Veteran Hong Kong-based sprinter Joy And Fun will attempt to add to his previous success at Meydan Racecourse when he faces 15 of the world’s best turf sprinters in the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Emirates NBD (UAE-IT) March 31.
The five-furlong turf dash is one of eight Thoroughbred stakes races that will be run on Dubai World Cup day, a program that is worth a total of $27 million.
The 9-year-old gelding by Cullen has won 12 of 52 lifetime starts and banked $2,877,414 for owners Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Wong Chun Nam and trainer Derek Cruz. Joy And Fun won the Al Quoz Sprint in 2010, when it was a group III event and contested at six furlongs.
That same year, Joy And Fun ran in the Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot, finishing 13th of 15 runners. The gelding came out of the race with a fractured cannon bone and underwent surgery in Newmarket. Joy And Fun returned to the races that December, and has since made 10 starts, most recently winning the prestigious Chairman’s Sprint Prize (HK-I) Feb. 5. Regular pilot Brett Doyle will be in the saddle.
Joy And Fun will be facing a familiar challenger in Eagle Regiment, a 5-year-old gelding trained in Hong Kong by K. Leung Man. The two rivals have faced each other twice this year, with the geldings each earning a victory. Joy And Fun got the better of Eagle Regiment in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize, but the tables were turned in the Centenary Sprint Cup (HK-I) with Eagle Regiment winning by a neck.
This will be the first start outside Hong Kong for Eagle Regiment, who boasts a record of six wins in 11 starts. Olivier Doleuze will ride.
Regally Ready will try to return to the top form he showed last year when he captured both the Nearctic Stakes (Can-IT) and Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IIT). The 5-year-old More Than Ready gelding has started twice this year, finishing third in the Daytona Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita before finishing a disappointing 13th in the Meydan Sprint, the local prep for the Al Quoz. Corey Nakatani will once again be in the irons.
Margot Did and Sole Power are two former winners of the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Eng-I) that will line up in the Al Quoz. Margot Did won the Nunthorpe last year as a 3-year-old, defeating her elders while lugging 132 pounds. Trained by Michael Bell, the daughter of Exceed And Excel will be ridden by Hayley Turner and carry a feathery 121 pounds.
Sole Power, winner of the 2010 Nunthorpe, will try and improve off his second-place finish in the Meydan Sprint. The 5-year-old gelding came up just a head short that day to Invincible Ash, who will also start in the Al Quoz.
$1 million Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Emirates NBD (UAE-I, race 5, 11 a.m. EDT), 3yo (SH-bred) & up, 5 furlongs (Turf).
PP, Horse, Wgt., Jockey, Trainer
1. Monsieur Joe (Ire), 126, P. Cosgrave, R. Cowell
2. Addictive Dream (Ire), 126, A. Nicholls, D. Nicholls
3. Regally Ready (KY), 126, C. Nakatani, S. Asmussen
4. A Shin Virgo (Jpn), 121, Y. Fukunaga, K. Kozaki
5. Nocturnal Affair (SAf), 126, R. Moore, D. Marnane
6. Joy And Fun (NZ), 126, B. Doyle, D. Cruz
7. Invincible Ash (Ire), 121, J. Spencer, M. Halford
8. August Rush (SAf), 126, G. Schofield, H. Brown
9. War Artist (Aus), 126, K. Shea, M. de Kock
10. Ortensia (Aus), 121, C. Williams, P. Messara
11. Eagle Regiment (Aus), 126, O. Doleuze, K. Leung Man
12. Prohibit (GB), 126, J. Crowley, R. Cowell
13. Better Be The One (Aus), 126, K. Fallon, M. Freedman
14. Secret Asset (Ire), 126, G. Baker, J. Chapple-Hyam
15. Sole Power (GB), 126, J. Murtagh, E. Lynam
16. Margot Did (Ire), 121, H. Turner, M. Bell