It is a sign of the changing nature of the Dubai World Cup Carnival that a filly of the quality of Flotilla can be lured to race at Meydan Racecourse so early in the season.
Flotilla was declared on Tuesday alongside Godolphin’s Certify and Shuruq to tomorrow’s Cape Verdi, a US$200,000 (Dh734,600) turf race that will be staged over 1,600 metres.
Mike de Kock’s exciting Mensoora, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa, also lines up while L’Amour De Ma Vie from France and Pearl Bloodstock’s Pearl Of Africa complete the set.
Flotilla is officially rated at 118, which makes her by far the classiest filly ever to contest the Cape Verdi, which was upgraded to Group 3 status in 2009 and to Group 2 in 2011.
Flotilla won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile before she won the French 1,000 Guineas in May. She was then tried over too far in the Prix de Diane when beaten by Treve, the subsequent Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner, and then suffered a niggling injury when trailing in sixth in the Group 1 Prix du Moulin in September.
“It has been a long time since she last ran and she has had a few problems,” trainer Mikel Delzangles said. “She didn’t run after the Diane because she was quite tired after that and she had a bruised foot after the Moulin that took quite a while to be sorted out.
“I am looking forward to seeing her back racing. I would not say she is 100 per cent, but she is ready to run a good race.”