Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner Main Sequence, a four-time Grade 1 winner in America this season, and possible contender for Horse of the Year honors, will be spelled in advance of a plan to claim glory in the 2015 Dubai Sheema Classic, trainer Graham Motion told DubaiRaceNight.com on Friday. Both the Japan Cup and Hong Kong Vase were being considered as possible next races.
“It just comes up too soon,” said Motion, who won the 2013 Dubai World Cup with Animal Kingdom. “We were probably considering Japan a bit more, and it’s a really great race, but we thought it might be too much to put him on a plane two weeks after the biggest race and win of his life.”
Main Sequence defeated Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) second Flintshire by a half-length in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, his largest margin of victory this season. According to the data collected by Trakus, he covered the widest trip in the race, going 28 feet more than Flintshire, 60 feet more than third place Twilight Eclipse, and 84 feet more than Telescope.
“We were never under the gun with this horse. He suffered from pneumonia when in quarantine coming from England back in January and I was given the opportunity to take it easy with him,” Motion said. “He’s one of the best horses I’ve ever trained.”
Prior to his American campaign, the gelding by Aldebaran was winless since May 2012 when he completed a four-race win streak to start his career, topped by the Group 3 Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield. A 9-1 chance for the Investec Derby that year when trained by David Lanigan, Main Sequence was best of the rest behind the heavily-supported Camelot.
“We are likely going to take a similar path as we did with Animal Kingdom, probably prepping with a race at Gulfstream Park. Having done it before, we are very comfortable with this approach.” Animal Kingdom was second in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap before winning the world’s richest race.
American trainees have never won a grass race at the Dubai World Cup meeting. Hard Buck ran a very close second in the 2004 Dubai Sheema Classic for Kenny Mc Peek, while California-based Whilly (Doug O’Neill) and The Tin Man (Richard Mandella) ran second in 2005 and 2006 renewals of the Dubai Duty Free, respectively. California Flag was third in the 2010 Al Quoz Sprint.
Main Sequence got his streak going with a win in the United Nations at Monmouth Park. Watch that race below.
Gentildonna won the 2014 Dubai Sheema Classic and is expected to defend her title in the Japan Cup, run on November 30 in Tokyo.