A record number of American-based horses are beginning their journey to Dubai to compete at the world's richest day of racing, the Dubai World Cup meeting, at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse March 25.
A total of 19 horses from America will arrive at Dubai International Airport March 15, the largest contingent to come from America in the 10-year-history of the Dubai World Cup.
Among the raiding party is the William 'Buff' Bradley-trained Brass Hat, winner of his last three starts, including the Donn Handicap (gr. I).
Along with Brass Hat, the other runners in the US$6,000,000 Dubai World Cup (UAE- I), the world's richest race, sponsored by Emirates, flying in from America will be the Jeremy Noseda-trained Wilko, winner of the 2004 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), Super Frolic, trained by Vladimir Cerin, Todd Pletcher's Magna Graduate, and Choctaw Nation, who was third in this race a year ago.
Richard Mandella, winning trainer of the 2004 Dubai World Cup, is sending The Tin Man to challenge for the US$5,000,000 Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I), sponsored by Dubai Duty Free, over 1,777 metres on the turf. Fellow American challengers in the Dubai Duty Free, the second leg of the Asian Mile Challenge, will be last year's Dubai Duty Free runner-up Whilly, from the Doug O'Neill stable, and Pletcher's Chilean-bred Host.
The US$5,000,000 Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I), sponsored by Nakheel, which along with the Dubai Duty Free is the richest turf race in the world, has attracted two American challengers; Mustanfar, trained by former UAE champion trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and the Christophe Clement-trained Relaxed Gesture.
McLaughlin is also bringing the Argentinean-bred Invasor to run in the US$2,000,000 UAE Derby (UAE-II), sponsored by Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group. Invasor, winner of all five of his career starts in Uruguay, will by joined by the Dante Zanelli-trained Dominguin in the UAE Derby.
Five American challenges will be flying over to run in the US$2,000,000 Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), sponsored by Gulf News, over the straight 1,200 metres including Malibu Stakes (gr. I) winner Proud Tower Too, trained by Sal Gonzalez.
Julio Canani, who has saddled seven runners over the years at the Dubai World Cup meeting, runs Island Fashion in the US$1,000,000 Godolphin Mile (UAE-II), sponsored by Jebel Ali International Hotels.
Eoin Harty, who was assistant trainer to Bob Baffert the year that Silver Charm won the Dubai World Cup, will be represented by Shamoan in the Godolphin Mile.