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Projected 2013 Dubai World Cup Field #1

Once again, we are back with the first of our projected fields for the 2013 Dubai World Cup.  Horses are rated based on their current UAE rating, last known overseas rating, or a projected rating as applied to similar horses in past years.  For those unaware of the ratings process, each horse entered to race is provided a numerical ratings – should there be more entries than places in the race, the ratings determine who is entered.  For horses that have not yet entered a race in the UAE, or a country with similar ratings, our projected rating is only an educated guess.  The field size for the race is now up to 16 after three years limited to 14.

Trainer: Mahmoud Al Zarooni
Official UAE rating: 126

The winner of the 2012 edition of the Dubai World Cup, he just seems to love the all-weather, missing by less than a length in 2011.  He was listless in a single grass start in the Coral Eclipse Stakes (G1), but the early signs favour a repeat bid.

Trainer: Mahmoud Al Zarooni
Official UAE rating: 121

Three wins and three seconds in eight all-weather races, he’s made his last six starts at Meydan and run with consistency.  He was entered for last week’s Maktoum Challenge but did not pass the final declarations.  Each of his starts at Meydan has been over 2,000 metres.

Trainer: Marco Botti
Official UAE rating: 121

A very tidy third, beaten 3.5 lengths in the 2012 Dubai World Cup, he is winless since April 2011 when defeating Sarafina in the Prix Ganay (G1).  A son of Danehill Dancer, he started in last year’s big race off a September layoff and was closest at the finish.  He has this race as a goal yet again.

Trainer: Dale Romans
Projected Rating: 120

He could go in several races, but has an invite here if he wants it – Little Mike was the winner of the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1), Arlington Million (G1), and Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) over distances from nine to twelve furlongs.  His front-running speed makes him a threat to wire the field no matter where he lands.  This son of Spanish Steps is due for the Maktoum Challenge – Round 3 (G1) in a test to see how well he goes over the Tapeta and next steps determined thereafter.

Trainer: Graham Motion
Projected Rating: 120

Winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby, he was aimed here last year before a nagging injury kept him away.  Off a long break, he was a fast-closing and very troubled second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile behind eventual American Horse of the Year Wise Dan.  He came back last weekend in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) and ran second with a much-maligned ride.  Regardless, it surely has him on the right track.

Trainer: Hideaki Fujiwara
Official UAE rating: 120

Sixth beaten more than seven lengths in the 2012 Dubai World Cup, this now 6-year-old got a much needed win when partnered with Mirco Demuro for the Tenno Sho Autumn (G1) in October, his first tally since May 2010.  No English language reports are readily available suggesting this guy is coming back, but he is priced on many markets.

Trainer: Dale Romans
Projected Rating: 119

A winner of three lifetime races, all on all-weather surfaces, and all Grade 1 tallies, this guy is very dangerous for Dale Romans.  Initially priced at 16-1 on some books, he took action early and is now between 10-1 and 12-1.  His Pacific Classic win at Del Mar came over Game On Dude, well-backed in this race a year ago.  Dullahan has been pointed to this race since before that Pacific Classic performance (August).

Trainer: Bill Mott
Official UAE rating: 119

The mare had a terrible trip in last year’s race and is now partnered with Mike Smith.  She has won consecutive Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classics and is due to get her final prep in the Sabin Stakes this Sunday at Gulfstream Park, a race where she was second a year ago.  Owner Ben Leon now has horses in the UAE with Satish Seemar.

Trainer: Waldemar Hickst
Official UAE rating: 118

He beat Cirrus Des Aigles in a prep before coming to Dubai last year and ran a credible fifth.  After that, the German-bred was fourth in the Singapore Airlines International Cup (G1) and a well-beaten second behind Hunter’s Light (the most-recent Maktoum Challenge – Round 2 winner) in the Anatolian Trophy (G2) in Turkey.

Trainer: Mike de Kock
Official UAE rating: 118

Last in the 2012 Dubai Duty Free (G1), he is now with Mike de Kock and ran the second-fastest final 200-metre split in the Maktoum Challenge – Round 2.  Surely, this guy will come on for the run under classic second-up deKock improvement.

Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor
Official UAE rating: 117

Impressive winner of the Maktoum Challenge – Round 2 (G2) last week at Meydan, and before that, more impressive running away from the competition in the Anatolian Trophy (G2) at Veliefendi on all-weather.  He ran close to a very slow pace and exploded, winning by more than three lengths, and recording the fastest final 200-metres, according to Trakus.

Trainer: Yasutoshi Ikee
Projected rating: 116

Only two career wins for this 6-year-old who ran a very wide fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) behind Little Mike.  He was reported to be shipping to Dubai for the Maktoum Challenge – Round 3 in advance of a Dubai World Cup start.

Trainer: Mahmoud Al Zarooni
Official UAE rating: 115

He closed into a very slow pace in the Maktoum Challenge – Round 2 in his Dubai debut.  His future on this surface is unknown, but he showed he could definitely get over it with no issue.

Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor
Official UAE rating: 115

Seventh in last year’s Dubai World Cup, he ran third in the Maktoum Challenge – Round 2 after setting the early crawl.  At no point in time in his career had he ever made the pace (and he wasn’t really making much of one).  Given the number of Godolphin horses above him, he’s a likely longshot to end up in the field.

Trainer: Baden Al Subaie
Official UAE rating: 113

A credible sixth in the Maktoum Challenge – Round 3 (G1) last year, and before that a very troubled also-ran in the 2011 Dubai World Cup, Fly Down continues to run well in Saudi Arabia.  He was second yet again in the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup (G1) to another stablemate, and previously this season, he won the Crown Prince Cup (G2) by ten lengths.

Trainer: Mike de Kock
Official UAE rating: 113

Winner of the 2012 UAE Derby (G2), he is now with Mike de Kock for the Ballydoyle gang.  In three subsequent starts, the son of Scat Daddy is without a placing, including a next-to-last finish in the Firebreak Stakes over the mile that he surely needed.

Trainer: Satish Seemar
Official UAE Rating: 111

A maiden to start this season, he was nothing-but-troubled in almost all his 2012 runs against the better 3-year-old company in the UAE.  He stepped-up in the Maktoum Challenge – Round 2 and was third after hanging on the pace throughout.


  1. Out of that group of projected starters, based on the way he ran in his Al Maktoum Challenge Rd. 2 win, I’d jump all over Hunter’s Light each/way. I’d say a person would get a very attractive price on him, too. Hard to ignore how well Capponi ran in last year’s Al Maktoum Challenge Rd. 3 & Dubai World Cup, also. He loves running on tapeta and the distance isn’t a a problem for him at all. The only question he’ll have to answer is how good will his present form be coming off of a lengthy lay-off?

  2. Does anyone know what’s going on with Spring of Fame??

  3. From Mike de Kock’s website:

    “Mushreq has improved greatly, he’s a serious contender. Musir has returned from a spell at stud, he proved to be infertile. He and Masterofhounds will need their runs.”

  4. Oops. Posted last under incorrect post.

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