Investec Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck is among the Aidan O'Brien-trained stars who will not run at the Meydan meeting

Investec Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck is among the Aidan O'Brien-trained stars who will not run at the Meydan meeting

Edward Whitaker/Racing Post

O'Brien to Skip Dubai World Cup Amid Travel Concerns

Ballydoyle trainer Aidan O'Brien had a strong hand at Meydan's flagship meeting.

Aidan O'Brien will not be represented at this year's Dubai World Cup Carnival due to global travel concerns surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19.

The Ballydoyle trainer looked set to have a strong hand at the $35 million meeting, which takes place behind closed doors March 28. His runners included Investec Derby (G1) hero Anthony Van Dyck, globetrotting star mare Magic Wand, and dual group 1-winning miler Circus Maximus.

Only necessary personnel will be allowed to attend Meydan's flagship meeting in accordance with current government protocols in the United Arab Emirates.

"With such concerns over international travel, we are really disappointed not to be able to go to the Dubai World Cup," O'Brien said March 19. "We were really looking forward to the meeting and felt that we had a very strong team representing us this year."

Kew Gardens, who lowered the colors of Stradivarius on QIPCO British Champions Day in October, will miss his engagement in the Dubai Gold Cup (G2), and smart sprinter Sergei Prokofiev is an absentee from the Al Quoz Sprint (G1).

Kerrygold Irish Oaks (G1) and Longines Prix de l'Opera (G1) runner-up Fleeting, as well as Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T) sixth Mount Everest, held entries alongside Anthony Van Dyck for the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1).

New World Tapestry also held an entry for the UAE Derby (G2), which O'Brien has won in recent years with Mendelssohn , Lines of Battle, and Daddy Long Legs .

It is also understood the sole other Irish entrant on the Meydan card, Speak In Colours, will not be making the journey to Meydan.

Meanwhile, John Gosden has confirmed that impressive Cambridgeshire Handicap winner Lord North will take his place in the $6 million Dubai Turf (G1) March 28.

Classic-winning filly Star Catcher, however, will not be joining her 112-rated, listed-winning stablemate.

Gosden told the Racing Post: "Star Catcher and Lord North worked nicely (Thursday), but due to visa issues and possible delays, the filly won't now be traveling out for the Sheema Classic. 

"Lord North runs and Frankie (Dettori) rides, as far as I'm aware."

One of nine prizes up for grabs, the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1) field is headed by ante-post favorite Benbatl, who convincingly won on his dirt debut at Meydan last month before finishing a respectable third in the inaugural Saudi Cup.

Three prominent U.S. jockeys—Irad Ortiz Jr., Luis Saez, and Tyler Gaffalione—will not travel to the UAE in light of the ongoing global crisis.

Trainer Bob Baffert has said William Buick will ride Mucho Gusto, the general 4-1 second choice, with Ortiz not travelling, and Mark Casse has revealed Dettori will ride 20-1 shot Sir Winston with Gaffalione out.

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