Variety Club set for Champions Mile in Hong Kong

Dual South African horse of the year was a comfortable winner of the Godolphin Mile at Dubai World Cup.

Variety Club won the Godolphin Mile at the Meydan Racecourse on Saturday. Pawan Singh / The National
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DUBAI // Variety Club will try to pick up a 17th career victory by running in the Champions Mile in Hong Kong in May.

The dual South African horse of the year was a comfortable winner of the Godolphin Mile at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday night from Soft Falling Rain, who ceded his 2013 crown.

Variety Club could clash at Sha Tin with Flotilla, the French filly who was third in what was her most encouraging run since her juvenile career.

Other World Cup night runners entered include Mshawish, who like Flotilla is trained by Mikel Delzangles, and was fourth in the Dubai Duty Free, and Trade Storm, although he is unlikely to travel.

As suggested by trainer Joey Ramsden last week, Variety Club will transfer to Mike de Kock’s international stable.

“We are very grateful for everything that Joey and his team have done,” said Derek Brugman, racing manager to owners Markus and Ingrid Jooste. “He has won 16 of his 22 career starts and Joey is to thank for that.

“He has done a brilliant job and he didn’t over-race him in South Africa and left a lot for here.

“We will go to Hong Kong and after that we are going to decide about the European season. We might also have a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup. Royal Ascot is a possibility but we haven’t yet found a race for him.”

Variety Club leaves Dubai with two wins and a second after enduring an arduous quarantine procedure due to problems with African Horse Sickness. Anton Marcus, the winning jockey, unfurled a South African flag in the winners’ enclosure to promote the plight of South African horses on the world stage.

“We have got good horses that can compete with the best horses in the world and they have to go through hell to get here,” he said. “We would like the international community to help us get these horses to compete and to make spectacles like that to be even more worthwhile.”

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