The Dubai Racing Club unveiled a bumper entry for the Dubai World Cup Carnival this week. Racing correspondent Geoffrey Riddle picks out five horses to keep an eye out for at Meydan when the Carnival starts on January 5.
Dick Whittington (Luke Comer)
Dick Whittington won the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes over 1200 metres as a juvenile in 2014 for Aidan O’Brien. He struggled as a three-year-old, but showed glimpses of his old ability this season in Ireland. A step up in distance to 1400-1600 metres looks likely for this son of Group 1-winning miler Rip Van Winkle and he has transferred from O’Brien to small-time Irish handler Luke Comer.
Saltarin Dubai (Mike De Kock)
Saltarin Dubai is sired by 2001 Al Bastikiya winner E Dubai. The four-year-old colt hails from Argentina, where he won the Group 1 Gran Premio Estrellas Classic over 2000 metres on the dirt of Palermo in June when trained by Roberto Pellegatta. Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa has bought him with a dirt campaign in mind and has lodged him with Mike De Kock.
Wild Dude (Michael Halford)
Wild Dude is a dual Group 1-winning sprinter from America who has joined Irish trainer and Carnival regular Michael Halford. Wild Dude was good enough to beat subsequent Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up Masochistic both in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship in October, and the Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar in July. He looks a live runner for the Dubai Golden Shaheen on World Cup night.
Vettori Kin (Kenny McPeek)
Kenny McPeek is one of the more adventurous American trainers and he has reportedly picked up Group 1 winner Vettori Kin with the intention of storming Meydan. Vettori Kin won the Group 1 Grande Premio Derby Paulista at the Brazilian track of Cidade Jardim in November but ran a lifeless race when ninth last week in Argentina for trainer Emerson Garcia. An intriguing candidate for the Dubai Sheema Classic.
Noah From Goa (Mike De Kock)
Mike De Kock has referred to the four-year-old Cape Guineas winner as his stable star. The miler signed off his South African career with a close third to Legal Eagle in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth in January. He had an injury to his splint bone when undergoing the arduous quarantine journey when arriving in England but is back on track here in Dubai and is being aimed at the middle of the Carnival.
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