Better Talk Now might be several years removed from a victory in the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT), but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to take a back seat to some of the finest 1 1/2-mile turf experts in Dubai March 29. The 9-year-old Talkin Man gelding, who won the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Turf and was a grade I turf winner last year, is ready to give it a go in the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic Sponsored by Nakheel (UAE-I).
Trained by H. Graham Motion for Bushwood Stables, Better Talk Now will carry 119 pounds and is coming off a sixth-place effort in the Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) in February. Regular jockey Ramon Dominguez is in the saddle.
Spring House, a 6-year-old son of Chester House, has the return services of jockey Garrett Gomez in his attempt to land the Sheema Classic. The two partnered to win the San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) in February and the Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT) last fall. Owned by R.D. Hubbard, Spring House is trained by Julio Canani and will carry 116 pounds.
Doctor Dino, a French-bred, is another who has direct ties to the U.S., with one of his big wins coming in the Man o’ War Stakes (gr. IT) last September. A 6-year-old by Muhtathir, Doctor Dino traveled last fall to Hong Kong, where he won the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase (HK-I) in December in his last start. Olivier Preslier is back for the ride. Trained by Richard Gibson for J. Martinez Salmean, Doctor Dino will carry 119 pounds.
The topweight in the Dubai Sheema Classic is Youmzain, who will carry 123 pounds, including jockey Richard Hughes. The Irish-bred son of Sinndar hasn’t run since finishing second, beaten a head, in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (Fr-I) last October. He was a German champion at 11 to 14 furlongs in 2006.
Sun Classique, an Australian 4-year-old daughter of Fuji Kiseki who will tote 115 pounds, twice has had a go of it around the Nad Al Sheba turf course this year. She won both times, but against listed company. She was South Africa’s champion 3-year-old filly. Kevin Shea returns for the ride.
$5 million Dubai Sheema Classic Sponsored by Nakheel (UAE-I), 4-year-olds and up, Northern and Southern Hemisphere
PP, Horse, Jockey
1. Latency, Julio Cesar Mendez
2. Quijano, Andrasch Starke
3. Sun Classique, Kevin Shea
4. West Wind, Kerrin McEvoy
5. Youmzain, Richard Hughes
6. Better Talk Now, Ramon Dominguez
7. Sushisan, Ryan Moore
8. Gravitas, Lanfranco Dettori
9. Yellowstone, John Egan
10. Oracle West, John Murtagh
11. Spring House, Garrett Gomez
12. Viva Pataca, Darren Beadman
13. Mourilyan, Michael Kinane
14. Dansant, Jamie Spencer
15. Doctor Dino, Olivier Peslier
16. Gower Song, Ted Durcan