Pleasantly Perfect Among 84 Dubai World Cup Nominees

Pleasantly Perfect Among 84 Dubai World Cup Nominees
Photo: Mike Corrado
Dubai World Cup nominees Pleasantly Perfect and Medaglia d'Oro, finishing first and second in the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Edited from a release

Richard Mandella, who has sent out three horses to finish second in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), has nominated his 2003 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Pleasantly Perfect for next year's edition of the $6,000,000 race sponsored by Emirates Airline.

The world's richest race will be run over 2,000 meters (about 10 furlongs) at the Nad al Sheba Racecourse on March 27, 2004, and has attracted 84 nominations from the major racing nations around the globe.

Mandella trained Soul of the Matter to finish a half length behind the great Cigar in the inaugural Dubai World Cup in 1996, then a year later he filled the second and third places with Siphon and Sandpit. In 1998 Mandella returned to Dubai with the fourth-place finisher Malek, who went on to finish second behind Almutawakel in 1999.

Pleasantly Perfect, a 5-year-old son of Pleasant Colony, capped an amazing day for Mandella, who made history when training the winners of four of the Breeders' Cup races at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

The Dubai World Cup meeting, with prize money of $15,250,000 is the single richest day of racing in the world, and is the final race day of the inaugural Dubai International Racing Carnival.

Beginning Jan. 29 2004, the $21,000,000 Dubai International Racing Carnival encompasses 55 races, of which 17 are run at either group or listed level, with six of these being run on the Nad Al Sheba turf course and the remainder on the dirt.

Ali Saeed Bilhab, chairman of the Dubai Racing Club and the Dubai World Cup Committee, said, "We are very excited by the quality of the horses from around the world who have been nominated for all the races on Dubai World Cup evening. We look forward to welcoming all our international visitors to Dubai for what promises to be a spectacular evening of horse racing."

Runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Medaglia d'Oro, trained by Bobby Frankel, has also been nominated for the Dubai World Cup.

Other American-based challengers include the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Funny Cide, trained by Barclay Tagg. Bob Baffert, winner of the Dubai World Cup in 1998 with Silver Charm and in 2001 with Captain Steve, has nominated his multiple grade I winner Congaree.

European representatives are led by Michael Jarvis who has nominated his Emirates Airline Dubai Champion Stakes (Eng-I) winner Rakti, also winner of the Derby Italiano (Ity-I). Fellow British trainer Brian Meehan has entered Kaieteur, winner of the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis (Ger-I) and runner-up in the Arlington Million (gr. IT).

Marcel Rolland has nominated his Prix Ganay (Fr-I) winner Fair Mix with Elie Lellouche entering his globe-trotting filly Bright Sky, the Prix de l'Opera (Fr-I) winner who went on to run in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).

Elvstroem, Fields of Omagh and Makybe Diva, three of Australia's leading equine athletes are on the list for the Dubai World Cup. Elvstroem, trained by Tony Vasil, landed the Victoria Derby (Aust-I) at Flemington by one and a half lengths.

Trained by Tony McEvoy, Fields of Omagh won the W.S. Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on Oct. 25 and is now headed for the Japan Cup (Jpn-I), with Makybe Diva, from the David Hall stables, was this year's winner of Australia's most famous race, the Melbourne Cup (Aust-I).

Admire Don, trained in Japan by Hiroyoshi Matsuda, could make the trip to Dubai following his third place behind Eagle Cafe in last year's Japan Cup Dirt.

Ipi Tombe, now trained by in the U.S. by Elliott Walden, has been nominated to bid for a repeat win of the $2,000,000 Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) over 1,777 meters (about 1 1/16 miles) on turf. Ipi Tombe took up the lead in the final 100 meters of the race in March to win by three lengths over the German challenger Paolini.

Also among the 104 nominations for the turf race are the David Hoffmans-trained Adoration, winner of the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), and the Canadian Triple Crown champion Wando, trained by Michael Keogh.

Dead-heat winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) Johar, also trained by Mandella, has been nominated for the $2,000,000 Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I), sponsored by The Palm, and run over 2,400 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) of the Nad Al Sheba turf course. The 4-year-old son of Gone West dead-heated with the Aidan O'Brien-trained High Chaparral and finished a neck in front of Falbrav. Johar has not finished out of the top three in his last 10 races and in addition to the Turf his victories include; the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) and the Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT).

The Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) has attracted 86 nominations from 14 countries. Marcus Tregoning who won this race in 2002 with Nayef, has nominated Mubtaker, a three-quarters-of-a-length runner-up to Dalakhani in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

The first five home in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) have all been nominated for the $2,000,000 Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), sponsored by Gulf News, over Nad Al Sheba straight 1,200 meters (about six furlongs).

The list is headed by the Steven Margolis-trained Cajun Beat, who was driven out to win the Sprint by 2 1/4 over Ted West's Bluethestandard and third place Shake You Down, trained by Scott Lake.

Flying the flag for Europe could be the Robert Collet-trained Whipper, winner of the 1,200 meter Prix Morny (Fr-I) and the Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte (Fr-II).

Australian sprinting sensation Exceed And Excel has already accepted an invitation for the Dubai Golden Shaheen following his win the Dubai Racing Club Cup (Aust-I) at Caulfield in September.

Warren Stute has entered his 6-year-old Grey Memo, aiming for a second win in the $1,000,000 Godolphin Mile (UAE-II), sponsored by Jebel Ali International Hotels. The son of Memo, was a 3 1/2-length winner of this race in 2002 and finished just three-quarters of a length second to Firebreak in 2003.

The $2,000,000 UAE Derby (UAE-II), has attracted 57 nominations including two leading lights from Britain. Jamie Osborne has nominated his shock Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I) winner Milk it Mick, with Richard Hannon nominating his Racing Post Trophy (Eng-I) runner-up Fantastic View.

In total 538 horses have been nominated for the Dubai World Cup meeting on March 27 from 19 separate countries. The second nomination stage closes on Jan. 14, 2004.

For more information visit www.dubaiworldcup.com.

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