Bhupat Seemar regards the Dubai World Cup as the Olympics or the Oscars of the horse-racing fraternity in the UAE.
The 27th staging of the meeting that draws some of the best racehorses from around the world for a prize fund of $30.5 million spread across nine races, including the $12 million Dubai World Cup, is a much-anticipated event in the racing world.
“I always say these are the Olympics or the Oscars for us, who live here. It’s a grand finale and this is what we work for,” Seemar said at a media conference at Meydan on Tuesday.
“The best of the best come here to compete and that’s what the Dubai World Cup is all about. For us as local trainers along with the local owners we get the opportunity to compete against them.”
Seemar took charge of the Zabeel Stables from his uncle Satish Seemar last season. He made a dream start by winning the UAE champion trainers' title and his first Group 1 victory in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen.
“I’m very grateful to be in this position,” he said. “I have a lot of people to thank. It’s not a one-man show but too many great people behind me and to get me here.”
Seemar has nine horses entered across four races, including Remorse and Bendoog in the Dubai World Cup.
Remorse is the choice of stable jockey Tadhg O’Shea, while Brett Doyle is booked on Bendoog.
“Bendoog knows his way around here and he’s got a great jockey,” Seemar said of the four-year-old Gun Runner colt.
“We need him to win it but you have to be realistic. He'll hopefully run a good race. This horse broke his maiden in Dubai last year. He’s a big horse and kept on improving all year. He’s by a great sire and has a great owner behind him.
“Remorse was sixth in the World Cup and he ran really well last year. He was drawn 11, which wasn’t bad. He is a smallish horse and doesn’t like much kick-back. The outside draw helped him. He was still finishing the race. That was encouraging.”
Remorse was unplaced in the Saudi Cup in his last start but won the Listed Entisar over the track and trip at Meydan before finishing third behind the re-opposing Algiers and stablemate Bendoog in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 over the 1,900m trip.
“In the Saudi Cup, he broke well in Gate 7 but with the speed from both outside and the inside, he never got a chance to break and then he couldn’t open his eyes as he got the kick-back all the way,” Seemar said of the six-year-old Dubawi gelding.
The Zabeel Stables trainer has three entered in the Godolphin Mile, led by Discovery Island with Doyle in the saddle, Royal Mews (O’Shea) and Law Of Peace (Richard Mullen).
“On form, Discovery Island looks like the best of them,” Seemar said. “Unfortunately, we are drawn out in the car park.
“And again it might not be too bad a draw for him because he’s a little bit slow out of the gate. He doesn’t want too much kick-back on him. He makes it hard for himself but he’s a very good horse and hopefully the race goes well for him.
“Royal Mews is one of those horses who puts himself on a race. The draw doesn’t matter but it’s a great thing that he’s drawn in Gate 3. He has plenty of early tactical speed and he can sit in a race and do whatever may that suit him.
"Law Of Peace is one of the sleepers. He sits in the back and Rich will have to sit at the back and chill, and he runs home.”
Logo Hunter takes his chance in the Al Quoz Sprint. He was sixth behind Godolphin’s Lazuli on his Meydan debut and featured in a photo finish behind Miqyaas and Ladies Church in his last start on February 10.
Switzerland was the highlight of Seemar’s first season as a trainer and the nine-year-old Speightstown gelding returns with a victory in the Group 3 Dubawi Stakes behind him.
“He’s getting old and he’s doing everything right,” Seemar said. “There is no point putting too much mileage in his legs.
“He’s had a nice break and he runs well when fresh. He had only a prep run, which he won comfortably. Hope all goes well for him again.”
Tuz and Sound Money, also in the same race, complete Seemar’s line-up on Saturday.