The American-based team of 13 top horses set to compete on the $26-million Dubai World Cup (G1) program on March 26 landed safely in Dubai around 7:15 local time on Wednesday evening and were transported to Meydan and settled in their stalls within about an hour.
Jim Cornes, who oversees the international stables for the Dubai Racing Club, reported that the squad, including three-time champion Gio Ponti and his fellow Dubai World Cup entrant Fly Down, traveled without incident on the long journey from the United States.
“Everyone looked good. They drank well on the flight and there were no problems,” Cornes said.
Cornes observed that Fly Down, the Belmont (G1) and Travers (G1) Stakes runner-up who is owned by Saudi Arabian King Abdullah and trained by Nick Zito, and Grade 1 winner Victor's Cry, owned by Equilete Stable and trained by Eoin Harty, were eye-catchers.
“Fly Down made a great impression, and Victor's Cry looked particularly good,” Cornes said. “Victor's Cry was very curious, looking at everything, but very settled and sensible.”
Victor's Cry will run in the $5-million Dubai Duty Free (G1) at 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles) on the turf.
After two days in quarantine, the American horses will be ready to visit the Meydan track for the first time on Saturday morning.
Following is a complete list of the horses that arrived, their trainers and the races in which they will be running. California-based Crowded House, trained by Ben Cecil and a candidate for the Godolphin Mile (G2), already is in Dubai as he ran during the Dubai International Racing Carnival.
Horse Race Trainer
Fly Down Dubai World Cup Nick Zito
Gio Ponti Dubai World Cup Christophe Clement
Bourbon Bay Dubai Sheema Classic Neil Drysdale
Champ Pegasus Dubai Sheema Classic Richard Mandella
Victor's Cry Dubai Duty Free Eoin Harty
Euroears Dubai Golden Shaheen Bob Baffert
Kinsale King Dubai Golden Shaheen Carl O'Callaghan
I Want Revenge Godolphin Mile Rick Dutrow Jr.
Make Music For Me Godolphin Mile Alexis Barba
Stradivinsky Al Quoz Sprint Rick Dutrow Jr.
Mr Gruff Al Quoz Sprint Ron Ellis
Quick Enough Al Quoz Sprint Doug O'Neill
Sweet Ducky UAE Derby Herman Brown Jr.
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