Some of South Africa's brightest recent exports are prominent on the two featured races Feb. 22 at Meydan as the Dubai World Cup Carnival rolls along.
South African trainer Mike de Kock has two of the 10 entries for the Dubai Millennium Stakes Sponsored by District One Mansions (G3) at 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) on the turf and Godolphin has four of the others.
De Kock fields Al Sahem, a 4-year-old colt by Silvano, who won last year's South African Derby (G1) at Turffontein, then finished second, beaten just a short head, in the Vodacom Durban July (G1) at Greyville; and Light The Lights, a 6-year-old Western Winter gelding. Both are owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.
The Godolphin quartet includes Folkswood, a 5-year-old Exceed And Excel gelding who was last seen finishing fifth in the Emirates Stakes (G1) at Flemington in Australia Nov. 11.
Also toting the familiar blue silks are Leshlaa, a 4-year-old American-bred colt by Street Cry who won the REACH by Gulf News Handicap by 4 1/2 lengths over the same course Feb. 8; Carry On Deryck, a 6-year-old Halling gelding; and Team Talk, a 5-year-old Teofilo gelding.
Whisky Baron leads three South African exports featured in the Zabeel Mile Sponsored by District One Legacy (G2), also on the Meydan grass course.
Whisky Baron wrapped up the South African portion of his career with a victory in the Sun Met celebrated with Mumm (G1) in January of 2017, defeating a field rich with that country's best. After enduring the rigorous quarantine imposed on South Africans, the Manhattan Rain gelding resurfaced at Newmarket in England Sept. 29 finishing sixth in the Shadwell Joel Stakes (G2).
Godolphin is well represented in the Zabeel Mile by Bay of Poets, a promising 4-year-old gelding by Lope De Vega who finished second in the Al Rashidiya Sponsored by Jebel Ali Port (G2) Feb. 1 going nine furlongs, and Dream Castle, a 4-year-old Frankel colt who reported third in the Al Fahidi Fort Sponsored by DP World-UAE Region (G2) at seven furlongs on the same program.
Among the others, Championship won this event last year. But the 7-year-old Exceed and Excel gelding finished eighth in the Al Fahidi Fort, never in contention.