Presvis in the 2011 Dubai Duty Free.

Presvis in the 2011 Dubai Duty Free.

Mathea Kelley/Dubai Racing Club

Presvis Seeks to Repeat in Dubai Duty Free

Presvis takes on an international field in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes (UAE-IT).

Presvis will attempt to defend his title when he takes on a talented field of international runners in the $5-million Dubai Duty Free Sponsored by Dubai Duty Free (UAE-IT) at Meydan Racecourse March 31.

Post positions were drawn on Monday for seven of the eight Thoroughbred stakes races that will be run on Dubai World Cup day, a total program worth $27 million. Post positions for the $10 million Dubai World Cup will be drawn on Wednesday, March 28.

The Luca Cumani-trained Presvis was victorious in this race last year, holding off a determined River Jetez to score by three-quarters of a length. The 8-year-old gelding also won the Al Rashidiya Sponsored by Dubai Duty Free (UAE-IIT) last season, and was third in the Jebel Hatta Sponsored by Emirates Airline (UAE-IIT).

Presvis hasn’t been as successful during the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival, finishing off the board in both the Al Rashidiya and the Jebel Hatta Sponsored by Emirates (UAE-IT). Ryan Moore will once again be in the irons.

Hong Kong will be well-represented by the talented trio of Ambitious Dragon, California Memory, and Xtension. The three runners have locked horns on several occasions, most recently facing each other in both the Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup (HK-I) and the Stewards’ Cup (HK-I). Ambitious Dragon, a 6-year-old gelded son of Pins, was successful on both occasions, with Xtension finishing second and California Memory coming in third.

Ambitious Dragon, who is trained by A.T. Millard, has won 10 of 17 lifetime starts, with additional group I victories in the 2011 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby (HK-I) and the 2011 Audemars Piguet QE II Cup (HK-I). Douglas Whyte will ride.

The Tony Cruz-trained California Memory also sports a few group I victories on his resume. The 6-year-old gelding won twice at the highest level last year, notching wins in the Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup and Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup (HK-I). Regular rider Matthew Chadwick comes in for the ride.

Trainer John Moore will send out Xtension in the Dubai Duty Free. The 5-year-old horse by Xaar has won just three of his 20 lifetime starts, but has finished in the money 13 times. Xtension also has a group I victory to his credit, having won the BMW Champions Mile (HK-I) in 2011. Jeffrey Lloyd will ride.

Mike de Kock will send out the entry of Musir and Mutahadee, both of which are owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum. Musir, a 6-year-old son of Redoute's Choice, will be trying for his third win of the Carnival, having already captured the Al Rashidiya and Al Maktoum Challenge-Round 1 Sponsored by Etisalat (UAE-III). Kevin Shea will ride.

Christophe Soumillon will partner Mutahadee, a 4-year-old Irish-bred son of Encosta De Lago. The bay colt has won three of seven lifetime starts, most recently finishing third to stablemate Master of Hounds in the Jebel Hatta on March 10.

Wigmore Hall is another contender that made his last start in the Jebel Hatta. The 5-year-old gelding by High Chaparral finished sixth in that race, which was his seasonal debut. Wigmore Hall had a very successful 2011 season, winning the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes Sponsored by Vtech (Can-IT) and finishing a good fourth in the Arlington Million (gr. IT). Jamie Spencer will once again be in the irons.

Godolphin sends out a three-horse entry in Delegator, City Style, and Rio de La Plata. Frankie Dettori will pilot Delegator, a son of Dansili who won the Duke of York Blue Square Stakes (Eng-II) last year. The 6-year-old bay horse will be trying for his second win of the Carnival, having won a seven-furlong turf handicap Feb. 16.

City Style enters the Dubai Duty Free off a strong runner-up finish in the Jebel Hatta. This will be the fourth start of the Carnival for the son of City Zip, who boasts two allowance victories in addition to a second-place finish to Musir in the Al Rashidiya. Mickael Barzalona will ride.

Multiple group I-winner Rio de La Plata will try and improve from his two previous starts, in which he finished out of the money in both the Jebel Hatta and Al Fahidi Fort Sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (UAE-IIT). The 7-year-old son of Rahy is very versatile, having won at distances ranging from seven to 10 furlongs. Silvestre de Sousa will ride.

The remainder of the field includes Await the Dawn (Eng-II), Rajsaman (Fr-II), Dark Shadow (Jpn-IIT), Dubawi Gold (Eng-II), Cityscape (Eng-III), and Green Destiny (Eng-III).

$5,000,000 Dubai Duty Free Sponsored by Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I, race 7, 12:25 p.m. EDT), 3yo (SH-bred) & up, nine furlongs (turf). All carry 126 pounds.

PP, Horse, Jockey, Trainer

1. Green Destiny (Ire), G. Schofield, H. Brown
2. Await the Dawn (KY), J.P. O’Brien, A. O’Brien
3. Rajsaman (Fr), R. Ffrench, A. Al Raihe
4. Ambitious Dragon (NZ), D. Whyte, A.T. Millard
5. Musir (Aus), K. Shea, M. de Kock
6. Delegator (GB), L. Dettori, S. bin Suroor
7. Dark Shadow (Jpn), Y. Fukunaga, N. Hori
8. California Memory (KY), M. Chadwick, T. Cruz
9. Xtension (Ire), J. Lloyd, J. Moore
10. Mutahadee (Ire), C. Soumillon, M. de Kock
11. Cityscape (GB), J. Doyle, R. Charlton
12. Presvis (GB), R. Moore, L. Cumani
13. City Style (KY), M. Barzalona, M. Al Zarooni
14. Rio de La Plata (KY), S. de Sousa, S. bin Suroor
15. Wigmore Hall (Ire), J. Spencer, M. Bell
16. Dubawi Gold (GB), J. Murtagh, R. Hannon