It can safely be said that the Americans have come back with a vengeance. 15 horses were on their way to Dubai to take part in the 23rd renewal of that city’s World Cup, the richest evening in horse racing, with five of them due to jump the gates for the US$10 million race scheduled for the 31st of March.
The Dubai Racing Club made public the likely fields for all the nine races on Wednesday, and the Group 1 contest, which is run across ten furlongs, and on dirt, includes 2 runners from eminent American trainer Bob Baffert.
West Coast is one of the favourites to win, thanks to his triumph at the Travers Stakes and Pennsylvania and Los Alamitos Derbies last year, under the watchful eye of Mike Smith. The colt from Flatter also finished in third place in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and took second position in the Pegasus World Cup. Javier Castellano will likely be riding West Coast, who was Castellano’s mount at the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The other US contenders in the race are Gunnevera, Pavel, and Forever Unbridled. Talismanic, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf, has also joined the fray. He was trained by Andre Fabre.
There are three horses that will be running for the second time: Awardee, Japanese trainer Mikio Matsunaga’s horse, Mubtaahij, and Erwan Charpy’s Furia Cruzada. Mubtaahij, then being trained by Mike de Kock, had finished in fourth place, while Awardee came fifth.
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