DRC Notes | Vol. 47 | Ddubai Racing Club News & Feature

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SUEDOIS SQUARES UP FOR MEYDAN CHALLENGE

A mainstay in top-level turf races on multiple continents, ageless David O’Meara trainee Suedois has taken his show, once again, on the road and lands in Dubai for the Dubai World Cup Carnival. A nine-time winner from 47 starts, the soon-to-be 9-year-old has admirably held his form over the past five seasons, including victories in the Prix de Meautry Barriere (G3) over 1200m in 2015, $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) and Boomerang Stakes (G2) over 1600m in 2017, and Supreme Stakes (G3) over 1400m just four months ago. The nearly black son of Le Havre literally landed in Dubai on Dec. 23 and entered quarantine.

“He likes seven furlongs to a mile,” O’Meara said. “I think the first race for him is Jan. 2 and we’ll look at those good handicaps for him. Later on, we’ll look at a race like the Group 2 Zabeel Mile. He’ll likely have three races between January and February.”

The inaugural running of the $175,000 Meydan Challenge (Listed) over 1400m will likely be the first target on opening night. Before the aforementioned $250,000 Zabeel Mile (G2) on Feb. 20, the logical race in the interim would be the $250,000 Al Fahidi Fort (G2) over 1400m. Two $175,000 handicaps fit his 110 rating during the DWC Carnival, including one over 1600m on Jan. 16 and 1400m on Feb. 27. If his rating slips to 108 following his local bow, additional handicap opportunities present themselves.

The George Turner and Clipper Logistics-owned gelding was last seen in the public eye while preparing for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Santa Anita, but reportedly developed a minor hoof infection within a day of the race. Returning from Stateside, he has been training well at his home base near York, UK.

The French-bred enters the DWC Carnival having finished fourth or better in 17 of his previous 19 starts, including a triad of G1s. When last competing, he finished third in the 2019 edition of the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) on Oct. 5.

“He will be ready,” O’Meara concluded. “He’s an older horse and I wanted to keep him going through winter. He fit well into the races in Dubai.”
NASS CRANKING UP CARNIVAL SPRINTERS

Led by a pair of Dubai World Cup night runners, 2012 Dubai Golden Shaheen-winning trainer (and owner) Fawzi Nass is cranking up his fleet-footed pupils heading into the Dubai World Cup Carnival, including the top-rated horse in his yard, Nine Below Zero (107), and turf aces Mazzini (106) and Legendary Lunch (101).

Owned by Al-Afoo Racing, who also own Legendary Lunch, Nine Below Zero is aiming toward opening night of the DWC Carnival on Jan. 2 and its Dubawi (G3) over 1200m. Last season, the son of Showcasing stamped himself as a rising star when winning his local bow during a domestic ‘Racing at Meydan’ meeting. He then finished fourth in the Al Shindagha Sprint (G3) and second in the Mahaab Al Shimaal (G3) to divisional leader Drafted, third in handicap company to the talented Lavaspin and seventh in the $2.5 million Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News (G1) to X Y Jet. Throughout the season, he saw his rating rise from 91 to 110, but it recently lost a few pounds with a poor return to action in the Garhoud Sprint (Listed) on Dec. 5.

“I’m looking forward to running Nine Below Zero again,” Nass said. “This time, the fitness should not be an excuse. Hopefully he runs well in the Dubawi and we see the Nine Below Zero we saw last year. He was (short on fitness) going into the (Garhoud Sprint) and the jockey looked after him in the straight and didn’t push him. We hope he runs a better race this time.”

Mazzini, a gelded son of Exceed and Excel owned by Nass and Ahmed Al-Qattan, won his first two races—over 1000m and 1200m on turf—in Dubai during the DWC Carnival after being purchased at Tattersalls 2018 Horses in Training Sale for $120,081. He went on to chase home Blue Point in both the $350,000 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint (G3) and $2 million Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments (G1), finishing third and 11th.

“We’re running a bit late with Mazzini,” Nass reported. “We are hoping to have a start some time in February, without any hiccups. He had a bit of colic in the summer and spent some time in the hospital, so that knocked him back a bit. Otherwise, we’ll aim for February.”

Specific targets for Mazzini could be the a 1000m $250,000 Meydan Sprint (G2) on Feb. 20 or 1200m $175,000 Dubai Sprint (Listed) on Feb. 6.

Legendary Lunch will look to fill that void in the meantime. The chestnut has been seen exercising over Meydan’s dirt track over the last two weeks, including a breeze under jockey Adrie de Vries on Tuesday morning, Dec. 24. The two-time Listed-winning son of Dragon Pulse has not raced since the last day of the UAE season in April, when finishing off the board in a dirt handicap.

“Legendary Lunch is getting close to a race,” Nass concluded. “Hopefully things will go well and he will run on the first day of the Carnival. If not, we’ll look at the second day (Jan. 9).”

Races possible for the charge include the 1000m handicap for horses rated 90-105 on Jan. 2 and 1200m handicap on Jan. 9 for 90+. Last season, Legendary Lunch won Abu Dhabi’s 1400m (turf) HH The President Cup (Listed) in fine fashion.

QUIP, LIAM'S LEGEND ARRIVE IN DUBAI

Two of the higher-profile horses to come over for the Dubai World Cup Carnival have arrived safely and soundly, according to their new conditioner, Doug Watson. Classics candidate and eye-catching 1800m Keeneland 2-year-old winner Liam’s Legend and multiple Grade 2 winner Quip are currently at Meydan after clearing quarantine and will soon head over to Watson’s Red Stables to begin serious training.

“We started tack-walking them (Monday, Dec. 23) and after Christmas, we’ll take them out and jog them (at Red Stables),” Watson said. “They looked great and seemed to have travelled really well. In about five more days, they’ll start their training, but they have been jogging a little around the quarantine.”

A private purchase by Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, G1-placed Quip (by Distorted Humor) landed the 2019 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and was subsequently a good second in the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2). Liam’s Legend has made just two starts, but the 2-year-old son of Liam’s Map impressed new owner Khalid bin Mishref enough for him to shell out $325,000 for the grey colt at Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Both were previously trained by one of America’s ascending conditioners, Rodolphe Brisset.

Quip is possible to make the $450,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (G2) on Feb. 7 or $200,000 Firebreak Stakes (G3) on Feb. 13. Liam’s Legend is naturally pointing toward the $4.3 million 3-year-old programme at Meydan, with a possible launch in the $250,000 UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) on Feb. 6.