Dozen To Do Battle In Dubai World Cup

Ushba Tesoro | Dubai Racing Club/Erika Rasmussen

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DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Twelve of the world's top middle-distance dirt horses representing a half-dozen racing nations will clash in Saturday's $12-million G1 Dubai World Cup at sprawling Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.

The fields and post positions for the evening's four non-Group 1 races–including the Dubai Kahayla Classic for the Purebred Arabians–were announced Monday, while stalls for the five elite-level contests were allotted during a ceremony Wednesday evening emceed by Rishi Persad and Laura King at the Armani Hotel at the iconic Burj Khalifa in Central Dubai.

Ushba Tesoro (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}) will look to join Thunder Snow (Ire) (Helmet {Aus}) as the only two-time winners of the World Cup, and his trainer Noboru Takagi was first to the stage, where he selected barrier five. The 7-year-old had gate eight a year ago and was off to an awkward start before steaming home to peg back Algiers (Ire) (Shamardal) close to home. The commonly owned Wilson Tesoro (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}), second to Ushba Tesoro in the G1 Tokyo Daishoten over the World Cup distance in December, drew 11.

Senor Buscador (Mineshaft) ran down Ushba Tesoro in the final jump of the G1 Saudi Cup in Riyadh five weeks ago, and the two square off for the third time at the weekend. The likeable 6-year-old was represented on stage by trainer Todd Fincher and co-owner Joe Peacock Jnr looked on as Senor Buscador was assigned barrier 10.

Last year's G2 UAE Derby winner Derma Sotogake (Jpn) (Mind Your Biscuits) was at a fitness disadvantage when a sound fifth in Riyadh first-up for better than four months and figures to have come on for that reappearance. He will begin from stall eight.

Kazakh-owned Kabirkhan (California Chrome) will look to complete a fairy-tale season while trying to emulate his World Cup-winning stallion Saturday evening. Purchased for the bargain price of $12,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, the chestnut will break from post position two for jockey Pat Dobbs and trainer Doug Watson.

Trainer Bob Baffert and Frankie Dettori teamed to take out the 2022 World Cup with Country Grammer (Tonalist) and will look for history to repeat itself with Newgate (Into Mischief) from the six hole. He exits a victory in the GI Santa Anita H. Mar. 2.

Juddmonte Farms' Laurel River (Into Mischief) ran up the score in the G3 Burj Nahaar over 1600 metres on Super Saturday Mar. 2, but sensing that it could be a paceless renewal of the World Cup, connections have rolled the dice. He will have to be on his best behaviour, as any misstep from the widest stall in 12 could prove his undoing.

In the other Group 1 tests:

  • Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) has drawn seven and Japanese Triple Tiara winner Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) nine for the G1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic, where 10 Group 1 winners from eight nations vie for a $6-million pot.

 

  • Lord North (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) will go for a fourth straight $5-million G1 Dubai Turf from gate 11, with Japan's Do Deuce (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}) in five, Luxembourg (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) drawn three and stablemate Nashwa (GB) (Frankel {GB}) out in 16.

 

  • Defending champion Sibelius (Not This Time) has gate six for the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen where he faces G3 Riyadh Dirt Sprint hero Remake (Jpn) (Lani), Bold Journey (Hard Spun), a late-on-the-scene third in the same race, and the capable locals Mouheeb (Flatter) and Tuz (Oxbow).

 

  • Hong Kong's California Spangle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) will start from gate five in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint against the smart 3-year-old filly Frost At Dawn (Frosted), the veteran Emaraaty Ana (GB) (Shamardal) and defending champion Danyah (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}.

 

The full field for the 2024 Dubai World Cup:

1 (7) Clapton (Brethren)

2 (1) Crupi (Curlin)

3 (9) Defunded (Dialed In)

4 (8) Derma Sotogake (Jpn) (Mind Your Biscuits)

5 (3) Dura Erede (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn})

6 (2) Kabirkhan (California Chrome)

7 (12) Laurel River (Into Mischief)

8 (4) Military Law (GB) (Dubawi {Ire})

9 (6) Newgate (Into Mischief)

10 (10) Senor Buscador (Mineshaft)

11 (5) Ushba Tesoro (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn})

12 (11) Wilson Tesoro (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn})

 

 

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