Of all the 13 American-based horses that traveled this week to the Middle East for the $26-million Dubai World Cup program, Fly Down, Victor’s Cry, Champ Pegasus and I Want Revenge are among those who are the most eye-catching to railbirds so far.
Fly Down, a husky chestnut 4-year-old son of Mineshaft owned by Saudi Arabian King Abdullah and his sons, has been close to major success in the past without quite getting the job done. The Belmont (gr. I) and Travers (gr. I) Stakes runner-up who also was third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), galloped on March 19 under Tiffany Mueller as the American horses were released from their initial quarantine.
Jeelan Nawaab, a representative of King Abdullah’s stables sent to Meydan by the king’s racing manager, Frank McGovern, to observe Fly Down said that the colt just stretched his legs in the exercise.
“He traveled very well and he looks very good, Nawaab said. “There have been no problems.”
Victor's Cry , winner of last year’s Shoemaker Mile Stakes (gr. IT), has dazzled ever since he got off the plane in Dubai. He also took an easy tour of Meydan on March 19 and was brimming with power and good health.
“His coat looks good,” said Brian Ange, an assistant to Eoin Harty, who is expected to oversee Victor’s Cry’s training on March 20 after arriving from California. “Whether he is good enough, we’ll have to see, but you have to be in it to able to get a piece of it.”
I Want Revenge , the grade I winner who is aimed for the $1-million Godolphin Mile ((UAE-II) and who will be one of two runners on the World Cup program for trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., also cut a striking appearance on the track.
“So far, so good,” said Michelle Nevin, an assistant to Dutrow who rode both I Want Revenge later in the morning and, before dawn, Dutrow’s candidate for the $1-million Al Quoz Sprint (UAE-II).
“They both traveled well,” Nevin reported, adding that she took each for just one easy lap of the about 1 1/8-mile Meydan track.
Champ Pegasus, the grade I winner who finished second to Dangerous Midge in the Emirates Airlines Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT), will get a rematch with that rival and with frequent foe Bourbon Bay in the $5-million Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) over 2,485 meters (about 1 ½ miles) on turf. The 5-year-old son of Fusaichi Pegasus also was a showstopper as he galloped in draw reins with his head low and his body as taut as a bowstring.