DUBAI // The owner of Gloria de Campeao will today be waiting anxiously to see where his horse is drawn in the US$10 million (Dh36.7m) Dubai World Cup. The six-year-old was confirmed as a part of the 14-strong field when the final race declarations were released on Monday. And by this evening Stefan Friborg, his owner, will know the all-important gate position his runner will start in.
For Gloria de Campeao, a familiar runner in the UAE, this tilt at the World Cup represents his third attempt at landing the famous race. He was eighth in 2008, and a 14-length runner-up to Well Armed in 2009. "It is his third time lucky," said Friborg, who leaves the preparation of his runner to Pascal Bary, the French handler. "We were very happy with his form at Meydan this season and he seems to be getting better."
The horse is a consistent and genuine performer and won the Al Maktoum Challenge Round One on the first day of racing at Meydan Racecourse after coming back from injury and a long lay-off. In the third round of the race series, at the March 4 Super Thursday meeting, he was pipped into second place by Red Desire. "We came here with World Cup hopes, but we didn't expect him to be in such good form so early on," said Friborg yesterday after watching his horse work. "We can forgive him his last run in second because the jockey [Tiago Pereira] didn't want to push him. We didn't want to take everything out of him to win that race. The World Cup is when we will pull out all the stops."
The draw for the Dubai World Cup, and the two $5m Group One turf races - the Dubai Duty Free and Dubai Sheema Classic - will take place this evening. firstname.lastname@example.org