United States-based sprinter Berlino Di Tiger might be an outsider for the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint (UAE-I) March 29 on the Dubai World Cup card, but his connections are expecting a top effort.
"We're not here just for fun," said Caue Caramori, head lad and son of Lexington-based trainer Eduardo Caramori. "We came with a good horse and hopefully it works out."
A Brazilian-bred, five-furlong grass specialist, Berlino Di Tiger stretched his legs over the Meydan all-weather surface on the morning of March 25, hitting the track at 7 a.m. local time.
"Yesterday we galloped, today we just jogged," Caramori said.
With the post-position draw looming March 26 for the 1,000-meter (about five-furlong) Golden Shaheen, the connections have little preference.
"It doesn't really matter," Caramori said. "I heard the inside is the best spot here, but (Super Saturday, March 8) Shea Shea won on the outside fence. He (Berlino Di Tiger) is a speed horse, so we want to be wherever it's faster."
American-based jockey Leandro Goncalves, who piloted the 6-year-old son of Tiger Heart to an 11-1 upset in his only North American win—the 2013 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (gr. IIIT) on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) undercard last May—will be aboard on Saturday.
"The owner wanted a Brazilian jockey," Caramori explained. "We had some other options, but to me he was the best option. He knows the horse and is kind of our go-to guy. It's a straight race. It's easy for jockeys. You just have to go."
Berlino Di Tiger is campaigned by Fernando Sampaio's Stud Sampaio. He was champion sprinter of 2012 in his native Brazil, where he posted sevens wins and two thirds from nine starts, including a group I victory. The Al Quoz Sprint will be his first start at Meydan.
Caramori indicated that Berlino Di Tiger would likely familiarize himself with the Meydan turf course on the morning of March 27.
"My dad will be here then and we might let the horse go down the stretch. He doesn't need much and is doing well. It's more about him getting to know the track at this point."