America’s contenders for the $27 million Dubai World Cup program, including champion Royal Delta and multiple grade I winner Game On Dude, have landed safely in Dubai and are in good health after the long flight from Fort Lauderdale International Airport.
John Nicholls, who oversees the World Cup quarantine facilities for the Dubai Racing Club, reported that the American horses made it to their stalls around 9:30 p.m. local time March 21, and all were bright and alert the following morning.
“They all look well and I think everybody is happy with them,” Nicholls said, adding that the horses will be able to go to the track for the first time on the morning of March 24 after clearing quarantine.
Also on the American team this year is multiple grade I winner The Factor , who will try to extend America’s domination of the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), a sprint over 1,200 meters (about six furlongs).
Bob Baffert, already winner of two Dubai World Cups, trains both The Factor and Game On Dude. The latter will run for the $10 million World Cup prize along with the Bill Mott-trained Royal Delta, who will try to become the first filly or mare to win the world’s richest race.
Grade I winner Giant Ryan, trained by Bisnath Parboo, will join The Factor in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, while Lucky Chappy, trained by Graham Motion, runs in the $2 million UAE Derby (UAE-II).
Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IIT) winner Regally Ready, trained by Steve Asmussen, flew to Dubai earlier and is awaiting the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint (UAE-I).