Spanish Mission Makes Desert Debut in Nad Al Sheba Trophy

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Spanish Mission | Dubai Racing Carnival

Team Valor International’s English GSW Spanish Mission (Noble Mission {GB}), the highest rated horse on Thursday’s Meydan card at 110, makes his first start since a narrow win in Belmont’s Sept. 7 Jockey Club Derby Invitational S. in the G3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy. The 2810-metre turf event drew a field of nine, and the David Simcock trainee, successful in the July 11 G3 Bahrain Trophy S. and third in Goodwood’s G3 Gordon S. on Aug. 1, leaves from gate six. If he performs with credit today, the Nad Al Sheba could lead to an appearance in the $6-million G1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic or the $1.5-million G2 Dubai Gold Cup on Dubai World Cup night Mar. 28.

As always during the Dubai World Cup Carnival, Godolphin musters a strong presence and leading their quintet in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy is the Jan. 30 Listed Meydan Cup victor Secret Advisor (Fr) (Dubawi {Ire}), who defeated fellow Godolphin runners and second/third Dubai Horizon (Ire) (Poet’s Voice {GB}) and Dubhe (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) that day over this course-and-distance. Earlier in Secret Advisor’s career, he ran third to Stradivarius (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) in the G2 Queen’s Vase at Ascot in 2017.

Speaking on Secret Advisor and Dubhe, trainer Charlie Appleby said, “Secret Advisor had been off a while before the Meydan Trophy, so we were delighted with his win. He must have a big chance, while Dubhe will appreciate a good gallop, as he is just a dour stayer.”

Added fellow Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor on his trio of Dubai Horizon, the SP Gifts of Gold (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) and winning Dubai Future (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), “Dubai Horizon ran very well in the Meydan Trophy, but not so well on his second start, so we are hoping the step back up in trip is in his favour. We are looking forward to running Gifts of Gold over this longer trip as it should suit him. After winning well, Dubai Future was then a bit disappointing.”

In Thursday’s Listed Curlin S., a prep over the same track-and-trip as the G1 Dubai World Cup at the end of March, an even dozen line up headed by owner/trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Ambassadorial (Elusive Quality). The 108-rated 6-year-old gelding was runner-up in a local handicap going a mile on Jan. 16 and returned on Feb. 13 to take fourth in the G3 Firebreak S. A winner of the Listed Star Appeal S. in Ireland back in 2016, he carries the heaviest impost at 132, with Swedish Derby winner Red Cactus (Hard Spun) next at 123 for trainer Bent Olsen and owner Lone Kaj-Nielsen.

Reddam Racing’s GSP Parsimony (Dominus), who set the pace in his unveiling here before tiring to fourth in the wake of George Villiers (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) and third Great King (Majestic Warrior) on Jan. 23, resumes on Thursday for Doug O’Neill. The grey colt has William Buick at the controls and breaks from gate five.

Rounding out the stakes action on Thursday is the 1600-metre Listed Meydan Classic over the grass. Godolphin’s Well of Wisdom (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}), one of two from the Charlie Appleby barn, lines up after a last out eighth in a grassy 1400-metre conditions race on Feb. 6. First past the post in the Listed Prix Roland de Chambure at ParisLongchamp on Bastille Day, the bay rolled a pair of twos in both the G3 Prix de Cabourg at Deauville on July 28 and in the Aug. 31 G3 Preis Zukunftsrennen at Baden-Baden. Appleby’s Kodiac (GB) filly Light Blush (Ire), second in the Listed Star S. at Sandown last July is hoping to rebound from a ninth in a 1400-metre conditions race over this course on Feb. 6.

Reddam Racing homebred I Will Not (Square Eddie) tries stakes company for the first time in the Meydan Classic. A winner at third asking at Del Mar in early November, the son of Square Eddie has been winless in two starts at the conditions level at Meydan, running fourth and seventh, respectively, in a Feb. 6 1400-metre affair and upped to 1900 metres Feb. 13.

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