Frankie Dettori admitted Discreet Cat will need to be somewhere near his best when the big Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) hope makes his eagerly-awaited reappearance at the Nad Al Sheba Super Thursday program on March 1.
Sponsored by Derrinstown Stud, is set to be the biggest day’s racing in the UAE outside the Dubai World Cup meeting itself. The US$1.3 million meeting stages seven races that replicate the contests run on Dubai World Cup night.
It's importance is due in part to Discreet Cat’s presence. Officially ranked the second best horse in the world, he who runs in the US$200,000 Lahan Burj Nahaar (UAE-III).
Of the Saeed bin Suroor-trained horse, Italian Dettori said: “I have not sat on him since winning the UAE Derby (UAE-II) last year, but obviously I watched him go on to really prove himself in America.
“I see him most days though, and he has been training well, and Saeed is very happy with him.
“This is a big day for him, and it’s the next step to the Dubai World Cup meeting. It’s not going to be easy with a seven-pound penalty, which he has for winning a group I race, but we’ve got to start somewhere.”
Godolphin is also represented by Day Pass, who is unbeaten in his two starts in America, the last of which was at grade III level.
The 3-year-old is entered for the US$150,000 Bahri Al Bastakiya, and Dettori said: “He looks a nice horse, but this will be his biggest test on Thursday as it looks a very competitive race.”
In the same race, South African trainer Mike De Kock unleashes potentially one of his best ever horses, Asiatic Boy, whose last two victories have come at the 2007 Dubai International Racing Carnival, including the UAE 2,000 Guineas.
De Kock, who has tasted glory on Dubai World Cup night before with Victory Moon, Lundy’s Liability and Grand Emporium, said: “He’s right up there with some of the best I’ve trained, although he may have a bit more speed.
“He’s brilliant over a mile but the question mark is the extra 200 meters, but I’d rather find out now, rather than in the UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup night.“
De Kock also saddles Irridescence, who won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I) in Hong Kong last year, in the US$250,000 Haafhd Jebel Hatta (UAE-II).
“She had a bad case of colic, and doesn’t look at her best yet, so I think my second best chance might be Oracle West, who will try and follow up last year’s win in the Intikhab Dubai City Of Gold."
De Kock added that Money Bags “should run a fairly decent race” in the featured US$300,000 Elnadim Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (UAE-II).