Keeping with the international spirit of Dubai World Cup Day, an incredibly accomplished field of 16 older males and females from seven different countries will go postward in the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse.
Ten of the 16 entrants have earned seven figures, and eight are champions. Among the four female champions is Japanese-bred Vodka (by Tanino Gimlet), an earner of more than $3.6 million. The countries represented in the field include the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, France, and South Africa.
With so many standout runners, it’s difficult to choose who will headline the $5 million turf race, though Literato is deservedly highweighted at 123 pounds. The 4-year-old son of Kendor was a champion at 3 in his native France and has more than $1.24 million in earnings.
Though he hasn’t raced in more than five months and has never before campaigned in Dubai, Literato scored in his last three outings, including the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket last fall. Owned by H. Morin, he is trained by Jena Claude Rouget.
Without a doubt, the most impressive U.S.-bred horse is three-time Hong Kong champion Bullish Luck (by Royal Academy), who has earned more than $7.64 million from 56 starts.
Owned by Wong Wing Keung and trained by Anthony Cruz, Bullish Luck has never raced in the U.S., but has collected four group I victories in Hong Kong and finished third in the 2007 Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) behind 2006 U.S. Horse of the Year Invasor. He most recently ran third in the Feb. 24 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (HK-I).
The sole American-based runner in the Duty Free field is J. Paul Reddam’s Notional, who won last year’s San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita and Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds. Trained by Doug O’Neill, he finished third in his only start on turf, the Feb. 17 Daytona Handicap at Santa Anita. The son of In Excess has earned $515,740.
$5 million Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I), about nine furlongs for Northern Hemisphere 4-year-olds and Southern Hemisphere 3-year-olds, turf
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Notional, 113, Garrett Gomez
2. Majestic Roi, 116, Darryll Holland
3. Floral Pegasus, 115, Gerald Mosse
4. Seachange, 112, Ted Durcan
5. Admire Aura, 115, Katsumi Ando
6. Finsceal Beo, 119, Kevin Manning
7. Archipenko, 116, Kevin Shea
8. Niconero, 115, Craig Williams
9. Creachadoir, 118, Kerrin McEvoy
10. Literato, 123, Lanfranco Dettori
11. Darjina, 122, Cristophe Soumillon
12. Vodka, 117, Yutaka Take
13. Bullish Luck, 115, Brett Prebble
14. Jay Peg, 116, Anton Marcus
15. Lord Admiral, 112, Michael Kinane
16. Linngari, 121, Ryan Moore