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World Stars Prepare For Dubai
With just over 3 weeks to go before the 11th running of the US$6 million Gr1 Dubai World Cup, fields for the 7 races on the world's richest day of racing (at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse on March 25) have begun to take shape:
- Headlining the Gr1 Dubai World Cup this year is Japanese superstar Kane Hekili (to be ridden by Yutaka Take for trainer Katsuhiko Sumii). Kane Hekili (who won last year's Gr1 Japan Cup Dirt) also won Japan's Gr1 February Stakes (1600m) a week ago in Tokyo.
- Seeking The Dia (trained by Hideyuki Mori) finished runner-up to Kane Hekili in both those races & will also be racing in the the Dubai World Cup.
- Hideyuki Mori will also saddle 4YO entire Agnes Jedi in the US$2 million Gr1 Dubai Golden Shaheen.
- Asakusa Den'en (winner of Japan's Gr1 Keio Hai Spring Cup & Gr1 Yasuda Kinen) & Hat Trick (winner of the Gr1 Hong Kong Mile) will both represent Japan in the US$5 million Dubai Duty Free (2nd leg of the Asia Mile Challenge).
- Japan's entry in the US$5 million Gr1 Dubai Sheema Classic is Heart's Cry (trained by Kojiro Hashiguchi) who recently won the Gr1 Arima Kinen (beating Japanese superstar Deep Impact).
- Ireland is likely to be represented in the Gr1 Dubai World Cup by the Dermot Weld-trained 5YO Grey Swallow (son of Daylami & winner of the 2004 Gr1 Irish Derby and 2005 Gr1 Tattersalls Gold Cup).
- Jim Bolger will be aiming multiple Gr1-winning mare Alexander Goldrun at the Gr1 Dubai Sheema Classic.
- Britain's representatives in the Dubai World Cup could include the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Maraahel (3rd in the Gr1 HK Cup) & Brian Meehan-trained Gr1 Dubai Champion Stakes winner David Junior.
- Classic-winning filly Ouija Board (from the Ed Dunlop stable) is on course for the Gr1 Dubai Sheema Classic (with Kieren Fallon on board).
- Others from Britain in the Gr1 Dubai Sheema Classic look to be Gr1 Irish St Leger winner Collier Hill (trained by Alan Swinbank), Bandari (trained by Mark Johnston) & Norse Dancer (trained by David Elsworth).
- Suggestive (trained by Willie Haggis) & Court Masterpiece (trained by Ed Dunlop) are being aimed at the US$1 million Godolphin Mile.
- Britain could have 2 runners in the US$2 million UAE Derby: Baan (trained by Mark Johnston) & Well Armed (trained by Clive Britain).
- Heading the US contenders for the Gr1 Dubai World Cup is recent Gr1 Donn Handicap winner Brass Hat (trained by William Bradley).
- US trainer Todd Pletcher is sending Magna Graduate (4th in the Gr1 Donn Handicap in sloppy going & winner of 3 of his 9 starts).
- Super Frolic (4th to Saint Liam in the Gr1 Breeders' Cup Classic) is also likely to make the trip, with trainer Vladimir Cerin deciding to skip the Gr1 Santa Anita Handicap & travel straight to Dubai.
- US trainer Richard Mandella is sending The Tin Man for the Gr1 Dubai Duty Free.
- Other US runners in the Gr1 Dubai Duty Free could include Host (trained by Todd Pletcher), Whilly (trained by Doug O'Neill) & Badge Of Silver (trained by Bobby Frankel).
- Gr1 Malibu Stakes winner Proud tower Too (trained by Sal Gonzalez) heads the US challenger in the Gr1 Dubai Golden Shaheen. Others include Gaff (trained by Steve Asmussen), Captain Squire (trained by Jeff Mullins), Major Success (trained by Bobby Frankel), Thor's Echo (trained by Doug O'Neill), Bordonaro (trained by Bill Spawr) & Jet West (likely mount of Kent Desormeaux).
- Christophe Clement's Relaxed Gesture (winner of the Gr1 Canadian International) will be the American representative in the Gr1 Dubai Sheema Classic.
- Julio Canani is bringing his multiple Gr1-winning mare Island Fashion to Dubai for the Godolphin Mile. And Eoin Harty could saddle Shamoan for the Godolphin Mile.
- Perfect Promise (trained in Australia by Lee Freedman) is set to line up in the 1st leg of the Asian Mile Challenge (this weekend's Gr1 Futurity Stakes in Melbourne) before travelling to Dubai to run in the 2nd leg Gr1 Dubai Duty Free (1777m). Perfect Promise could be joined by Lad Of The Manor (who will contest the Gr1 Australian Cup prior to departing for Dubai).
- South African trainer Mike de Kock could be double handed in the Gr1 Dubai Duty Free with Tyson & Irridescence (impressive winner of the Balanchine at Nad Al Sheba last weekend).
- Linngari (trained by South African Herman Brown) is already a winner of 2 Group races during the 2006 Dubai International Racing Carnival & will also now be aimed at the Gr1 Dubai Duty Free.