1. DUBAI INTERNATIONAL RACING CARNIVAL
If it is not yet obvious – it better be…you almost have to be in it to win it. The Dubai International Racing Carnival claimed four of the eight winners on Dubai World Cup night as graduates and 15 of the 24 horses who finished in the top three of the eight races. With the purse structure as it is, the shipping allowances and incentives to connection…why would you NOT want to send horses for the Carnival?
2. MAHMOUD AL ZAROONI
What a better way for Godolphin’s newest trainer to emerge on the scene than a win in his first start (with Calming Influence in the Godolphin Mile) and a third in the 2010 Dubai World Cup (with Allybar).
3. SINGAPORE TURF CLUB
Could the folks from Singapore have been a bit more happy with the overall results from Saturday? Sure – if Rocket Man was allowed to run freer on the front end, perhaps he would have had the edge on Kinsale King. But when Gloria De Campeao ran on in the Dubai World Cup and Bankable was a strong second in the Dubai Duty Free, the first and third home in last year’s Singapore International Airlines Cup (G1) accounted for two great placings. It does not hurt that Joy And Fun, a regular placer behind Sacred Kingdom, winner of the KrisFlyer International Sprint (G1), took the Al Quoz Sprint (G3). DubaiRaceNight.com is expected to be in Singapore for the 2010 SIA Cup, the announced target for Gloria De Campeao.
4. CARL O’CALLAGHAN
Relatively unknown trainer Carl O’Callaghan seemed to lap up every moment of his trip to the 2010 Dubai World Cup, including a shout-out to a table of Irish racegoers at Breakfast With the Stars. It made him sound like a kid at a party – turned out the party was his own once Kinsale King ran on to win the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1). What makes it all better is that O’Callaghan had the vision to send his horse to prep for the Golden Shaheen over the Tapeta surface at America’s Golden Gate Fields, giving his charge two workouts over the same surface used at Meydan.
5. MICHAEL DICKINSON
For that matter, how bout Mr. Tapeta himself? The Dubai World Cup produced a fabulous finish, with ten horses separated by less than three lengths, and winners came from all areas of the course. Jaafer, in the Dubai Kahayla Classic, and Musir, in the UAE Derby, came from well off the pace, while Calming Influence, Kinsale King, and Gloria De Campeao won up front. This surface plays so true – if there is no pace, the closers will struggle. If it there is pace, closers have a better chance. Dickinson was out all week in the morning talking to jockeys about the surface, all of whom seemed unbelievably positive.
6. AHMED AJTEBI
The UAE native just continues to impress on the big stages. He was a combined 3/4 of a length away from three wins on the night. While hosting a front-running score in the Godolphin Mile on Calming Influence, he nearly pulled off the upset in the Al Quoz Sprint on Fravashi and had Allybar nipped in the Dubai World Cup. This guy is for real and it was announced he will do most of the riding for the aforementioned Mahmoud Al Zarooni.
7. GLOBAL HORSE RACING
So many nooks in the world of horse racing could claim winners on the big night. From Qatar and the Netherlands celebrating Jaafer’s win in the Kahayla Classic, to Hong Kong and New Zealand in the Al Quoz Sprint, the UAE/South Africa/Australia in the UAE Derby, America/Ireland in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, the UAE in the Godolphin Mile and Dubai Duty Free, Great Britain in the Dubai Sheema Classic, Brazil/Sweden/France in the Dubai World Cup – does racing have a more international night? There may have only been eight winning horses on the card, but many more nationalities and identities claimed champions at racing’s richest meeting.