Mshawish heads a strong cast of American horses set to ship to Dubai from Florida on Sunday ahead of the Dubai World Cup meeting on March 26.
Mshawish, who is slated to run in the US$10 million (Dh36.7m) World Cup, will be joined by Dubai Golden Shaheen-bound XY Jet and Lady Shipman, Kiaran McLaughlin’s turf sprinter who bids to become the first US winner of the Al Quoz Sprint.
Mshawish warmed up for his trip to Dubai with a bullet workout at Palm Beach Downs early Saturday morning UAE time.
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The six-year-old multi-surface performer galloped over approximately 1,000 metres in 58.8seconds and carried on to complete the 1,400m workout in 1m24.80s.
A spokesman for owners Al Shaqab confirmed that Frankie Dettori will ride the son of Medaglio d’Oro in the world’s most valuable race and, according to trainer Todd Pletcher, Mshawish travels on a tide of optimism.
“Mshawish has always impressed me with his versatility, high cruising speed, and neat ability to also have an exciting turn of foot,” Pletcher said.
“His work this morning had the fastest seven-furlong gallop out we have ever had by a full second. The rider wasn’t even asking him for run, so if he stays like this, he will have a big chance in the Dubai World Cup.”
Like his sire, Mshawish won the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park last month in good style with Keen Ice, who floundered on his first start at Meydan on Super Saturday, back in sixth.
It was the first time that Mshawish had struck at the top level on dirt, it was only his third race on the surface, and added to his Group 1 success in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Handicap on turf last year.
Mshawish has raced four times previously at Meydan, finishing second to Anaerobio under Dettori in the 2014 Al Fahidi Fort before he won the Zabeel Mile and was fourth to Just A Way in the Dubai Turf.
Last year, he was third to Solow on the same race.
On Friday, a deal was struck between Al Shaqab and Taylor Made Stallions to split Mshawish’s stud fees equally. Taylor Made also have a stud interest in California Chrome, the current Dubai World Cup favourite.
“Mshawish is special for us, as he was the first colt sent to our American program and got us rolling right away,” Al Shaqab racing manager Bradley Weisbord said.
“He couldn’t have come over in better shape, and Todd Pletcher’s team has done a magnificent job of training him from day one, getting him to fire every single race, on all surfaces and all distances.
“I have told anyone who would listen that even though the horse had run his entire career on turf, he trained out of his skin on dirt. I’m glad he got the chance to show that to the world in 2016 when he won the prestigious Grade 1 Donn Handicap, and we’re extremely excited about his chances in the Dubai World Cup.”
Speedball XY Jet showed scintillating pace from the gate last month to win the Grade 3 Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Trained by Jorge Navarro, XY Jet looks a legitimate candidate for the Golden Shaheen, a 1,200m dirt sprint that America has won ten times.
XY Jet could prove to be a significant thorn in the side of Musabah Al Muhairi’s Muarrab, who led from as soon as the gates opened in the Mahab Al Shimaal at Meydan on Super Saturday.
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