The Citizen (KZN)

Ushba Tesoro seeks DWC double



ʂ Lord North looking to make history in Dubai Turf.

There are 33 individual Thoroughbr­ed Group 1 winners are among horses from 13 countries expected to run at the $30.5-million (R580millio­n) Dubai World Cup (DWC) meeting at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday.

Defending champion Ushba Tesoro, Saudi Cup winner Senor Buscador and Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Derma Sotogake are among a projected line-up of 13 for the $12million Dubai World Cup. The locally trained contingent is headed by Kazakhstan-owned sensation Kabirkhan, winner of Grade 1 Maktoum Challenge.

The $6-million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic has a projected field of 12, with 2022 winner Shahryar aiming to become the first horse to win it twice. He is part of a formidable Japanese team which includes top fillies Liberty Island and Stars On Earth.

Taking them on from Europe is Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Auguste Rodin and Coronation Cup winner Emily Upjohn, while the Godolphin challenge relies on former UAE Derby winner Rebel’s Romance.

Lord North goes for an unpreceden­ted fourth win in the $5million Dubai Turf. The John and Thady Gosden-trained gelding faces a potential 14 rivals, including Arima Kinen winner Do Deuce and Lord’s North stablemate, the multiple Grade 1-winning mare Nashwa.

There are two valuable sprints

on the card, including the $2million G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen. Defending champion Sibelius faces last year’s fourth Hopkins, while the Japanese challenge is headed by impressive Riyadh Dirt Sprint winner Remake.

The $1.5-million G1 Al Quoz Sprint has an internatio­nal look, with multiple Grade 1 winner Casa Creed travelling over from America, Jasper Krone from Japan and several British runners, including G1 winners Regional

and Emaraaty Ana. California Spangle, winner of the G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup last weekend, journeys from Hong Kong.

The card is bolstered by three Group 2s, beginning with the Godolphin Mile. The strong lineup features 2023 winner Isolate and Saudi Crown, third in the Saudi Cup last time out.

Devastatin­g Saudi Derby winner Forever Young is the star attraction in the G2 UAE Derby, in which he is likely to be joined by

US raider Pandagate, as well as UAE 2000 Guineas winner Mendelssoh­n Bay as well as Henry Adams and Navy Seal, both trained by Aidan O’Brien.

O’Brien runs Tower Of London in the G2 Dubai Gold Cup [Sponsored by Al Tayer Motors], in which his likely opponents include G1 Irish St Leger winner Eldar Eldarov, G2 Yorkshire Cup winner Giavellott­o and G2 Lonsdale Cup winner Coltrane.

The traditiona­l curtain raiser to the day is the $1million G1 Dubai Kahyala Classic for Purebred Arabians in which a likely field of 13 includes 2022 winner First Classs and the unbeaten Saudi star Asfan Al Khalediah.

Earlier, Guns And Glory staked a claim for a spot in the G2 UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup day with an emphatic win on the final night of the Dubai Racing Carnival.

The Gun Runner colt, trained by Bhupat Seemar and ridden by Tadhg O’Shea, barely saw another rival in the 1900m Dubai Marina Conditions race for three-yearolds.

Guns And Glory cost owners Jim and Fitri Hay 543,210 Euros (R11.1 million) at the 2023 Goffs Dubai Sale and it was easy to see why on this his third start. He dominated the race from the front and turned it on further close home, beating former winner Elyabri by 12 lengths.

The win added to Zabeel Stables’ already strong team of G2 UAE Derby potentials, with Guns And Glory possibly having done enough to join stablemate­s Killer Collect and Mendelssoh­n Bay in the race. It did, however, come at a price.

It was an excellent evening for Seemar who picked up a five-timer, initiated when Mezzotinto got his first win at the 22nd attempt in the Oasis Maiden, Race 2, over 1200m on dirt. Ridden on the lead by O’Shea, the six-year-old went further clear in the straight and ran out the unconteste­d winner, beating stablemate Sikorsky by 4.25 lengths. –

 ?? Picture: Dubai Racing Club. ?? CREDENTIAL­S: Ushba Tesoro, pictured winning last year’s race, will be aiming for a second success Grade 1 Dubai World Cup victory at Meydan on Saturday.
Picture: Dubai Racing Club. CREDENTIAL­S: Ushba Tesoro, pictured winning last year’s race, will be aiming for a second success Grade 1 Dubai World Cup victory at Meydan on Saturday.

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