered home to win the Melbourne Cup at Flemington in November and his trainer Charlie Appleby has revealed plans for the lightly raced stayer to make his first appearance of 2019 in the Group Two Dubai Gold Cup on March 30.

“Cross Counter has come back from Melbourne stronger and brighter than ever, and he has put on 25 kilos in body weight,” Appleby said on Godolphin’s website.

“He looks great.

“After discussing his program with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, we have pencilled in the Dubai Gold Cup as a starting point for 2019, and we will see where that takes us.

“It will be an opportunity for His Highness to see Cross Counter on the big night, and also for Godolphin fans in Dubai to give the horse the ‘home town’ welcome he deserves.”

A defence of the Melbourne Cup is among options for Cross Counter.

“A defence of his Melbourne Cup crown is an obvious long-range target but we know he will be getting a lot more weight this time,” Appleby said.

Source: SkyRacingWorld

Dubai World Cup horse race to feature $12M purse

The 2019 Dubai World Cup will take place on Saturday, 30th of March. Despite several weeks still to go before the richest race in the world is run, the buildup is growing. On the 3rd of January, the 16th annual Dubai World Cup Carnival kicked off. The event is the lead up to the World Cup which takes place at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. Horse racing fans can learn more here about the 2019 Dubai World Cup. While the World Cup winner will take home $12m, the event’s total prize money has been increased to an astronomical $35m. The 2019 running of the Dubai World Cup could make or break a jockey’s, trainer’s, or horse’s career. Preparations are ongoing as the big day is just around the corner.

Dubai World Cup Carnival

The Dubai World Cup Carnival emerged from the gates in early January with over 200 runners from around the world battling it out for a piece of the $12.6m prize money. The carnival will see 10 race days. Nine of the race days will take place on consecutive Thursdays at Meydan Racecourse, while the 10th will be run on Super Saturday, 9th of March.

Super Saturday has become the traditional “dress rehearsal” for the Dubai World Cup. It gives horses, jockeys, trainers one last tune-up before the world’s richest horse race.

This year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival sees 71 trainers from around the globe taking part. The international trainers are up against local trainers and horses with famed Dubai-based horse training team Godolphin overseeing the events.

AGOS Horses to Watch

Dubai World Cup Favourites

The Dubai World Cup odds are already being tabulated by the world’s leading bookies. Whether these horses will make the elite race on the night remains to be seen.

Thunder Snow is the early favourite for the World Cup. Leading sportsbooks have Thunder Snow at odds of 7/2 with weeks still to go until the race’s running. A Godolphin owned horse, Thunder Snow won the 2018 edition of the Dubai World Cup. Thunder Snow is aiming to be the first back to back competition winner.

Dubai World CupFive-year-old Winstar Farm-Chinese Horse Club horse, Yoshida, is 8/1 to win the richest race in the world. Yoshida won two of his five races in 2018 with wins at Churchill Downs and Saratoga. The Japanese-bred horse finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, increasing hopes he can win the Dubai World Cup.

McKinzie was trained by legendary American horse trainer Bob Baffert and has early odds of 10/1 to win the World Cup. Baffert has stated McKinzie has the make-up of a Dubai World Cup winner. The trainer should know about winning the event as he has won it three times. Baffert won the Dubai World Cup in 1998 with Silver Charm and again in 2001 with Captain Steve. After 16 years without a win at Meydan, Baffert reached the winner’s circle a third time in 2017 with Arrogate. McKinzie has won five of his seven career races.

The Dubai World Cup will see the best of the best in horse racing descend on Meydan Racecourse in late March. The richest horse race in the world will see another name etched into history as they take home the largest purse in the sport.

Bookmark the AGOS Racetrack Weather page

2019 Dubai World Cup prize fund raised to $35 Million

Dubai World CupDubai World Cup prize fund raised to a whopping US$35million

Check out the TimeOutDubai.com Full coverage

Source: Dubai World Cup prize fund raised to US$35million