Such is the strength of the big two –- Pleasantly Perfect and Medaglia d'Oro -- in Saturday's Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) that Leandro Moro, supervising the preparation of Fleetstreet Dancer, has said he would be happy to finish in the first five.
Fleetstreet Dancer's trainer Doug O'Neill has stayed in America due to the death of his father, leaving Moro to supervise his second Dubai runner following Avanzado's second place in the Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) last year.
"Everything has gone as smoothly as I expected -- very well," Moro said. "The track has been phenomenal."
But so is the opposition. "Yeah, that's the problem," he added. "I am having to sweat already. We have run three times against Pleasantly Perfect, but the best we ever got out of it was one second. We can beat some of the horses here and I would love to finish in the first five, if possible. No doubt that would be okay. Don't take me wrong we all want to win, but coming all the way over here and being against so many very, very tough horses from all over the world, first five would be good. This looks a tougher race than last year. This is a tough, game horse. That's what I like about him. He does not like to win by many lengths. He likes to hang with company. The track shouldn't be a disadvantage because a horse will tell you when they get to the track if they like it or not and he is very happy here."
Like many of the Dubai World Cup connections, Moro does not fear the effects of the draw, "because over here when you break out of the gate, it's no problem because there is no immediate turn. In America over this distance you can jump out of the gate and be right on the first turn."
While Moro was striking a distinctly realistic note, Charles Winner, part-owner of the Paul Gallagher-trained Domestic Dispute, can sense an upset. "I think Medaglia d'Oro and Pleasantly Perfect are both fabulous horses, but I feel we have a real good shot against them," he said. "We have looked at all of the races they have won, all of the races we have won and we feel we have a real, real good shot against them. An awful lot depends on how the race breaks and what happens during the course of the race but we are very, very confident that we have a very good shot in this race. We are expecting an upset. Our horse likes it a lot here and seems to be taking to it very nicely. He is in very good shape, his color is good and he looks strong and is full of himself."
Winner has taken to Dubai enthusiastically, saying: "If you have the opportunity to come here and be a part of this wonderful show and this wonderful extravaganza it's worth doing. It‚s our first time here and we are loving it. It's wonderful and we are very excited about the race. Hopefully, we‚'l be more excited after the race. Obviously the prize-money is important, Other than that, it is nice to be invited. They (United Arab Emirates) have something on their Web site which I think is very interesting, something to the effect of 'don't ever regret not winning, regret not entering' and we took that to heart."