Godolphin will send out a trio of top-class runners to compete in the $1 million Godolphin Mile Sponsored by Etisalat (UAE-II) at Meydan Racecourse March 31. The eight-furlong contest is the first of eight stakes that will be run on the 2012 Dubai World Cup card.
Frankie Dettori will ride African Story, a son of Pivotal who captured the Burj Nahaar Sponsored by Emirates Sky Cargo (UAE-III) and was a close third in the Firebreak Stakes Sponsored by Dubal (UAE-III). Sandagiyr won the Firebreak and was fourth in the Zabeel Mile Sponsored by Commercial Bank of Dubai (UAE-IIT), which was won by Do It All.
Mickael Barzalona will ride Sandagiyr, while Silvestre de Sousa will be aboard Do It All.
Western Aristocrat will be making his first start since finishing third in the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) Nov. 27 of last year. One month earlier, the son of Mr. Greeley wired the field to win the Jamaica Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont Park. Ryan Moore will ride.
First City will be hoping to rebound from her poor performance in the Jebel Hatta Sponsored by Emirates (UAE-IT) March 10. The 6-year-old mare by Diktat defeated Mahbooba in the Cape Verdi Sponsored by the Saeed and Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (UAE-IIT) in January.
One month later, she finished second to that rival in the Balanchine Stakes Sponsored by S.O.G. Operations (UAE-IIT). Royston Ffrench will be in the irons.
Turf Marathoners Take Center Stage in Dubai Gold Cup
Thirteen long distance specialists will enter the starting gate in the $1 million Dubai Gold Cup Sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (UAE-IIIT). The two-mile contest is a new stakes on the Dubai World Cup program.
Godolphin will have a strong team once again, led by multiple stakes winner Opinion Poll. The 6-year-old son of Halling won both the Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup (Eng-II) and Artemis Goodwood Cup (Eng-II) last year.
The bay horse also finished second to Fame And Glory in the Gold Cup (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot. Dettori will ride.
De Sousa will partner Fox Hunt in the Gold Cup. The Dubawi gelding enters with a two-race winning streak, which includes a victory in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy (UAE-IIIT) March 1.
Kasbah Bliss will be trying to rebound off a dismal performance in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy, in which he finished ninth. The 10-year-old gelding won the Qatar Prix du Cadran (Fr-I) last October. Gerald Mosse will ride.
Bronze Cannon and Mikhail Glinka will represent owner Ramzan Kadyrov and trainer Herman Brown. Both horses have won races during the current meet; Bronze Cannon captured a 10-furlong handicap and Mikhail Glinka won the Dubai City of Gold Sponsored by Dubal (UAE-IIT).