Godolphin's Discreet Cat will represent the home team in Saturday's $2-million UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Nad al Sheba Racecourse, but a big effort is demanded if he is to make his way to the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
"It's way too early to even start talking about the Kentucky Derby," Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said Wednesday morning from the Al Quoz training center. "This horse is short on experience and long on hype. He's got tons of speed and it's highly questionable whether 1 1/8 miles is going to be a true distance for him. It may well be that he becomes a miler or a seven-furlong horse."
A decision on whether or not to ship Discreet Cat to Churchill Downs will be made after he faces a dozen challengers in the UAE Derby.
Crisford said regardless of whether Discreet Cat points for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), the colt would race in the United States during the summer.
"If he wins and wins well (in the UAE Derby) and that's a very big if, then Sheikh Mohammed will make the decision whether we head toward Kentucky or give the horse a little bit more time," Crisford said. "He's obviously a very talented colt, but he is lacking experience. He's an exceptionally good-looking colt and he's still a little bit light framed but we expect as he matures a bit that he will fill out and develop into a very imposing colt.
Godolphin privately purchased the 3-year-old son of Forestry
out of the Private Account mare, Pretty Discreet, from Joyce Robsham after he broke his maiden by 3 1/2 lengths going six furlongs at Saratoga.
Discreet Cat, along with about 39 other Godolphin runners, including Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) hopeful Electrocutionist and Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) contender Valixir, breezed in front of members of the media on hand for the Dubai World Cup program.
Electrocutionist (Red Ransom
--Elbaaha, by Arazi) joined the Godolphin team after finishing third in the 2005 Pattison Canadian International Stakes (Can-IT) while racing for Earle Mack and trainer Valfredo Valiani.
Before shipping to Woodbine for the Canadian International, Electrocutionist earned his second consecutive group I in the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) over Japanese champion Zenno Rob Roy.
Most recently Electrocutionist scored a seven-length win in the Sheikh Maktoum (UAE-II) on his first start on dirt. "We were very pleased with Electrocutionist's first run," said Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor. "He appeared to handle the surface well that day, but I certainly wouldn't say on the strength of that one run that he is proven on dirt."
Valixir (Trempolino-Vadlamixa, by Linamix) is another recent private purchase by Godolphin. The 5-year-old was purchased from the Aga Khan after he finished fifth in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).
In his first outing carrying the Godolphin blue silks, Valixir finished seventh in the Derrinstown Stud Jebel Hatta (UAE-I). "Valixir was a little disappointing on his seasonal debut and we are hoping for a better run Saturday," Suroor said. "With the prize money of $5 million, the Dubai Duty Free is obviously going to be a very hard race to win this year, but Valixir deserves to take his shot."