As Dubai World Cup Night fast approaches and now is only a fortnight away, plotlines continue to spring up further whetting the appetites of fans of the industry.
The son of Tonalist won last year’s edition for trainer Bob Baffert with Frankie Dettori onboard. He once again lines up after again running second in the world’s most valuable race, the Saudi Cup. With Frankie Dettori on board it would be the perfect farewell for the retiring legend of a hoop and for the 6YO it would see him join Thunder Snow as the only horse to win the Group One twice. A win here would also make him take top spot as the highest earner of any North American horse and place him in a completely new level history-making horses. In his way however is a rematch battle with Panthalassa as they carry on from where they left off in the Saudi Cup.
After winning last year’s Dubai Turf in a dead heat with Lord North this Yoshito Yahagi trained 6YO went on to spoil Country Grammer’s party at the Saudi Cup winning by three quarters of a length in a gritty battle. Could this Lord Kanaloa x Miss Pemberley entire leave Dubai after World Cup night, having taken the top race on the card?
The land of the rising sun has taken the Saudi Cup, with Panthalassa, and now have eight horses flying the flag in the $12 million Dubai World Cup. Between them Vela Azul, TO Keynes, Panthalassa, Jun Light Bolt, Café Pharoah, Ushba Tesoro, Geoglyph they have eight Group Ones and a further 11 Group and Listed race victories.
Five Group company wins in his career. He is nine years old but looks fresh as a daisy and as trainer Bhupat Seemar says ‘is loving his racing’. His last start was in the Group Three Dubawi Stakes seeing him win by 1.5 lengths following a break since his win on World Cup Night in the Golden Shaheen last season. If the son of Speightstown was to go back-to-back for the RRR Racing ownership he would be only the second to do so with the other being that upset runner guided by the hand of Chad Summers in Mind Your Biscuits (2017,2018).
Sired by a six-time Grade One winner in Deep Impact, this Japanese-trained 5YO is showing it is well and truly in the bloodline. With a Grade One Tokyo Derby won he would go on the following year (2022) and win the Group One Longines Sheema Classic, can he etch himself in history as the only horse to go back to back? If he was to do so his future stud career would be sure to rise along with his JPY $282 million in prize money. His last start was in the Group One Japan Cup going down by only three-quarters of a length to Vela Azul, fellow Japanese raider who will line up on the same night in the World Cup itself.
Last year the John Gosden trained Lord North won his second Dubai Turf in a row, in a dead heat with Panthalassa. The run last year for the Dubawi gelding was in shorter time and with Panthalassa having won the Saudi Cup and going on to the World Cup now, it makes for great form lines to follow and chances increased for this Zayed bin Mohammed-owned runner. If Lord North were to again beat his own time it could enter the realm of breaking the race record set by Just A Way in the 2014 edition (1:45.52).