A field of 11 turf marathoners will go to the post in the $200,000 DRC Gold Cup Sponsored by Dubai Duty Free (UAE-IIIT) at Meydan Racecourse March 10. The 16-furlong contest is the first of two stakes races that are scheduled for the Thursday evening program.
Opinion Poll leads a four-horse Godolphin contingent in the Gold Cup. A 5-year-old horse by Halling, Opinion Poll finished second to Claremont in the listed Nad Al Sheba Trophy Feb. 17. Trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni, Opinion Poll won the 2010 Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup (Eng-II) and was third in the Prix Royal Oak (Fr-I). Ahmed Ajtebi has the mount.
Claremont is another contestant that hails from the Godolphin barn. Like his stablemate Opinion Poll, Claremont is trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni. In addition to the Nad Al Sheba Trophy, the son of Sadler's Wells also has a victory in the listed Totepool Aston Park Stakes. William Buick will be aboard.
Frankie Dettori will ride Whispering Gallery for trainer Saeed bin Suroor. The 5-year-old gelded son of Daylami is one of four challengers trained by Suroor that are set to start in the race. Whispering Gallery was last seen Jan. 27, when he captured a 14-furlong turf handicap, defeating Opinion Poll. Whispering Gallery has won six of 12 starts, and has earned $328,786.
In addition to the Godolphin and bin Suroor runners, there are a few other entries that deserve a closer look. Mikhail Glinka appears to be rounding into form for trainer Herman Brown. Purchased privately last year by Ramzan Kadyrov, Mikhail Glinka won the two-mile Queen’s Vase (Eng-III) at Royal Ascot for then trainer Aidan O’Brien and owner Coolmore. The son of Galileo most recently was second, beaten just a half-length, in a 13-furlong turf handicap on Feb. 18. Ryan Moore will ride.
Drunken Sailor will attempt to find the winner’s circle after two lackluster performances earlier in the meet. The Luca Cumani-trained gelding captured two races during the 2010 Carnival, but has yet to return to that form. Kieren Fallon will ride.
$200,000 DRC Gold Cup Sponsored by Dubai Duty Free (gr. III, race 4, 11:30 a.m. EST), 4yos and up, 16 furlongs, turf.
PP, Horse, Weight, Jockey, Trainer
1. Royaaty (Ire), 126, P. Cosgrave, M. bin Shafya
2. Bergo (Ger), 126, C. Soumillon, G. Moore
3. Age of Reason (UAE), 126, D. O’Donohoe, S. bin Suroor
4. Muller (Arg), 126, B. Fayd’Herbe, S. Al Harabi
5. Mikhail Glinka (Ire), 120, R. Moore, H. Brown
6. Claremont (Ire), 126, W. Buick, M. Al Zarooni
7. Sabotage (UAE), 126, T. Durcan, S. bin Suroor
8. La De Two (Ire), 126, T. O’Shea, S. bin Suroor
9. Drunken Sailor (Ire), 126, K. Fallon, L. Cumani
10. Whispering Gallery (GB), 126, L. Dettori, S. bin Suroor
11. Opinion Poll (Ire), 129, A. Ajtebi, M. Al Zarooni