Rising to the Surface: American ‘Lag’ at Meydan Due to Tapeta?

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Dullahan Dullahan

A recent article in Abu Dhabi’s The National questioned whether America’s relative lack of success in the Dubai World Cup meeting since its move to Meydan (one win in 25 runners since 2010) is connected to trainers’ unwillingness to prepare horses for the Tapeta surface at Meydan.

In fact, that single American winner was Kinsale King, who won the 2010 Palos Verdes at Santa Anita on Pro-Ride before training at Golden Gate Fields over Tapeta.

“It is hardly rocket science,” author Geoffrey Riddle writes. “American trainers appear to have learnt their lesson and they have brought with them horses better suited to the challenge this year.”

Riddle predicts that Animal Kingdom’s training time on Fair Hill’s Tapeta, and Dullahan’s prep race over Meydan’s Tapeta may turn the tides for American runners this year.

Read more at The National

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  • kyle

    Dullahan has no chance off that bad prep. Animal Kingdom is a different story. Nine furlongs on turf can work as a prep. Although it would have been better had he not middle-moved and finished better. Royal Delta seems the most likely to run an A-race. Dirt to synthetic is not the ideal, but high speed is the universal translator. The key is letting her roll.

    • kyle

      Upon further review, doesn’t look like that 8.5 furlongs is going to get RD there. Guess it’s up to AK .

  • MA

    Is there any proof that training a horse over a certain surface makes them like it more? Seems if they don’t like it, you can’t change their mind, and some horsepeople misread the signs.

    • Hitz

      Sometimes different surfaces change a horses action and in doing so cause the horse to utilize some different muscle groups. Also some horses natural action just doesn’t translate. Good horses overcome this, some horses get adjusted and some never do its really that simple.

  • Kris

    This is the first World Cup that I’ve been looking forward to since the move to Meydan, as the American contingent seems very strong. Good luck to all!

  • jttf

    royal delta ran really well last year. with a cleaner trip, she is right there. animal kingdom’s works at the fair hill tapeta might be similar. but the temp in the 40s compared to the temp in the 90s in dubai, does not help. the dubai prep races should help roman’s horses. dice flavor just had a victory at golden gate’s tapeta and has not run on lasix in his life. warm weather and tapeta is the best way to prep for dubai. cant wait to see if an american horse can win the dubai derby. last year, lucky chappy was not so lucky.

  • h.schmelz

    maybe american horses are simply overmatched on a world stage? remember a filly at royal ascot some time ago, won the breeders cup filly juvenile, was completely empty leaving swinley bottom. animal kingdom has a female european department adn a european trainer. maybe that will help him. maybe.

    • J.Hess

      Why is everyone so enamored with European racing? It’s really nothing special. I know I’ve worked in GB and the states. Top notch American trainers are much better conditioners.

  • Bookie Buster

    Well Armed might strongly disagree with this article.

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