He has been called one of the most talented horses ever to race in Scandinavia, which is good news for UAE racing fans, as Niels Petersen-trained luminary Square de Luynes has descended upon Dubai, leading a quintet of Dubai World Cup Carnival invaders for the Norwegian conditioner. A stunning winner of the Stockholm Cup International (G3) in September, the Stall Power Girls-owned son of Manduro has cleared quarantine and is reportedly settling in nicely.
"He shipped down well and has just been jogging," Petersen said. "This is the first time he has flown and is a very inexperienced horse with only eight or nine runs. He's a late-maturing horse and that means his temperament has him a little on his toes. He will need time to settle in, but I must say I am happy with how he's settling so far. (Dubai Racing Club is) doing everything for us to make it right for us. So far I'm pleased."
Unraced since said 2,400-meter race, the 4-year-old bay gelding has been a terror to his northern counterparts, destroying foes in the 2018 Norsk Derby (listed), Oslo Cup (G3), and Marit Sveaas Minnelop (G3) in Norway before sacking Sweden in the aforementioned romp.
"I wanted to give him a little break after the Stockholm Cup," Petersen said. "He had three runs and that was enough. I spoke to (jockey) Pat Cosgrave after he rode him in the (Marit Sveaas Minnelop) and asked if he was good enough to come to Dubai and he thought he was, so we gave him rest to prepare. We will look at Super Saturday with him and maybe a run before during the Carnival. I'm not sure yet."
Petersen also returns with 2018 Al Bastakiya Sponsored by Emirates.com (listed) runner-up Nordic Defense, promising 2-year-old fillies Ascot Brass and Careless Whisper, as well as dominant 2019 Norsk Derby (listed) winner Privilegiado.
"Nordic Defense likes the dirt," Petersen explained. "He got sick in the spring and he ran poorly and I said to the owner to just leave him and I'll point him to here. He is really nicely handicapped and looking back what he did in the Al Bastakiya, it's a nice mark. I'll look at something around 2,000 meters on dirt for him.
"Both of the fillies are very nice," he continued. "Ascot Brass has had a few runs, so we'll wait for the ($250,000 UAE) One Thousand Guineas (Jan. 23). I think she'll like the dirt here a lot. Careless Whisper is a horse who has only had a few runs and has less (seasoning). If we have no obstacles, we might look at the ($100,000 UAE One Thousand) Guineas Trial (Jan. 2) for her. I think both will like longer distances as they come.
"Privilegiado is a very good horse. His best race will be around 10 furlongs and may run on turf or dirt. On dirt, he can run 1,900-2,000 meters, while on grass he may be more versatile. He'll freshen up and the weather here helps. He's not a big horse, but he's very smart."