News & Media

AmWest supports the Backside Learning Center

05/04/2016 AmWest Entertainment

AmWest Entertainment and AmWager.com proudly sponsored the "Derby Party for the Backside" event, held May 1st at Churchill Downs. 

The event is a fundraiser for the Backside Learning Center, which supports equine workers and their families in the pursuit of their personal and professional dreams. 

The BLC does this by providing "educational opportunities, assistance in navigating and accessing local resources, and by creating community. In a caring and respectful setting, our clients develop their skills and knowledge with classes, tutoring, and direct assistance tailored to their needs."

To learn more about Backside Learning Center's students and programs, click here. 

AmWager is a Top Sponsor of 2016 Show off Your Thoroughbred show to support retired Thoroughbreds

04/29/2016 AmWest Entertainment

 

AmWest Entertainment is an Exclusive Class sponsor for Thoroughbred Horse Show's "Show Off Your Thoroughbred" event at Kentucky Horse Park on Sunday, May 8, 2016

The show benefits Our Mims Retirement Haven, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue, revitalization and care of retired thoroughbred racehorses and broodmares. Their boarding facility gives them a home for the rest of their lives.

The Thoroughbred Horse Show Association’s mission is to help encourage Thoroughbred adoptions by creating an opportunity for the Thoroughbred to compete in an affordable top show venue and to gain quality show experience in the shows restricted to Thoroughbreds. For more information, visit TBHorseShow.com. 

Cladocera Skips to US$200,000 Group 2 Balanchine Victory for Soumillon

02/19/2015 Dubai Racing Club

Hunter’s Light cruises to Dubai Millennium Stakes victory

The Group 2 Balanchine Stakes went to France last night as Cladocera landed her second win of the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan Racecourse.

In doing so, she became the third Cape Verdi winner, (1600m turf), to follow up in this 1800m turf feature but she has a lot to live up to. Sun Classique won the two contests in 2008 before landing the Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup night while Sajjhaa achieved the same feat in 2013 before winning the Group 1 Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday and the Dubai Duty Free on the big night.

Cladocera and Richard Mullen claim G2 Balanchine success in the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan Racecourse. Credit: Dubai Racing // Andrew Watkins

Ridden by Christophe Soumillon for Alain De Royer-Dupre, she was held up well off a decent early gallop before being asked to close as the runners turned for home. She was clearly going well but Soumillon chose to take his time before shaking the reins about 100m out and settling the race in a matter of strides.

“We were drawn nine so the tactics were pretty much decided for me,” said Soumillon. “They went a reasonable gallop which has helped her settle nicely and the only brief moment of worry I had was when forced a bit wide in the straight.

“She has a lovely turn of foot as we saw there and is going to improve with age and racing.”

That was on the turf, as was the main feature race, the 2000m Listed Dubai Millennium Stakes, named after Sheikh Mohammed’s favourite horse and, fittingly, Godolphin’s trainer, Saeed bin Suroor saddled the winner.

Hunter’s Light was the horse in question, providing Godolphin a fourth consecutive win in the race and a third for Bin Suroor. A Group One winner in both Europe and the UAE, Hunter’s Light had been freshened up before making a winning reappearance, three weeks ago, in a handicap, also over 2000m on turf.

“He has retained all his ability,” said Doyle. “I wish they had gone a bit quicker tonight as he travels so strongly but I was always pretty confident. He picked up nicely at the top of the straight and ran on well.

“The whole team will have to sit down and discuss future plans as he has plenty of options.”

Hunter’s Light broke the track record in the process.

The meeting opened with the 1400m Group 2 Bani Yas on dirt, the only Purebred Arabian race on the card and turned into a procession by Manark, trained by Erwan Charpy for HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and ridden by the owner’s retained jockey, Paul Hanagan.

TM Super Bird set a good gallop with Hanagan’s mount, quite keen early on, not far behind. Once the jockey asked for his challenge, Manark responded immediately, bounding clear and crossed the line more than nine lengths clear.

“The horse had some decent form in England and would have needed his first UAE run at Abu Dhabi,” said Hanagan. “He has trained well on the dirt and working well, so we were hopeful of a big run but he has exceeded expectations.”

UK-based trainer, Tony Carroll must have suffered a nasty feeling of déjà vu 300m from home in the 1000m turf handicap when his Caspian Prince, who made a blistering start and had led all the way, was challenged by Hototo.

Seven weeks ago, on the opening night, Carroll’s charge tried to make all over the same course and distance, only to be denied close home by Hototo (and then losing second to Fityaan).

However, history was not to repeat itself and, despite drifting across the track under Richard Hughes, he was actually running away from his old rival at the end.

“I was keen to utilise his early speed, of which he has plenty, and wanted to be on the far side, away from the centre where they raced mainly last week. He has a lot of natural speed and was quick in the early stages, but then had another burst which had most of the others struggling.

“The trainer was pretty confident and has been proved correct.”

Headed on the line in a 1900m dirt handicap last week, the Doug Watson-trained Layl made no mistake this time, landing a 1600m dirt handicap in a course record in the style of a progressive horse.

Winner of a domestic 1900m dirt handicap on his local debut, this was only his third start in the UAE and tenth in total. Given a confident ride by Pat Dobbs, Layl eased to the front about 300m from home and always looked likely to hold off the one remaining challenge, that of Giftorm.

“He is a nice horse, we have always thought so,” said Watson. “We have been able to qualify him for the Dubai World Cup Carnival and he has produced two big runs.

“We would like to think he still has more to offer.”

Dobbs added: “I probably went too soon the last time, he thought he had done enough and basically pulled himself up.”

The combination are enjoying a prolific domestic season, as well as an excellent Dubai World Cup Carnival, and completed a double with the victory of Storm Belt in a 2000m dirt handicap.

A beaming Watson said: “This is another horse we have always held in the highest regard and he actually won his first two outings for us at Sharjah. It has been a great season and the Dubai World Cup Carnival is going really well.”

The meeting concluded with a 1400m turf handicap, won by Dark Emerald recording his second 2015 success for trainer, Brendan Powell and jockey Richard Mullen.

 

 

Frankyfourfingers Cruises to Al Maktoum Challenge R2 Victory on Meydan's IPIC-Empowered Night

02/05/2015 Dubai Racing Club

Local Time is Eye-catching Winner of UAE 1000 Guineas

Frankyfourfingers gave rookie flat race trainer, Salem Bin Ghadeyer a first big-race win in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 empowered by IPIC on Thursday evening’s Dubai World Cup Carnival card.

Frankyfourfingers claims the featured Al Maktoum Challenge R2 for Mickael Barzalona and Salem Bin Ghadayer - Credit: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins

The middle round of the Al Maktoum Challenge series, held over 1900m, also featured African Story, the Dubai World Cup defending champion, who ran home unplaced on a first try on dirt.

Frankfourfingers was runner-up in the first round of the Dubai World Cup prep-race series, over 1600m, and had clearly improved from that outing appearing to relish this step up in trip.

Stable jockey Mickael Barzalona settled his charge just off the speed, always seemingly travelling particularly well, before sending his mount for home 200m from the pole.

The pair soon put distance between themselves and their 10 rivals and never looked likely to be caught, despite an impressive late effort from last year’s winner, Prince Bishop.

“He needed that first run,” said Barzalona. “We knew he was a lot fitter this time and had no worries about the extra 300m. That has really suited him.

“I imagine we will be looking at Super Saturday and, hopefully, Dubai World Cup night with him. He is a really nice horse and this is a great result for our new yard.”

The 2003 winner of the Al Maktoum Challenge R2, Moon Ballad, went on to win the Dubai World Cup that year and African Story, runner-up in this last year but well beaten this time, is another who went on to win the world’s richest horse race.

The Group 1 Purebred Arabian version, over 2200m, also on dirt was won impressively by Richlore ridden by Adrie De Vries for HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

One of four mares in the field, Richlore was always travelling particularly strongly under her Dutch jockey who was clearly prepared to bide his time before asking for a serious challenge.

When he did, the pair went in pursuit of Raaziq who had hit the front about 700m from home and they swept past with 300m to go, winning comfortably.

“She is a lovely mare who stays well and loves this surface,” said De Vries, who rode a first and last race double on the night. “I was always going well and pretty happy throughout. She travelled great and then picked up in style. It was a good win.”

This race was won last year by Rabbah De Carrere, subsequent winner of the Dubai Kahayla Classic on Dubai World Cup night.

The Listed UAE 1000 Guineas, over 1600m on the dirt, was turned into a procession by Godolphin’s Local Time, ridden by James Doyle and a ninth winner in the race for trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

Always prominent in a closely bunched bunch of six, Doyle eased his mount to the front on the home turn and the pair soon skipped clear.

Godolphin’s Local Time skips to UAE 1000 Guineas victory for Saeed Bin Suroor and James Doyle - Credit: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins

“She is a nice filly and really relishes this dirt surface,” said Doyle. “We won the trial narrowly but this extra 200m was always going to suit her and she has done that really well.”

She was chased home by stable companion Good Place.

Bin Suroor later saddled a further 1-2 when William Buick and Famous Kid denied Doyle and Ahzeemah in the 2435m turf handicap. In a race run at a pedestrian pace, Buick’s mount quickened past Ahzeemah about 200m out and they won convincingly in the end.

“We knew both were fit and well,” said Bin Suroor. “We were pretty hopeful coming into the race and it has tuned out perfectly. Famous Kid had the benefit of a recent outing and Ahzeemah has made a great start to his campaign.

“They both stay well and can be competitive in these longer distance races.”

The 1400m (on turf) Meydan Classic Trial went to South Africa and Mike De Kock who saddled Mastermind, owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and ridden by the owner’s retained jockey, Paul Hanagan.

The pair basically made all and the winner had clearly benefitted from his UAE debut when an excellent second in a 1200m handicap almost three weeks ago.

“He ran very well the other day,” said Hanagan. “We had a great draw in two today so the idea was always to be positive. He always seemed happy bowling along in front and when I have needed to ask him for an effort he has found plenty.

“He should stay further and can hopefully go on from this.”

Second on his local debut, behind fellow UK raider Belgian Bill, on his local debut in a 1600m turf handicap three weeks ago, the Brendan Powell-trained Dark Emerald made no mistake in the 1200m handicap on the same grass surface.
 

Ridden by Richard Mullen, who was aboard Belgian Bill on the previous occasion, he led close to home to deny the Dhruba Selvaratnam pair of Sholaan and Master Of War.

A delighted Powell said: “The mile handicap at the end of today’s card was our original target but we would not have made the cut. This was the alternative and it has really worked out well.
“Richie Mullen has given him a great wide.”

The concluding 1600m turf handicap was won by Samurai Sword, ridden by Adrie De Vries for his main employer, Ahmad Bin Harmash.

Safety Check Earns His Black Type in G2 Al Fahidi Fort

01/22/2015 Dubai Racing Club

Godolphin Runner Charts Course for Zabeel Mile

A step up in class proved no obstacle for the Godolphin-trained Safety Check as Charlie Appleby’s runner was the comfortable winner of the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort in the Dubai World Cup Carnival’s Gulf News night at Meydan on Thursday.

A handicap winner over the same 1400m course and distance two weeks earlier, Safety Check recorded his biggest career win to date. Apprentice Cam Hardie had been in the saddle on the previous occasion but stable jockey, William Buick, was aboard for Thursday’s big win.

Safety Check claims the G2 Al Fahidi Fort in the Dubai World Cup Carnival
Credit: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins

Buick always looked comfortable and his mount quickened to the front in style to win easily and, in doing so, ended a run of three consecutive Al Fahidi Fort wins for South African, Mike De Kock.

“You cannot help but be impressed with that,” said Buick. “I was always happy and he quickened nicely.”

Appleby added: “We knew the horse was in rude health and were very hopeful of a big run but we could not have expected him to win such a good race so well.

“He loves the 1400m trip, stays 1600m but has the pace for 1200m so we have options. We will go for the Zabeel Mile next.”

While the De Kock team were out of luck in the feature, they have always held four-year-old Umgiyo in high regard and the gelding rewarded their faith when winning for only the second time in the Gulf News Classified 1800m turf handicap.

Last for most of the way, he was pulled wide early in the straight by Christophe Soumillon and swooped to the front to deny Ocean Tempest and Tenor, both representing England and trainer John Ryan.

“He picked up nicely when I asked him,” said Soumillon. “They went pretty quick which has helped him.

“He had been working well so we were quite hopeful. He will improve for the outing as well.”

The opening 1200m dirt handicap was a red letter occasion for Norway-based trainer Niels Petersen who saddled his first winner with his 74th and 75th UAE runners.

Beat Baby, who was reshod at the start, and jockey, Per-Anders Graberg made all. It was a third local winner, on his 55th mount for the jockey.

A long time supporter of the Dubai World Cup Carnival, Petersen was delighted.

“It has been a long time coming,” he said. “This horse was a very close second last year and it is just superb to get that winner on the board.
“He has really taken well to the Meydan dirt and it is a big result for the whole team and Scandinavia.”

Salem bin Ghadayer was another trainer celebrating a first UAE winner after stable jockey, Mickael Barzalona, drove Hunting Ground clear in the second of two dirt handicaps over 2000m, a race that was not part of the Dubai World Cup Carnival.

Satish Seemar and Zabeel Stables dominated the 2000m dirt handicap with stable apprentice, Marc Monaghan, claiming the spoils on Toolain with the pair chased home by Farrier and stable jockey Richard Mullen.

Monaghan held his mount well off the early pace, which was pretty frantic, particularly in the early stages with several runners keen to lead.
It was Henry Clay and Pat Dobbs who managed to get to the front and the pair still led turning for home, chased by Torchlighter and eventual runner-up, Farrier.

Monaghan’s mount was soon making smooth progress as Torchlighter started to weaken and Toolain stormed to the front 200m from home to win easily.

“It was only his second back for us having been in Saudi Arabia,” said Monaghan. “We actually thought he would run well and he has loved that dirt surface and running through horses.

“If you look at his form in Saudi Arabia he was third to the very useful Ron The Greek in November which was a very good effort.”

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum supplied the first and second in an 1800m dirt handicap with the owner’s first jockey, Paul Hanagan on runner-up Haatheq.

Trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe and a great servant to the yard over many years, Haatheq had no answer to Tamarkuz, an easy winner for Musabah Al Muhairi and Dane O’Neill, also retained by the owner.

A horse who has had issues in the starting stalls in the past, O’Neill’s mount was on his best behaviour this time and was always handy.

Once O’Neill kicked him clear, the race was over as a contest.

“He has plenty of ability and won well,” said the jockey. “He is not the most straightforward at the gates but hopefully there is more to come from him.”

The meeting concluded with a 2435m turf handicap which produced the best finish of the night with Adrie De Vries, claiming his landmark 50th UAE winner. He was having a rare outing for Godolphin and Saeed bin Suroor, aboard Al Saham. The pair won a photo from the Mark Johnston-trained Fire Fighting under Silvestre de Sousa.

Lehaaf and Almoonqith Star For Mike de Kock in Dh140,000 Meydan Sobha Feature

01/20/2015 Dubai Racing Club

South African Handler Fresh from Carnival 2000 Guineas Trial Success

Mike De Kock bids to continue winning ways tomorrow (Saturday), following his Dubai World Cup Carnival 1-2 in the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial on Thursday, courtesy of Mubtaahij and Ajwad.
 
While Saturday’s Meydan Sobha card may not be part of the Dubai World Cup Carnival, there is still plenty of class, with the cream of the talent finding a berth in the penultimate Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City - District One Handicap over a mile of Meydan’s turf course.

Getting underway at the earlier-than-usual time of 3pm, the race features 13 runners, including the Mike de Kock-trained pair Lehaaf and Almoonqith.

Almoonqith bids to add to this win in an 1800m turf handicap at Meydan Racecourse in February 2014 -  Credit: Dubai Racing Club//Andrew Watkins

Both have the benefit of a run already this season, though they were both well beaten on the Meydan dirt surface, Lehaaf on New Year’s Eve, Almoonqith last week.

Lehaaf, one of five in the race owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is the choice of the owner’s retained jockey, Paul Hanagan.

“Both will appreciate the return to turf,” said De Kock. “They also needed their first runs and have improved fitness-wise since. It looks a competitive race but, hopefully, they should both be competitive.”

Doug Watson saddles two for the same owner, with stable jockey, Pat Dobbs riding Shebebi and Sam Hitchcott aboard stable companion Mujrayaat.

Sheikh Hamdan’s second jockey, Dane O’Neill, has elected to ride Mundahesh, trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe, leaving Silvestre De Sousa to ride the owner’s fifth runner, Tanfeeth. He is trained by De Sousa’s main employer, Musabah Al Muhairi.

Stable jockey, Richard Mullen, rides Royal Revival for Satish Seemar with apprentice, Marc Monaghan, on stablemate Montmorency.

In a seemingly wide open race, Now Spun represents the Ali Rashid Al Raihe/Royston Ffrench combination and Genius Boy should not be ruled out. Trained by Ahmad bin Harmash, Adrie De Vries rides.

Oisin Murphy rides Canwinn for Dhruba Selvaratnam and they too have to be considered.

There is also an equally competitive 1200m turf handicap for which 15 have been declared, including De Kock’s Mastermind, the choice of Hanagan from five Sheikh Hamdan-owned runners.

The trainer also saddles Journeyman with Wayne Smith aboard.

“Journeyman ran well enough over 1400m on dirt last week,” said De Kock. “He would have needed that run and will have improved a lot for the outing. He should run well.

“Mastermind has only had two starts and is a very promising type. He will certainly improve for the run and more racing. He is perhaps one with more to offer down the line.”

Kilt Rock was a course and distance winner last season for Doug Watson and Pat Dobbs. He is owned by EERC (Emirates Entertainment Racing Club) whose manager Justin Byrne said: “We were keen to get him back on the Meydan turf. He has been a great servant to the club over the years and we would love to think he has wnother win in him.

“Whether that is at Meydan or back at Jebel Ali remains to be seen.”

When Kilt Rock won over course and distance last February, he was chased home by Desuetude, again in opposition for Satish Seemar and Richard Mullen but not seen in action since.

The weights are headed by Firebeam and Spirit Of Battle, trained by Ahmad bin Harmash and Abdulla bin Huzaim respectively. Ahmad Ajtebi rides the former with Tadhg O’Shea on the latter.

Bayern, Main Sequence lead possible US contingent to Dubai

01/13/2015 AmWest Entertainment

The 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival is under way at the legendary Meydan racecourse and it promises to be the most exciting Carnival yet. What makes this year’s Carnival different than the rest? The dirt is back in Dubai and the top US contenders have taken notice! Meydan Racecourse has set the stage, and over the next three months the finest equine athletes from around the world will throw down for international bragging rights…and over $38M in purse money.cvcv

It all started on a dirt surface in 1996 when the championed US horse Cigar triumphed over his competitors from Dubai, Japan, Australia, and Europe to win the very first Dubai World Cup.  Will the return of the dirt bring about another US winner on the 20th anniversary of Cigar’s victory? We won’t know for sure until they reach the wire on March 28, but one thing is certain, the US will be well represented.

Two of the three finalists for Horse of the Year have already set their sights on capturing the Dubai World Cup, Bayern (pending the status of a recent quarter crack) and Main Sequence.

  • Bayern
    • The four-year-old speedster won this year’s Breeders' Cup Classic, in addition to the Woody Stephens, the Haskell and Pennsylvania Derby.
  • Main Sequence
    • The experienced 6-year old has won 4 straight Grade 1 stakes including the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Even more US horses that may be looking towards the world’s richest race:

  • Candy Boy
    • Winner of the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes in February. He also finished in the money at the Santa Anita Derby, the Los Alamitos Derby, the West Virginia Derby and the Pennsylvania Derby.
  • Commissioner
    • Finished 2nd in this year's Belmont Stakes and the Peter Pan.
  • Cool Cowboy
    • Winner of three graded stakes, two in 2014.
  • Distinctiv Passion
    • Winner of the G3 Midnight Lute at Santa Anita on December 27.
  • Salutos Amigos
    • G3 Fall Highweight winner in November at Aqueduct and the G3 Bold Ruler at Belmont in October.
  • Secret Circle
    • Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner in 2013 and 2nd place finisher this year.

There is no doubt that these US-based Dubai World Cup hopefuls will see some stiff competition as they seek to take on the best horses the world has to offer. However, it’s this international scope that makes the Dubai Carnival and Dubai World Cup so exciting and prestigious.

 

Surfer Sails home in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Under Richard Mullen

01/08/2015 Dubai Racing Club

Satish Seemar Star Claims Feature on Opening Dubai World Cup Carnival Night

Meydan Racecourse staged the opening fixture of the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival on Thursday evening and the Surfer, trained by Satish Seemar and the mount of stable jockey, Richard Mullen won the featured Thoroughbred race, the Group 2 opening round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

Victorious in the Listed Dubai Mile Creek, over the same course and distance, 21 days earlier, Surfer has also been placed in the second and third rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge in the past.

Mullen was positive, sending his mount for home about 700m out but the pair had to work hard to deny Frankyfourfingers who looked a big danger 300m out.

He would have been a first winner for new trainer, Salem bin Ghadayer but Mullen’s mount found plenty for pressure and they won well in the end.

“This horse just loves the dirt,” said Mullen. “He always worked well on it at home and has shown a real liking for it here at Meydan. He ran some great races here on the old all-weather surface but this is really his game.

“We will have to sit down and plan whether to step up in trip or stick to 1600m with the Burj Nahaar on Super Saturday and the Godolphin Mile on Dubai World Cup night possible targets.”

The Group 1 Purebred Arabian equivalent, the opening race on the card, saw Majed Al Jahouri’s amazing nine-race winning streak in local Group One Purebred Arabian contests come to an end.

He won all eight last season, and the first one of this campaign but his Rizaq was only second behind Bigg N Rich, trained by Eric Lemartinel and always going nicely under Wayne Smith.

The pair hit the front, still traveling well, halfway up the straight and quickened away from old rival and previous leader, AF Lafeh.

“Everything went right for him this evening whereas I could not get a clear run last time when AF Lafeh beat us.
“I was always going best and then he quickened when I asked him.”

The Dubai World Cup Carnival’s leading trainer, Saeed bin Suroor, wasted no time opening his 2015 account and was in double form, highlighted by the very easy victory of True Story in the Listed Singspiel Stakes.

Once new stable jockey, James Doyle, took his mount to the front at the top of the straight, the race was over as a contest. Considered a live Epsom Derby prospect last year, after winning the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket he was then third in the Dante Stakes before a seventh in the Epsom Classic.

After three further defeats he was subsequently gelded.

“He’s a little bit of a boy really,” said Doyle. “He was on his toes before the race, but that’s a good sign. He’s settled since they gelded him which has been the making of him. He was well fancied in the Derby and didn’t quite stay probably, but he won nicely tonight and I’m sure there's more to come.”

Bin Suroor had initiated his brace with the appropriately named I’m Back winning the first Thoroughbred race, a 1900m dirt handicap.

Dane O’Neill was in the saddle and the pair hit the front 200m before fighting off a renewed challenge from the gallant Henry Clay who had tried to make all under Pat Dobbs.

“He was certainly game, said O’Neill. “We all know how tough the second is and my fellow showed a great attitude as well. It is nice to get an early winner on the board.”

Second in the 1000m turf sprint on the card last year when headed close home by Ahtoug, the Fawzi Nass-trained Hototo went one better this time, with Ahtoug among his nine victims.

Headed in the dying strides 12 months ago, when he tried to make all, he was produced to lead about 300m out by Luke Morris for whom he was a first UAE winner.

“This horse has a really high cruising speed and the team had him very fit for this return to action,” said Nass. “I was happy to get a lead into the race and he then quickened very well.”

Faulkner, winner of the first trial on the Meydan dirt, made it three wins from three official starts when finishing well to land a 1400m dirt handicap under Pat Dobbs, riding for his main employer, Doug Watson.

Drawn in 13, Dobbs was forced to take him in midfield before asking his mount to close on the home turn. Faulkner responded gamely to put his head in front where it mattered.

“We were not the best away,” explained Dobbs. “From that draw we knew I would need to be patient but he is a nice young, inexperienced horse and one we have always liked.”

The meeting concluded with a 1400 turf handicap, won by Safety Check, saddled by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin.


It was a first UAE winner for apprentice Cam Hardie who said: “I won in England on this horse and it is brilliant to ride a winner at Meydan and at the Carnival.”

African Story takes $10 million Dubai World Cup

04/02/2014 The Nation


Photo credit: Neville Hopwood

DUBAI - They came from Europe and Asia, from South Africa and neighbouring Saudi Arabia, but the ruling Maktoum family of this desert emirate dominated the $10 million Dubai World Cup over 2000 metres at Meydan racecourse. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, saw horses in his colours finish first and third, courtesy of African Story and Cat O'Mountain respectively.

And his brother, Sheikh Hamdan, saw his silks carried into second place by Mukhadram. African Story was a revelation, stalking front-running Mukhadram from the outset before sweeping past with 200 metres left to run.  The horse who finished fifth in this race 12 months ago looked a different proposition this time, stopping the clock in a new track-record time 2 mins 01.61 secs under jockey Silvestre De Sousa.

African Story won by two and three-quarter lengths from Mukhadram, with Cat O'Mountain a further four and a quarter lengths adrift. Side Glance and Akeed Mofeed filled the next two places but Military Attack and Ruler Of The World, which were both expect to feature prominently, finished 10th and 12th respectively. Red Cadeaux, which chased home Animal Kingdom in the race 12 months ago, again ran well to finish sixth.

Even though he had won the race five times previously, victory meant a lot to the winning trainer, Saeed Bin Suroor, who trains exclusively for Sheikh Mohammed and his family. "I hadn't trained the winner (of this race) for seven years and I felt a lot of pressure from a lot of people," Bin Suroor said.
"I thought African Story was the right horse for this race two years ago and I told that to the boss. He is a special horse and I am dedicating this victory to my mother. I am going to give her my winner's trophy." De Sousa, for his part, was celebrating his first winner in the world's richest race. Originally from Brazil, he was retained to ride for Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin enterprise 14 months ago. This was the biggest victory of his career. "It's so special to win this race," an elated De Sousa said. "It's a dream come true; I'm over the moon. We had a bit of bad luck earlier in the evening but this has saved the night."

Mukhadram's jockey, Paul Hanagan, briefly entertained hopes of victory when he asked his mount to accelerate on reaching the home straight. "For a moment I thought we'd stolen it but we were beaten by a very good horse on the night," he said. African Story's bid to win the Dubai World Cup came after a flurry of runners owned by the Al Maktoum family failed to meet expectations in the previous seven races for Thoroughbreds.

In a cosmopolitan gathering of horses from around the globe, runners from Hong Kong and Japan won two races each, with horses from Britain, Ireland and South Africa also getting in on the winning act. In the World Cup itself, the South African runner, Sanshaawes, reared up and caught a front foot in the gates of the stalls before the race started. He was unloaded and inspected by on-site veterinarians, who cleared him to run, but he could only finish seventh.
As for African Story, he is unlikely to contest the major races in Europe when Bin Suroor transfers his string from Dubai to Newmarket next month. The seven-year-old is seen as a specialist runner on the synthetic surface at Meydan racecourse, where Jennifer Lopez closed proceedings with a live concert lasting 45 minutes.

Ron the Greek draws the far outside post in Dubai World Cup

03/27/2014 The Sports Network

Ron the Greek, winner of last year's Jockey Club Gold Cup, has drawn the far outside post in a field of 16 international runners for Saturday's $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse.

Owned by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, Ron the Greek will be ridden by Jose Lezcano who was aboard the horse when he won the Gold Cup at Belmont Park last Sept. 28 by 6 3/4 lengths.

Saturday's 1 1/4-mile race will be the 7-year-old's second start over a synthetic track.

"He ran fourth in an allowance race at Keeneland (April 3, 2011)," trainer Nicholas Bachalard said, "but the distance (1 1/16 miles) was too short and he's a better horse now than he was back then. The only way to find out (if he'll handle it) is to run on it."

Ron the Greek is the winner of 10 of 30 career starts for just over $2.7 million. The World Cup will be the second race of the year for the 7-year-old having won an allowance contest on Feb 15 in Saudi Arabia.

"The horse has been training very well," Bachalard said. "Lezcano has his work cut out for him. It's a long way around (from the outside)."

Ron the Greek, formerly trained by Bill Mott, began his 2013 campaign with a win in the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park on a sloppy track. Between that win and the Gold Cup, Ron the Greek finished fourth in the Santa Anita Handicap, third in both the Charles Town Classic and Stephen Foster and was fourth in the Whitney and Woodward.

His other major stakes wins came in the 2012 Santa Anita and Stephen Foster. Handicaps.

Here is the field for the 19th Dubai World Cup in post position order: Prince Bishop, Kieren Fallon; Belshazzar, Christophe Lemaire; Vancouverite, William Buick; Akeed Mofeed, Douglas Whyte; Sanshaawes, Christophe Soumillon; African Story, Silvestre De Sousa; Hillstar, Ryan Moore; Military Attack, Joao Moreira; Side Glance, Jamie Spencer; Surfer, Richard Mullen; Hokko Tarumae, Hideaki Miyuki; Ruler of The World, Joseph O'Brien; Mukhadram, Paul Hanagan; Red Cadeaux, Gerald Mosse; Cat O Mountain, Mickael Barzalona and Ron the Greek, Jose Lezcano.

Last year's World Cup was won by 2011 Kentucky Derby champ Animal Kingdom.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/03/26/4020033/ron-the-greek-versus-15-in-dubai.html#storylink=cpy

 

Dubai World Cup Hopefuls Stretch Legs at Meydan

03/25/2014 Blood-Horse Magazine

Several contenders for the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), including last year's runner-up Red Cadeaux, took to the track March 24 at Meydan to stretch their legs before the world's richest race March 29.
 
British-based globetrotter Red Cadeaux, who was among 16 horses declared for the World Cup March 24, cantered on the all-weather track ahead of taking a second crack at the race after his fast-closing second to Animal Kingdom   last year.
 
Trainer Ed Dunlop's traveling head man Robin Trevor-Jones said: "He worked on Saturday and then had an easy day yesterday. He had a normal canter this morning and is his usual self. He is very happy in himself and he loves this surface. He has been doing 12 furlongs (200 meters) for fun and does love the ground."
 
Former American star Ron the Greek, who is now based in Saudi Arabia, is likely to get acquainted with Meydan's all-weather surface for the first time March 25 or March 26, trainer Nicholas Bachalard said. The 7-year-old son of Full Mandate, a multiple grade I winner in the United States for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, won his first start in Saudi Arabia Feb. 15 after his sale last fall to King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and sons.
 
Among other contenders for the World Cup:
 
Akeed Mofeed—"No problems from what I hear so far. He seems to be very happy in his new environment," trainer Richard Gibson said from Hong Kong. "I'll be there myself (March 25) but he did fast work at Sha Tin last week and we went out there very fit horse."
 
Belshazzar—The 2013 Japan Cup Dirt  (Jpn-I) winner walked and jogged for a lap and then cantered easily for another lap on the all-weather track March 24. Assistant Trainer Takumi Matsuda said: "Everything has gone well so far.  He also looked well in condition."
 
Hokko Tarumae—Winner of five group 1 races, Hokko Tarumae worked for two laps on the all-weather track March 24.  The 5-year-old horse trotted and was then ridden a bit harder in the home stretch. Said assistant Trainer Katsuichi Nishiura: "I am very happy that he could handle the grip on the all-weather track."
 
Military Attack—"We kept him to the quarantine area this morning. The travel from Hong Kong went OK," assistant trainer George Moore said. "My father (trainer John Moore) has just arrived and he will oversee the preparation from here on, but it's so far, so good."
 
Mukhadram—Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum's multiple English group stakes winner arrived at Meydan early March 23 on a flight with other English-based competitors. Elizabeth Budden, an assistant to trainer William Haggas, said the 5-year-old son of Shamardal traveled well and enjoyed "a trot around the ring today" in the quarantine barn area. Mukhadram will be eligible to leave quarantine and resume training March 25.
 
Sanshaawes—Trainer Mike De Kock said: "We always thought he was capable of winning at the Dubai World Cup Carnival and he won well twice, but his Super Saturday run, when second in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (UAE-I), was his best effort. With a better draw he would have finished closer. Hopefully we get a good draw on Saturday, but he needs to improve again to be competitive."
 
Side Glance—The 2013 Dubai World Cup fourth-place finisher ran seventh in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (UAE-I)  earlier in March on his return to Dubai. Andrew Balding's representative was not on the main track the morning of March 24.
 
Surfer—"This was the race we wanted to run in him so we were delighted to get the invitation. The 2,000 meter (about 1 1/4-mile) trip suits him better than the1,600 meters (about one mile) of the Godolphin Mile (UAE-II). Fingers crossed he gets a good draw," trainer Satish Seemar said.

 

Japanese contender Gentildonna preps for the Dubai World Cup race card March 24. Photo: Dubai Racing Club
 

Dubai World Cup 2014 Thoughts - Adam's Turf

03/25/2014 Blood-Horse Magazine

The Dubai World Cup is quickly approaching. Many of the world's best are likely entrants for the March 29 Dubai World Cup race card.

Here are my thoughts on the Dubai World Cup races. Be sure to follow all the Dubai World Cup coverage on BloodHorse.com with previews, analysis and a live stream of the entire day!

As far as handicapping, I have two categories; sentimental picks and just normal picks. My sentimental picks have a shot at winning, but not every horse I pick with sentiment is a horse that has a great chance of hitting the wire; I pick the horse just because I like it! The Picks makes up for those emotional selections and takes into account more traditional handicapping of past performance, pedigree, and travel experience.

Dubai World Cup Analysis

Sentimental Picks: Military Attack (IRE), The Fugue (GB), African Story (GB)
Picks: Akeed Mofeed (GB), Hunter’s Light (IRE), Red Cadeaux (GB)
Out Matched: Ron The Greek

I enjoy watching The Fugue run, but with not much going on in 2014 for her, I have to say I don’t like her chances in this race. I still would place a bet, based on her talent and how much I like her. She's also my wife's sentimental pick, as she likes seeing the girls best the boys.

African Story has had two starts at Meydan this year and both in Al Maktoum Challenge prep races. He finished second in his first start of the year, but eighth in his second start. I like how he runs, but maybe he is taking a step back, thus probably won’t bet on him to win. He would be a good pick to round out the bottom of a ticket. It doesn’t hurt that he competed in the 2013 Dubai World Cup either.

Akeed Mofeed is a horse I like to win this race. He won at 1 1/8 miles and finished fifth in the Hong Kong Gold Cup with a talented field. His other stakes wins seem to show consistency, so I trust his current form. Though running much in the East at Shat Tin in Hong Kong with minimal travel of late, his talent on the turf will translate to the synthetic. Can I also say Akeed Mofeed’s dam Wonder Why (GER), has a pedigree stacked with proven talent?

"No problems from what I hear so far. He seems to be very happy in his new environment," trainer Richard Gibson said of Akeed Mofeed from Hong Kong. "He did fast work at Sha Tin last week and we went out there very fit horse."

Hunter’s Light is a proven winner in Dubai, winning two of the Al Maktoum Challenge races last year and finishing fourth in his only start his year in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2. A fourth place finish at a place where Hunter’s Light is proven, makes me think the race was a good prep to push into the Dubai World Cup. I would bet Hunter’s Light in exotics and to finish second or third. Remember, he also ran in the 2013 Dubai World Cup.

Red Cadeaux is a world traveler. I have to bet on this horse for sentimental reasons, for talent reasons, and for respect. I would like to see such a well-traveled horse with over $6.2 million in lifetime earnings and 42 lifetime starts across England, Australia, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Ireland, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates get a big win. In my opinion, he deserves it.  Red Cadeaux has demonstrated that he prefers racing in England and Ireland, but with a second at Meydan in the 2013 Dubai World, this is his time to improve upon last year’s experience and get the win.

Trainer Ed Dunlop's traveling head man, Robin Trevor-Jones, said of Red Cadeaux: "He worked on Saturday and then had an easy day yesterday. He had a normal canter this morning and is his usual self. He is very happy in himself and he loves this surface. He has been doing 12 furlongs (200 meters) for fun and does love the ground."

Ron the Greek has the talent, but a dirt horse on the synthetic amongst turf specialists and past runners with success at Meydan. My opinion is this is a tall order for him, and he'll likely fall short. I would place a wager to show my appreciation of him attempting this race and being born in the USA, but I don't think he is a good fit. If he hits the board, even in fourth, it will still be a nice payday for his new connections.


UAE Derby

Sentimental picks: Giovanni Boldini (USA), Long John (AUS)
Consider: Oklahoma City (GB), Paximadia (AUS), Safety Check (IRE)

Toast of New York could be a sleeper.

Al Quoz Sprint

Sentimental pick: Berlino Di Tiger (BRZ)
Picks: Shea Shea (SAF), Sole Power (GB)

I would like to see Shea Shea win this race again. I like Sole Power's chances to hit the board and finish second or third.

Shea Shea (SAF) wins the Meydan Sprint: 


Dubai Gold Cup

Sentimental pick: Joshua Tree (IRE)
Pick: Calvaryman (GB), 
Not sure: Seismos (IRE), Simenon (IRE)

Godolphin Mile

Sentimental picks: Flotilla (FR), Soft Falling Rain (SAF), Surfer (USA)
Pick: Elleval (IRE), Capital Attraction (USA)

Capital Attraction is interesting, because he is by Speightstown and his pedigree fits this race.  Being a one-mile professional, he has raced exclusively at Meydan this year and has hit the board, with one win, in all of five starts. This to me screams of comfort on the track’s surface. I think few know who Capital Attraction is right now, but he will be a bright spot in this race.

Trainer Mike de Kock says this about his contender Soft Falling Rain, "He has really improved a lot from that return to action. Ideally, I would have probably liked one more run but we plan to keep him busy in Europe this summer so we have to strike a balance." 

My wife has picked Flotilla, she is a sucker for floppy ears.
 

Dubai Sheema Classic

Sentimental pick: Gentildonna (JPN), Dunaden (FR)
Picks: Cirrus Des Aigles (FR), Magician (IRE)

The 2012 Dubai Sheem Classic winner returns in 2014 in Cirrus Des Aigles .   Magician had a solid racing year in 2013, including winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf. I think it will be  match between Magician and Cirrus Des Aigles, although I would hope Gentildonna could beat them both. Unfortunately, I think Dunaden has taken a step backward, but would love to be proven wrong.
 

Dubai Duty Free

Sentimental pick: Logotype (JPN)
Picks: Dank (GB), Trade Storm (GB), Vercingetorix (SAF)

Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Dank is on a roll and that roll will probably continue in the Dubai Duty Free. Asking her to start in a big race with none under her belt this year is a tall demand, but I think the shoe fits here. Dank’s competition will probably arise from Trade Storm who has ran four times this year, with her last time out being a victory in the Zabeel Mile at Meydan.

I am not sure what to make of Vercingetorix. The horse has had two wins, but had some assistance in the Jebel Hatta. I think this horse will hit the board, but might not have enough experience to win. Trainer Mike de Kock seems to think honestly of him. De Kock says, "As for Vercingetorix, we basically do not know how good he is; he is lazy at home and just does enough on the racecourse. He remains unbeaten and always looks like he will win easily, but then almost stops and waits for a challenge."

Dubai Golden Shaheen

Reynaldothewizard all the way. A favorite while running here in the states and doing very well abroad, I think Reynaldo is my sentimental pick, but is a definite play in this race. He is doing better than Krypton Factor (another sentimental pick), and Zee Bros from the USA, who I am not picking.

Likely Entrants for Dubai World Cup Card Released

03/17/2014 Blood-Horse Magazine

There are 36 group I winners, including former American star Ron the Greek, among the fields taking shape for the eight Thoroughbred stakes on Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) card March 29. Three United States-based horses have shipped to Meydan Race Course to race on the $27 million card.   

Sixteen horses are likely for the main event at Meydan, the $10 million World Cup, and 10 are group or grade I winners, including Ron the Greek. The three-time grade I winner is now racing in Saudi Arabia under the name of Wattani, for the sons of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. 

British-based globetrotter Red Cadeaux, who uncoiled a torrid late rally to take second behind United States-based Animal Kingdom   in last year's World Cup, returns to take another crack at the world's richest race. Unlike last year, however, there are no American-based horses pointing to the 1 1/4-mile test on the synthetic Tapeta surface.

Overall, only three U.S.-based horses are listed among the remaining preliminary fields: West Point Thoroughbreds' multiple graded stakes winner Twilight Eclipse, trained by Tom Albertrani, is probable for the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I); Zayat Stables' listed stakes winner Zee Bros, trained by Seth Benzel, is aimed at the $2 million Dubai Gold Shaheen (UAE-I); and Stud Sampaio's grade III winner Berlino Di Tiger, a Brazilian champion currently racing at Gulfstream Park with Eduardo Caramori, is pointing for the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint (UAE-I).

For a full list of the fields, click here to download a PDF file.  

Chicago Harness Racing Returns

03/14/2014 NH Play

With a new 16-month contract with the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association in place both Maywood Park and Balmoral Park are busily preparing for the opening of the 2014 racing season which will take place on Friday, March 14th at Maywood Park. Balmoral Park will host its opening weekend of racing on Saturday, March 15th and Sunday, March 16th.  As always, post time at both tracks will be 7:10 p.m. (central).

Racing Secretary “Doc” Narotsky has announced the “box” is now open for the Friday program at Maywood Park and entries will close at 10 a.m. (central) on Monday, March 10th.  Entries for the opener at Balmoral will be taken until Wednesday, March 12th at 10 a.m. (central).

In a slight departure from its usual racing schedule Balmoral Park will be dark on Wednesday, March 19th and Wednesday, March 26th before getting into full swing with its usual Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday racing schedule. Maywood will race on Thursday’s and Friday’s as usual. 

As usual, AmWager will have live streaming video and replays at AmWager.com


 

Vercingetorix Keeps Unbeaten Record Intact in G1 Jebel Hatta Romp

03/10/2014 Dubai Racing Club

Excellent Result lands Sheema Classic Prep for Godolphin

Meydan Racecourse’s Super Saturday dress rehearsal for Dubai World Cup night in three weeks concluded with the second Group 1 Thoroughbred contest of the evening, the 1800m Jebel Hatta and the Mike De Kock-trained Vercingetorix maintained his unbeaten record.

Winner of all his four starts in his native South Africa, De Kock’s charge made a winning local debut in a handicap over this 1800m turf course and distance, the same conditions as the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free on Dubai World Cup night.

Stable companion, Anaerobio made the running under Pat Cosgrave with Christophe Soumillon never far away on the eventual winner.

As the pair turned into the straight, Cosgrave’s mount drifted off the rail, with Soumillon steering his mount into the space. They hit the front going well but Cosgrave’s mount fought back, forcing Soumillon to resort to the whip.

It was only in the final 100m that victory was assured, with Anaerobio losing second close home to Vancouverite.

De Kock said: “He is a very useful horse but it is hard to know just how good because he only ever does enough. In all his races he has travelled really well and gone to the front easily before quickening.

“He then tends to stop and wait for some company – as Christophe discovered last time. It is great to win a Group 1 here with him and the Dubai Duty Free is the obvious target.
“He did not take the travel and quarantine well and we are delighted to have him back at his best.”

Soumillon and De Kock were completing a turf double, having earlier won the Meydan Sprint with Shea Shea.

Earlier, the Group 3 Dubai City Of Gold, over the same 2410m as the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup night produced an Excellent Result for Godolphin and trainer Saeed bin Suroor with the horse of that name defeating stable companion, Songcraft in a driving finish.

Ridden by Kieren Fallon, Excellent Result led close home to deny Songcraft and William Buick by a head with Mount Athos just behind in third having perhaps been a bit unlucky with the gaps perhaps not appearing when his jockey, Jamie Spencer, would have liked.

A winner over 2810m on his previous start of the 2014 Dubai World Cup Carnival, Excellent Result was never going to be found out for stamina here and it was a hard fought effort from the winner.

Battle Of Marengo and Frankie Dettori set a modest early tempo before being swallowed up by numerous challengers 300m out. Meandre, Songcraft, Mount Athos and the eventual winner all held every chance 100m out.

Fallon said: “This fellow stays really well and his stamina has come to the fore. The early gallop was steady so I did not want to get too far back and we were lucky enough to get the breaks in the straight.

“He has the makings of a nice stayer but has the speed for this trip as well.”

Bin Suroor and Godolphin were completing a quick double having landed the proceeding Group 3 Burj Nahaar with Shuruq under Mickael Barzalona, while Fallon then partnered Bin Suroor’s Prince Bishop to win the Group 1 concluding round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

Vercingetorix lands the Dubai Duty Free prep race, the G1 Jebel Hatta under Christophe Soumillonm for trainer, Mike de Kock

Credit: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins

UAE Derby-Bound Asmar Breaks Maiden With $250,000 Al Bastakiya Win

03/10/2014 Dubai Racing Club

Fawzi Nass Charge is Six-Length Winner of Three-year-Old Race Under Richard Hughes

The UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup day beckons for Asmar after his smooth victory in the Listed Al Bastakiya, the 1900m all-weather middle leg of the UAE Triple Crown.

Trained by Bahraini, Fawzi Nass and having only his fourth career start he was losing his maiden tag in the process under an excellent ride from dual UK Champion Jockey Richard Hughes.

For the first time in his fledgling career, Asmar broke out of the starting gates on terms with the field and Hughes was happy to settle him in midfield before. About 1400m out the jockey decided the early pace, set by Chord Chart, was not quick enough, and steered his mount to the front.

With about 700m to go, those chasing him were in trouble and Hughes sent his mount clear with fully 500m to go.

That proved decisive and the pair were never going to be caught, running out comfortable six-length winners from Emirates Flyer who ran on to take second with Najm Suhail, becoming another that stayed on far too late.

Nass, who owns and trains the winner, said: “That was a great performance but we knew he would relish this trip and it is a great effort to win a race like this with a maiden.

“We discussed the race in depth with Richard and the plan was to sit close to the pace and see how the race was panning out. If there was no speed we were happy to go on as the one thing we knew this horse would do was stay.

“It was a great ride and a wonderful result for a small yard. We will be back for the UAE Derby in three weeks but, obviously, that will be a stronger race.”

Asmar breaks his maiden tag with victory in the Al Bastakiya under a masterful ride from Richard Hughes

Credit: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins

Prince Bishop Lands Official Dubai World Cup Prep, G1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3

03/10/2014 Dubai Racing Club

Shuruq Becomes First Filly to Win Burj Nahar Trainer, Saeed Bin Suroor Claims Big-Race Treble

Rizaaq heads Purebred Arabian ranks in Dubai Kahayla Classic prep race

Saeed bin Suroor saddled Godolphin’s first Group 1 winner of 2014 when he landed the concluding round of the Al Maktoum Challenge for a tenth time with Prince Bishop in Super Saturday’s feature race.

In claiming the US$400,000 win, he emulated stable companion, Hunter’s Light who added victory in this 2000m all-weather Dubai World Cup trial to victory in the Group 2 1900m middle round of the series.

Ridden by Kieren Fallon, as he was four weeks ago in the middle round, Prince Bishop was settled in midfield before being asked for more as the runners swept for home.

The Satish Seemar-trained Surfer, third in this race last year, hit the front just over 300m out but was run out of it in the final 100m by Prince Bishop.

Sanshaawes, trained by South African Mike de Kock, ran on well to take second, with Surfer third in the race again.

A delighted Bin Suroor, completing a treble after the earlier victories of Shuruq in the Burj Nahaar and Excellent Result in the Dubai City Of Gold, said: “We have always really liked this horse and he seems to have improved this season. His win in the middle round was a good one but this was a better race and we are delighted with him.

“All being well, we will bring him back for the Dubai World Cup itself in three weeks.”

Bin Suroor has won this race with three subsequent Dubai World Cup winners – Dubai Millennium (2000), Street Cry (2002) and Electrocutionist (2006).

The Group 1 third and final leg of the Purebred Arabian Al Maktoum Challenge, also over 2000m on the all-weather, was won by the Majed Al Jahouri-trained Raaziq, produced to lead in the final strides by Frenchman, Olivier Peslier.

The pair headed the Erwan Charpy-trained Versac PY virtually on the line to maintain the trainer’s remarkable winning record in Group 1 races this season, and to continue a frustrating run of seconds in big races at Meydan Racecourse for Versac PY, owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Paul Hanagan tracked the pace on Versac PY with Peslier content to bide his time much further back in the field in a steadily run race.

Hanagan went for home about 500m out, with the pair shooting clear and the race looked over but Peslier sent his mount in pursuit and they snared Hanagan’s charge in the dying strides.

Al Jahouri trains the winner for HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nayan, and has been responsible for the winners of every round of the Al Maktoum Challenge this season.

“We were very hopeful as we know he is a nice horse and has run well in both his previous UAE starts behind our very good horse, Rabbah De Carrere.

“That was a good performance and both this winner and Rabbah De Carrere will be here for the Kahayla Classic in three weeks, perhaps with one more.”

Peslier was a late jockey booking, replacing the suspended Silvestre De Sousa who also missed the winning ride on Godolphin’s Shuruq in the Group 3 Burj Nahaar. Mickael Barzalona was in the saddle for Bin Suroor and produced the filly to lead close home and deny favourite, Variety Club in the process.

The winner of last year’s UAE Oaks, Shuruq made history at the opening meeting of the 2014 Dubai World Cup Carnival when becoming the first filly to win the opening round of the Al Maktoum Challenge – over the same 1600m all-weather course and distance as this victory.

She is now the only filly to win the Burj Nahaar and is clearly a real favourite of Bin Suroor, who was winning this race for the fourth consecutive year.

The trainer said: “She is just a much better filly on this all-weather surface and all her best form has been here in Dubai at Meydan. We will bring her back in three weeks, probably for the Godolphin Mile.

Barzalona added: “She is a lovely filly and has beaten a very good horse there. I would think she would be a genuine Godolphin Mile contender.

“Silvestre De Sousa told me all about her and I have to thank him for his help.”

 

Shea Shea & Rich Tapestry Rule Super Saturday Sprint Divisions

03/10/2014 Dubai Racing Club

South Africa and Hong Kong Land Meyan Sprint and Mahab Al Shimaal

For the second year running, the Mike De Kock-trained Shea Shea won the Group 3 Meydan Sprint over the same 1000m turf course and distance while Hong Kong got onto the score board with the victory of Rich Tapestry in the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal.

Shea Shea, the South African star sprinter will be defending his 2013 Al Quoz Sprint crown on Dubai World Cup day from a position of strength, after an ultra-confident performance in the official prep race, the Meydan Sprint.

The track record holder, having broken the existing mark in this race last year, before again lowering that time on Dubai World Cup night three weeks later, was initially held up well off the pace by an imperious Christophe Soumillon. At first the Belgian rider seemed keen to find cover before traversing the track to the nearside rail where Shea Shea was asked to quicken 300m out, responding well and hitting the front with about 200m to run.

The winning margin was only a head but he appeared to win a lot more comfortably than that would suggest, especially considering he was without a prep run this season.

De Kock said: “It was his first run since August and he should certainly improve for that run but we knew he was in good shape and fit enough to go very close.

“Christophe has given him a lovely ride and not been at all hard on him. Hopefully he is the one they have to beat back here in three weeks’ time.

“Waiting for Super Saturday was always the plan, followed by Dubai World Cup night and hopefully Royal Ascot in England.”

Soumillon, explaining his move across the track from stall six said: “He likes to follow the rail because he’s a horse who likes some cover. If he hits the front too soon or there’s no horse to follow then  he can stop a bit.”

For 300m it appeared Reynaldothewizard would then repeat his victory of 12 months ago in the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal, the 1200m all-weather trial for the Group1 Golden Shaheen.

Sent to the front at the top of the straight by Richard Mullen, the Satish Seemar-trained Reynaldothewizard opened up a gap on his rivals but could not withstand the challenge of Hong Kong’s Rich Tapestry.

Olivier Doleuze pulled the Michael Chang-trained runner out to challenge at the 200m pole, the pair soon leading and always holding the renewed challenge of Mullen’s mount.

A delighted Doleuze said: “A new surface is always a question mark but he is a very good sprinter and we have come here with him as there are no races in Hong Kong for him at the moment.

“The big advantage with this horse, apart from his speed, is he is so versatile tactically. I was happy to lead but then Gale Force Ten went to the front so I was just as happy behind him.

“I was always going well and he picked up in style. It is great to have another winner here in Dubai.”

Both Reynaldothewizard last year and the 2012 winner of this race, Krypton Factor, went on to win the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen over the same 1200m all-weather course and distance on Dubai World Cup night.

Shea Shea lands his second consecutive Meydan Sprint under a confident ride from Christophe Soumillon, for trainer, Mike de Kock

Credit: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins

Rich Tapestry wins the Mahab Al Shimaal for Hong Kong trainer, Michael Chang and jockey, Olivier Doleuze

Credit: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins
 

Three Group 1 Races Highlight $1.8 million Super Saturday Card Sponsored by Emirates

03/07/2014 Dubai Racing Club

Vital Dubai World Cup Clues Available From Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3

Super Saturday has finally arrived at Meydan Racecourse, the second biggest meeting of the UAE season and the dress rehearsal for Dubai World Cup night in three weeks’ time.

All eight races that appear on the Emirates-sponsored card have a ‘mirror image’ race on Dubai World Cup, offering trainers a valuable opportunity to test their charges ahead of the world’s richest raceday.

The official feature is the Group 1 third and final round of the Al Maktoum Challenge, over the same 2000m all-weather course and distance as the $10million Dubai World Cup.

Fourteen have been declared, including the Saeed bin Suroor-trained pair of Prince Bishop and African Story, first and second respectively in the Group 2 middle round (1900m all-weather) of the Al Maktoum Challenge just over four weeks ago.

Bin Suroor has won this prestigious race on three occasions with subsequent Dubai World Cup winners and has landed nine Al Maktoum Challenge R3 races in total. The great Dubai Millennium (2000), Street Cry (2002) and Electrocutionist (2006) have all won this race for Bin Suroor before going on to land the $10m race.

Kieren Fallon again rides Prince Bishop with William Buick replacing suspended stable jockey, Silvestre De Sousa, on African Story, winner of the Group 3 Burj Nahaar (160m all-weather) in each of the last two seasons on Super Saturday.

“Both are in good form and have come out of that race well,” said Saeed bin Suroor. “Prince Bishop looked better than ever winning that and I was really pleased with him. He has been working well since and Kieren Fallon gets on really well with him. “African Story needed that run a month ago and has improved a lot fitness-wise since. We think 2000m is his trip now and he loves the all-weather surface.

“Hopefully both will run well but it is a good race.”

Fellow Godolphin handler, Charlie Appleby, is saddling his first Super Saturday runners and relies on Cat O’Mountain in the feature. Ultra impressive when winning a 2200m all-weather handicap on his local debut, he then disappointed in a handicap over Saturday’s course and distance. Stable jockey, Mickael Barzalona rides.

“He was a disappointment last time but nothing really went right for him in the race so we will put a line through it and give him a chance to prove himself,” said Appleby.

“Obviously it is a big step up in class but hopefully he merits it.”

The Satish Seemar-trained Zambucca, third in the middle round of the three-race series when stable companion Surfer (third in this concluding round last year) was eighth, is one of three runners in the race for his trainer who also saddles Ottoman Empire.

South African, Mike De Kock, seeking a third victory in the race, saddles Alexandra Palace and Sanshaawes with stable jockey, Christophe Soumillon, on the latter, seeking a third consecutive Meydan Racecourse victory.

De Kock said: “They are both in good form but taking a big step up in grade. Hopefully they can at least be competitive in what is obviously a good race.”

Elleval, runner-up in last year’s UAE Derby, also won his most recent Meydan Racecourse outing and is another who seems to save his best for the all-weather. He is representing Ireland and trainer David Marnane who said: “It is very exciting to have runners at this meeting, especially Elleval in the big race of the night. He loves this all-weather surface and we were delighted with his win last time.

“To have a runner in the Dubai World Cup would be amazing and this is his chance to prove he merits a place in three weeks.

“We are really looking forward to it.

Joshua Tree, second to Opinion Poll in the Dubai Gold Cup, on World Cup night 2012, for Marco Botti, is now trained by Ed Dunlop and is another interesting contender. Winner of the Group 1 Canadian International in each of the last three seasons, he has also won in Ireland, England, France and Qatar.

Group 1 Jebel Hatta – 1800m, Turf Course

The second Thoroughbred Group 1 on the card is the Jebel Hatta, the final race on the card and over the same 1800m turf course and distance as the Dubai Duty Free.

Again 14 have been declared with South African, Mike De Kock, leading the way in terms of numbers, being responsible for four runners.

Stable jockey, Christophe Soumillon, partners Vercingetorix, winner of all five career starts to date, including a Group 1 in his native land and a course and distance handicap on his local debut.

Stable companion Anaerobio, the mount of Pat Cosgrave, is seeking a third 2014 Meydan Racecourse victory, while Mushreq, is another looking for a second Dubai World Cup Carnival win this year. He will be ridden by Paul Hanagan with Richard Hughes aboard the trainer’s fourth runner, Mars.

“It is great to have four horses good enough to contest this calibre of race,” said De Kock. “We think all four are capable of running well with Mushreq and Vercingetorix already course and distance winners. We were particularly pleased with Vercingetorix’s win as he did not travel well from South Africa through quarantine.

“The trip may stretch Anaerobio but he has been in good form and Mars has been improving in his work. We tried him on the all-weather but he should appreciate this return to turf.

“It is a good race, as you would expect, but hopefully all four can be competitive.”
De Kock has won the race on three previous occasions.

Godolphin trainer, Charlie Appleby introduces a fascinating new runner to the UAE in the shape of Vancouverite, previously with Andre Fabre in France and last seen when ninth in the Group 2 Prix Niel having previously won at Group 2 level.

Appleby said: “We hope he is a genuine Dubai Duty Free contender so this is the obvious spot for him. He is in good form at home, though not a flashy worker but has done everything we have asked of him.

“I am looking forward to getting him on the track.”

Fellow Godolphin handler, Saeed bin Suroor who has won the race four times, including last year with subsequent Dubai Duty Free winner Sajjhaa, relies on Quick Wit.

The trainer said: “He was a little disappointing last time but has been working very well and we are keen to give him a crack at a good race like this. Hopefully he will run well.”

Before winning this last year, Sajjhaa had won the Group 2 Balanchine Stakes over Saturday’s course and distance and this year’s impressive winner of that race, L’Amour De Ma Vie trained by French-based Swede, Pia Brandt, will try and emulate her.

Trade Storm, winner of last year’s Group 2 Zabeel Mile for David Simcock, was second in that same race this year and has to be feared, along with Australian Group 1 winner, Linton.

Other equine stars to look out for include Mount Athos, Heavy Metal, Penglai Pavilion, Battle of Marengo and Meandre, who clash in the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold over the same 2400m turf course and distance as the Dubai Sheema Classic.

With African Story, winner of the Group 3 Burj Nahaar (1600m, all-weather) taking his chance in the Al Maktoum Chalenge R3 III, all eyes will be on the Joey Ramsden-trained Variety Club in this year’s renewal.

The dual South African Horse Of The Year was impressive winning the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes on his local debut three weeks ago.

The Ernst Oertel-trained Capital Attraction, second in this last year, is among the opposition, as is this year’s Al Maktoum Challenge I heroine Shuruq, also winner of last year’s UAE Oaks, for Godolphin.

Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal, 1200m all-weather course

The Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal, over the same 1200m all-weather course and distance as the Dubai Golden Shaheen looks an absolute cracker with last year’s winner Reynaldothewizard again clashing with 2012 winner Krypton Factor (second in this last year).

Both went on to win the Golden Shaheen with Reynaldothewizard chased home on World Cup night last year by Balmont Mast (2nd) and Krypton Factor (3rd). Also in opposition again is United Color (5th).

Balmont Mast represents Ireland, as do Russian Soul and Jamesie.

Soft Falling Rain, winner of last year’s UAE 2000 Guineas and Godolphin Mile, is a fascinating contender for Mike De Kock.

The Mike De Kock-trained Shea Shea broke the 1000m turf track record in the Group 3 Meydan Sprint 12 months ago before again breaking the record in the Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup night.

He will surely be hard to beat in this year’s Meydan Sprint.

The Listed Al Bastakiya, over the same 1900m all-weather course and distance as the UAE Derby, looks at the mercy of Emirates Flyer, second in the UAE 2000 Guineas for Godolphin and Saeed bin Suroor.

Ireland’s He’s No Saint looks the main danger.

Last year’s Kahaya Classic winner Al Mamun Monlau, a rare Purebred Arabian mount for Frankie Dettori, faces ten rivals in the Group 1 Purebred Arabian Chalenge III. These include Versac Py, runner-up in this race last year and Raaziq, representing the all conquering Majed Al Jahouri.

Prince Bishop was the winner of the Al Maktoum Challenge R2 is one of two carrying the hopes of Saeed bin Suroor in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3, the official Dubai World Cup dress rehearsal.

Credit: Dubai Racing Club//Andrew Watkins

 

Cavalryman Marches Into Dubai Gold Cup Reckoning With Impressive Nad al Sheba Trophy Win

03/02/2014 Dubai Racing Club

Godolphin Stayer Destroys Classy Field for Group 3 Victory

Godolphin’s Cavalryman will surely be hard to beat in the US$1m Dubai Gold Cup day on Saturday March 29 after bolting home by a five-length margin in the Group 3 Nad al Sheba Trophy at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday.

The Saeed bin Suroor-trained star who will be defending his 2013 crown on Dubai World Cup day is described as ‘better than ever” by his jockey, Silvestre de Sousa.

The 2810m turf contest, looked a very strong renewal on the Meydan Sobha sponsored card, with proven high-class stayers such as Simenon in the field. But Cavalryman and De Sousa were far too good, accelerating smoothly away from the chasing pack with minimum effort.

He was chased home by Star Empire, on whom Christophe Soumillon had switched to the nearside rail 500m out but they never looked like catching the winner.

The Gold Cup, a 3200m contest, has been elevated to Group 2 status this year.

De Sousa said: “We were very confident coming into the race as he had been working very well at home and we knew he was fit for this seasonal return. For a stayer he has a great turn of foot and he really quickened when I asked him.

“He stays the 3200m so hopefully will be a serious contender trying to win the Gold Cup again.”

Trainer and jockey were completing a double after landing the 1400m all-weather handicap with Free Wheeling.

There was drama at the start in when the strongly-fancied Tamarkuz appeared to trip as the gates opened, unseating his jockey, Paul Hanagan.

In the race itself, Godolphin’s Well Acquainted took them along at a decent gallop before crying off about 300m out while several of his rivals threw down a challenge.

At this point De Sousa swept past on the Bin Suroor-trained Free Wheeling, second in this race last year and who held on well to go one better this time.

Bin Suroor said: “He ran really well on this surface two starts ago and we were keen to get him back on the all-weather which he also works really well on. He quickened well to win that nicely.”
 
The opening 2000m all-weather handicap produced something of a surprise result with Samurai Sword, the only one of the six runners not to have previously won in the UAE, opening his local account at the sixth attempt.

He was one of two runners in the race for rookie trainer, Ahmad bin Harmash, who was saddling his eighth winner in an excellent first season. He was ridden by Mickael Barzalona.

With Paul Hanagan setting a very steady gallop on Tanfeeth, Barzalona held his mount up before the pair closed in rapid fashion about 300m out. They dashed up the rail to lead 200m and win comfortably.

Bin Harmash said: “He is a horse we have always really rated as he shows so much ability at home and has a really good turn of foot. We ran him in the Al Maktoum Challenge two starts ago and we really think he is at least Group 3 standard.”

For the second year running Kavanagh and Christophe Soumillon won the 1200m turf handicap for South African Mike De Kock.

It was a fourth 2014 Meydan Racecourse outing for the winner, but first under these conditions which clearly suit him well.

Settled in mid division by Soumillon, the pair made smooth progress to throw down the gauntlet to Dux Scholar who looked the likely winner when hitting the front 400m out.

Soumillon was at his strongest on the eventual winner finally, heading Dux Scholar in the very last strides to secure a narrow, and hard-fought victory. 

Soumillon said: “He really travelled strongly to carry me into the race but the runner-up really battled hard and made it very tough. I thought we had just made it as my horse had his head down on the line. We thought a lot of him at the start of the season but were a little disappointed with him. I had to be quite strong on him at the end and it’s good to get a win with him.

“It is nice to see him back to form and he clearly likes this straight track.”

Trainer and jockey completed doubles with the victory of Sanshaawes in the finale, a 2000m turf handicap.
Runner-up in last year’s Group 3 Burj Nahaar on Super Saturday, Capital Attraction bounced back to winning ways with a smooth success in a 1600m all-weather handicap, the same course and distance as his previous victory in January of last year.

Champion Jockey, Tadhg O’Shea looked keen to lead but was then content to let the overly keen Energizer cut out the early running, settling his mount just in behind. Capital Attraction appeared to be caught flatfooted with about 600m to run but they hit the front 300m out and were always holding off the challenge of Disa Leader.

Significantly, Capital Attraction represents Champion Trainer Ernst Oertel, moving him to 29 winners for the season, just two behind Musabah Al Muhairi.

Oertel said: “He is such a nice, game horse and it is great to see him back to form. He is so tough and we might step him up in trip. We will be back next Saturday but will enter in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3, as well as the Burj  Nahaar.

“I would love to run him over 2000m at some stage but we will look at the enties before deciding.”


Cavalryman cruises home in the Group 3 Nad al Sheba Trophy

Credit: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins
 

Godolphin’s Ihtimal Completes Classic Double With 10-Length Oaks Romp

02/27/2014 Dubai Racing Club

Mshawish Lands Zabeel Mile For First Delzangles Carnival Win

Godolphin’s Ihtimal (pictured left) became the fourth filly to win the UAE fillies’ Classic double when destroying seven rivals by a 10-length margin in the Group 3 UAE Oaks at Meydan Racecourse’s last night (Thursday).

Photo credit: Mark Cranham, RacingPost.com

A Group 2 winner in England, where she was also third in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile, she had previously proved far too good for 10 rivals in the 1600m UAE 1000 Guineas three weeks ago, winning by just over three lengths. And she was even more impressive in winning the 1900m UAE Oaks, storming clear 300m out and passing the line ten lengths clear of seven toiling rivals.

The daughter of Shamardal is trained by Saeed bin Suroor, who was winning the race for a ninth time, and ridden by Silvestre De Sousa.

“That was very impressive. The pace was not very fast early on and she was a little bit keen but soon settled into a lovely rhythm.

“I did not want to get stuck in any traffic so was happy to be quite wide and she just took me to the front really travelling before quickening well,” he said. “It was a big win.”

Bin Suroor added: “She has always been a real favourite and we must think about the UAE Derby now.”

Bin Suroor’s 2011 UAE Oaks winner, Khawlah is the only filly to follow up in the UAE Derby.

Trainer and jockey completed a double a little later with the victory of Tha’Ir in the concluding 2200m all-weather handicap.

Frenchman Mikel Delzangles saddled his first UAE winner with the ultra smooth victory of Mshawish in the Group 2 Zabeel Mile, a 1600m turf contest. Given a canny ride by British Champion Jockey, Richard Hughes, Mshawish was settled in just behind Mustaheel who set a modest gallop out in front.

About 400m out, Hughes pulled his mount clear of the leader’s slipstream and the pair powered clear, opening up a clear advantage that the 2013 winner, Trade Storm running on under Jamie Spencer, could not breach.

Fourth in both the French Derby and St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, Mshawish is clearly a classy performer, an opinion confirmed by Hughes who said: “His European form was there for everyone to see and that was a very good performance. The pace was slow so I was keen to make sure I was never far away and then we really quickened nicely. I was certainly impressed by him.”

Satish Seemar has enjoyed a good season and his string remain in top form, as highlighted by the easy victory of Gold City in the opening 1400m all-weather handicap. With stable jockey, Richard Mullen suspended, apprentice, Marc Monaghan was in the saddle and the pair pulled away 400m out to record an easy success and a first Dubai World Cup Carnival winner for the young jockey.

Monaghan said: “He ran very well last time and I was always going particularly well this evening. He quickened nicely at the 400m pole and then ran on strongly and it was pretty comfortable.

“It is great to ride a Carnival winner and the horses are in really good form.”

The Jeremy Gask-trained Medicean Man made it two wins in eight days when landing the 1200m all-weather handicap under Martin Lane. A winner last Thursday over 1000m on turf, a course and distance over which he also won last year, he was arguably more impressive this time.

Settled in rear by Lane, the pair made smooth progress to lead 200m out and won snugly. The last time Medicean Man won on an all-weather surface was in March 2010, when he beat subsequent Prix de L’Abbaye winner, Gilt Edge Girl.

Lane said: “I was delighted to be offered the ride and you have to be impressed with the way he did it. Everything went smoothly with a fast early pace really suiting him. As the leaders tired he has been able to run on strongly.”

Gask added “We will miss Super Saturday next week and wait for the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night, a race in which he was ninth last year.”

He was chased home by fellow UK raider Racy, trained by Brian Ellison and ridden by Silvestre de Sousa.

My Catch made it third-time lucky since joining Doug Watson when scoring in the Listed Meydan Classic, a 1400m turf race restricted to three-year-olds. Never far off the early pace set by stable companion, Make It Reel, Pat Dobbs eased the winner to the front 300m out and they ran on too strongly for the fast finishing Jallotta.

Dobbs said: “I was always pretty happy sitting in second and out of any possible trouble in behind. He took me to the front going really strongly and has then run all the way to the line.

“He has appreciated the return to the turf, though he ran very well first time on the all-weather and he was a Group 3 winner in France last season so the form was in the book.”

Watson added: “We will think about the Mahab Al Shimaal next Saturday but there is a race in Singapore that I would really like to aim him at as he is a decent turf sprinter.”

L’Amour De Ma Vie Wins the Group 2 Balanchine to Lead a Host of International Wins at Meydan

02/20/2014 Dubai Racing Club

There was a truly international flavour to Thursday’s seventh meeting of the 2014 Dubai World Cup Carnival with Europe dominating proceedings, highlighted by the victory of L’Amour De Ma Vie in the featured Group 2 Balanchine Stakes.

Trained by Mme Pia Brandt, she had finished second on her local debut, behind Certify in the Group 2 Cape Verdi Stakes three weeks ago but, with that rival disappointing, she opened her UAE account in style.

It was also a first local winner for her jockey, Maxime Guyon, who took her to the head of affairs 400m out with the pair soon opening up what, it transpired, was an unassailable lead.

A delighted Guyon said: “I am so pleased to ride my first Dubai winner in such a big race and she really deserved that win after a brave effort in defeat last time. She quickened well and ran all the way to the line.

“I think she is improving.”

The only winner not representing a trainer from Europe was Tasaday, winner of the inaugural running of the Listed Dubai Millennium Stakes, over 2000m on turf. This went to Godolphin handler Saeed bin Suroor and his stable jockey, Silvestre De Sousa.

As was the case in several races, the winner was never far off a steady gallop before quickening clear early in the straight. She hung on well to the delight of De Sousa who said: “She is a very nice filly who ran well enough first time, three weeks ago but had certainly improved for the run.

“She has a touch of class and a nice turn of foot – both have proved crucial and it is great to win a race named after a true Godolphin legend.”

Racing opened with a 1400m turf handicap which went to Ireland, courtesy of Eastern Rules, recording a fourth 2014 Dubai World Carnival Cup victory for trainer Mick Halford and jockey Shane Foley.

A winner over 1400m on the all-weather two weeks ago, Foley’s mount picked up well from the rear to lead 200m from home and won nicely.

Foley said: “That is the fourth week running we have had a winner and it has been a great run. He won well last time but this was a better race and he is probably better on the turf.
“Hopefully we can continue in this kind of form.”

Norway were next, landing the following 1600m all-weather handicap with Avon Pearl, a first UAE winner for trainer Rune Haugen who was saddling his fifth runner locally.

Settled well off the pace by Pat Dobbs, the winner made smooth progress 400m out, tracking the leaders 200m from home before surging to the front and winning in style.

Dobbs said: “The fast gallop really helped us and turning for home I was travelling really well and just hoping for a bit of luck in running. Fortunately the gaps appeared and he won well.”

International domination of the card continued with the hard fought victory of the UK raider Medicean Man, trained by Jeremy Gask, in the 1000m turf handicap. A course and distance winner at last year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival, he was ridden here, as he was when winning then, by Harry Bentley.

The jockey said: “They did not go as fast as you would have expected but it is not an issue with this horse because he settles so well. I was happy tracking the speed and I know he quickens.

“Once we hit the front he has had to battle with the runner-up getting to our girths but he then responded again. He loves a battle!

Ireland were back in the winner’s enclosure after Elleval, runner-up in last year’s UAE Derby, won the 2000m all-weather handicap, ridden by Fergal Lynch for trainer David Marnane.

The pair were combining to record their third win of this year’s Carnival.

A frantic early gallop persuaded Lynch to set his mount in mid-division, on the rail, before asking him to close 400m out. When a gap opened 300m from home, they shot through it, running on strongly to deny Start Right.

Lynch said: “They went so quickly that I was happy to settle him in and give him a breather down the far side. He then quickened really nicely to record a good victory in what had appeared a hot handicap.

“Hopefully he is still improving.”

Certify Tipped to Extend Unbeaten Run in Group 2 Balanchine Stakes

02/19/2014 Dubai Racing Club

Listed Dubai Millennium Stakes Attracts Competitive Field for Inaugural Running

Godolphin’s unbeaten Certify, impressive winner of the Group 2 Cape Verdi Stakes three weeks ago over 1600m, bids to maintain her unblemished record when facing five rivals in Thursday’s fillies and mares race, the Group 2 Balanchine Stakes at Meydan Racecourse, over 1800m.

Trained by Charlie Appleby, Certify won the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile as a juvenile but missed the whole of 2013 before her scintillating return to action three weeks ago – her first outing since her Group 1 victory in September 2012.

Given a confident ride by Mickael Barzalona, she was far too good for her five rivals, three of whom are again in opposition here and will bid to emulate another Godolphin filly, Sajjhaa, who won both races last year.

Appleby said: “She has always been very good and she vindicated the decision to keep her training after missing last season. We could not have been more pleased with that winning comeback and she has thrived since then. She had been off a long while and that run really reminded her what racing is about.

“That was over 1600m whereas this is 1800m but I do not think the extra 200m is going to be a problem. With only six runners it could be tactical and may develop into a sprint but she showed in the Cape Verdi she can quicken.

“We have to be very hopeful.”

After winning this last year, Sajjhaa went on to complete a Group 1 double in Super Saturday’s Jebel Hatta and the Dubai Duty Free on World Cup night – a path nominated by Appleby for Certify after her Cape Verdi victory.

Dual Group 1 winner Flotilla, victor in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf and last year’s French 1000 Guineas, was a big disappointment in the Cape Verdi but is surely better than able to show then.

Christophe Lemaire again rides her for Mikel Delzangles and, if back near her best, she looks the main danger.

The main support race, the 2000m Dubai Millennium Stakes on the turf, is one of this season’s new Listed races and has attracted a very competitive field of 13.

It looks significant that Saeed bin Suroor elects to run Tasaday in this and not the Balanchine and she did not enjoy the clearest of runs on her local debut and first start for Bin Suroor when ninth in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya.

Bin Suroor also saddles Quick Wit and he explained: “It was a bit disappointing with Tasaday the first time but she was hampered at a crucial stage and would certainly have finished closer with some luck in running.

“She has improved from that run and her last piece of work was very good. I really like her and the 2000m should really suit and I expect a good run.

“Quick Wit is a nice horse and working well but he will definitely come on for the run having been off since September.”

Winner of that Al Rashidiya, over 1800m on turf, was local debutant, Mujaarib representing South African trainer, Mike De Kock and ridden at the time by Christophe Soumillon. Penalised for that win, he will be ridden here by Paul Hanagan, retained jockey to the horse’s owner, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

De Kock said: “That win three weeks ago was a bit of a nice surprise really as we really thought he was going to need the outing. He has improved, fitness wise, since and this looked a good target for him.
“The penalty obviously makes life harder but we have to hope for a big run.”

One of the most impressive winners of the 2014 Dubai World Cup Carnival was the Charlie Appleby-trained Cat O’Mountain, winner of a 2200m all-weather handicap five weeks ago.

Touted as a live Dubai World Cup hope after that win, he returns to action in a handicap over the same 2000m all-weather course and distance as the $10million Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race.

Appleby said: “Yes, he was impressive that day but he has an awful lot to prove before you can talk seriously, about such lofty targets. This a lot tougher than the race he won when everything fell into place for him.

“The handicapper has put him up, the trip is slightly shorter, he is giving weight to all 15 rivals and is drawn wide. We will certainly see just where we stand with him.”


 
Can Godolphin's Certify continue her unbeaten run in Thursday's Grp 2 Balanchine after landing the Grp 2 Cape Verdi on January 30, 2014.

Credit: Dubai Racing Club//Andrew Watkins

Variety Club Cruises to Easy Group 3 Victory in the Firebreak Stakes

02/14/2014 Dubai Racing Club

Long John Makes Short Work of UAE 2000 Guineas Field on Night Full of World Cup Clues

On a Dubai World Cup Carnival night that featured three Group 3 contests, Australian galloper Long John and dual South African Horse of the Year, Variety Club emerged as serious Dubai World Cup day contenders..

With just seven weeks until the world’s richest day of racing, trainers are beginning to lay down markers as to the likely port of call for their charges on Saturday March 29.  

Grp 3 Firebreak Stakes winner, the two-time South African Horse of the Year, Variety Club has been earmarked for a possible tilt at the Dubai World Cup
Credit: Dubai Racing Club//Andrew Watkins

South African jockey, Anton Marcus was last seen in Dubai when he won the 2008 Dubai Duty Free on Jay Peg and he also made his second visit count last night, when partnering Variety Club to an impressive victory in the Group 3 US$200,000 Firebreak Stakes over 1600m of the all-weather track for trainer, Joey Ramsden.

Marcus can fully expect to be in action on another Dubai World Cup night following the eye-catching performance of his mount.

“This is great for me and South African racing and it’s a relief as well,” he said. “He is a superstar at home and well done to connections for bringing him here. There was a vision for this horse and it’s fantastic that the first leg of this plan has come to fruition.

“Hopefully he will turn out to be a serious Dubai World Cup horse – though we could always go back to turf if need be. He is versatile, classy and has a big heart.”

Trainer Joey Ramsden, saddling his first UAE runner, was present to greet his winner who quickened away from his field early in the straight and was in control from a long way out – posting a fast time in the process.

Last week it was Godolphin’s Ihtimal, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, in the UAE 1000 Guineas, this week it was the Charlie Appleby-trained Long John who impressed with Classic victory, easily winning the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas, over 1600m on the all-weather.

Winner of the 2013 Group 1 Caulfield Guineas in his native Australia, Long John stormed clear 500m out under Mickael Barzalona, who was winning the race for the third time in four years.

The gelding showed an impressive burst of speed, making short work of the rest of the field and a clearly impressed Barzalona said: “I was happy to commit for home as this horse will certainly stay further and he has proved himself a Group 1 horse in Australia.

“We were hopeful but I do not think we expected a win quite like that.”

The 1200m Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint was dominated by Irish connections, with the Mick Halford-trained Russian Soul hanging on grimly under the urgings of Shane Foley to deny Jamesie, trained by compatriot David Marnane. It was a third consecutive week that Halford and Foley have enjoyed Dubai World Cup Carnival success.

“It has just been brilliant and all ours have run well but improved for their first run, as has this fellow. He loves the all-weather and travels so strongly,” said Foley.

“All being well he will be back on Super Saturday and then Dubai World Cup night – be it on the turf or the all-weather.”

The concluding 2435m turf handicap went to Godolphin’s Songcraft, trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Silvestre De Sousa.

The opening all-weather handicap, over the same 2000m as the Dubai World Cup, was won smoothly by the Mike De Kock-trained Sanshaawes, opening his local account at the second attempt.

Having his first race on the all-weather, he travelled well under Christophe Soumillon and the pair hit the front 300m out, running on far too strongly for their 13 rivals.

Soumillon explained: “We knew that if he handled the surface as well as he does in training he would be hard to beat and he has really enjoyed it.

“Hopefully he can go on from this.”

Trainer and jockey completed a handicap double with Vercingetorix maintaining his unbeaten record in the 1800m turf handicap. Soumillon was happy to bide his time in mid division, before making smooth progress 600m out taking his mount to the front almost 400m out.

They ran on strongly to make it five wins from five starts and Soumillon said: “He is a lazy work horse so I was not really sure what to expect on this his local debut. I was impressed with him and I would guess he will be a Dubai Duty Free contender.”

Al Shindagha Speedsters Out to Impress Ahead of Dubai World Cup Day

02/12/2014 Dubai Racing Club

A trio of Group 3 races highlight Thursday's US $1.11m Al Tayer Motors-sponsored card at Meydan Racecourse, including the first Colt’s Classic of the season, the UAE 2000 Guineas, the Firebreak Stakes and the Al Shindagha Sprint.

The speedballs are out in force for the 1200m US$200,000 all-weather Al Shindagha Sprint, the fifth race of the night, which has attracted a maximum field of 14.

Among them is the 2012 Dubai Golden Shaheen winner, Krypton Factor, trained by Bahrain’s Fawzi Nass. Yet to win since that victory, Krypton Factor will once again be sporting his head gear after running last time without blinkers and benefits from having star Irish rider, Richard Hughes in the irons. His draw may count against him as he jumps from stall 14, the widest of all.

Krypton Factor, third to Reynaldothewizard, in the 2013 Dubai Golden Shaheen, renews his rivalry with Balmont Mast, who finished one place ahead of him in that race.

Balmont Mast, who is trained by Irishman, Edward Lynam, was a close fourth on his seasonal bow in the Listed Dubawi Stakes, over this course and distance.

William Buick, in the saddle on that occasion, rides again and the pair have been well drawn in stall four.

“These conditions really suit him and that was a good comeback. It looks a good renewal but at least we have a decent low draw,” said Buick.
Two places ahead of Balmont Mast and Buick in the Dubawi Stakes was fellow Irish challenger, Russian Soul, trained by Mick Halford and ridden by Shane Foley.

“That was a good return from him four weeks ago and all ours have been running well but improving for the run,” said the jockey, who must navigate his way around the one-turn sprint from stall 13. “We would have preferred a lower draw but hopefully, with a bit of luck, we will be there or thereabouts at the finish.”

That Dubawi Stakes was won by the Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained United Color, fifth in last year’s Golden Shaheen and again the mount of James Doyle, as he was a month ago.

Doyle said: “It was a good win last time when everything fell right for us. This looks a stronger race but we have a good draw so we can hopefully be competitive.”

The Australian sprinter, Mental stormed home to win the Al Shindagha Sprint for Godolphin last year, yet this is one of the few big races that Saeed Bin Suroor, the most successful trainer in the history of the Dubai World Cup Carnival, is yet to win.

On a night when the two Godolphin trainers are bringing out their new Australian recruits, Bin Suroor relies on Complicate, who was a five-and-a-half lengths eighth behind the Mike de Kock-trained Anaerobio on his local debut over 200m further.

“He ran well on his debut for us and will appreciate the return to 1200m. He has been showing plenty of speed and seems to like the all-weather,” said Bin Suroor.

Meanwhile Bin Suroor’s opposite number at Godolphin, Charlie Appleby saddles another antipodean horse in Bello, who is having his first UAE start and more will be known about him following the race.

“This is a bit of a fact finding mission in what looks a tough race,” said Appleby.

Jamesie, one of four in the race representing Ireland, was a course and distance winner a fortnight ago for David Marnane, a trainer who has now won twice at the 2014 Dubai World Cup Carnival.

“Jamesie has delighted us since that win and we have been very lucky with the draw in one. We expect a big run.”

UAE 2000 Guineas

The biggest money on the night belongs to the $250,000 Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas over 1600m of the all-weather. This is the second UAE Classic of the season and the first for the colts.

Bin Suroor is seeking a fifth win in this race and saddles two, including Emirates Flyer, winner of the 1400m trial four weeks ago. Five trial winners have followed up in this race in the last nine years and Bin Suroor also has local debutant, Paximedia, in the field.
A Group 2 winner when last seen in his native Australia, he looks an interesting newcomer to the Emirates.

“Paximedia has done everything we have asked of him,” said Bin Suroor. “His work has been very pleasing, he is steadily improving and I like him.

“Emirates Flyer won the trial well and this is the obvious next race for him. He has come out of that win in good order but will need to step up again in this stronger contest.”
Safety Check, saddled by fellow Godolphin handler, Appleby was second in the trial and should appreciate this extra 200m with new stable companion, Long John a fascinating new recruit from Australia.

Appleby said: “Safety Check ran very well in the trial and will definitely appreciate the longer trip. He won over 1600m at Newmarket and is well drawn so he has plenty in his favour.

“We will learn a lot about Long John who shows little at home but we were warned that would be the case as he was the same in Australia. He won the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas before contesting the Cox Plate so his form is excellent. Hopefully he can show a similar level of form.”
South African, Mike De Kock has won this race a record five times and has declared four as he seeks a sixth win. Christophe Soumillon rides the very interesting local debutant Wednaan, winner of his sole UK start at Yarmouth.

“He is a horse we have always really liked,” said De Kock. “He was a big baby when he won and his lack of experience is a definite concern. He was sick when he arrived here, so missed the trial but hopefully he will run well.”

Group 3 Firebreak Stakes

The third all-weather Group 3 feature is the 1600m Firebreak Stakes and nine have been declared. These include dual South African Horse Of The Year, Variety Club, a first UAE runner for Cape Town-based, Joey Ramsden.

De Kock saddles Mars, another having his first UAE start but a quality performer in Europe where he was sixth in both the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and Epsom Derby when trained by Aidan O’Brien, before an excellent third in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Appleby has two in the race in the shape of Snowboarder and Fulbright with the latter finishing second in this race last year.

“It looks a really strong renewal,” said Appleby who sounded hopeful rather than confident of his chances. “Both of ours go well on the all-weather which is an obvious plus and Fulbright won on the first night before a reasonable run back on turf.

“They are both working well but when you see the quality of opponent you would think our pair need to raise their game somewhat.”

Capital Attraction, second in last year’s Burj Nahaar on Super Saturday, is another to consider for UAE Champion Trainer, Ernst Oertel under UAE Champion Jockey, Tadhg O’Shea.

Al Shindagha Sprint runners, United Color (winner – yellow colours), trained by Dhruba Selvaratnam and Russian Soul (second – pink and blue colours) and Balmont Mast (fourth - red and white colours) are among a quality field to contest the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint on Thursday.

Photo Credit: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins

Breeder’s Cup stars Mucho Macho Man and Magician head impressive Dubai World Cup 2014 Nominations

02/11/2014 Dubai Racing Club

The nominations for the 2014 US$10m Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline represent a unique line-up of international stars that includes the current winners of the Breeder’s Cup Classic, the Breeder’s Cup Turf and Irish 2000 Guineas, the Japan Cup, the Epsom Derby, the Hong Kong Cup, the Durban July victor and a previous Melbourne Cup winner.

Breeder’s Cup Classic star Mucho Macho Man, Breeder’s Cup Turf winner, Magician, Japan Cup Dirt winner, Belshazzar, Epsom Derby hero, Ruler of the World, Hong Kong Cup victor, Akeed Mofeed, Heavy Metal the winner of the Durban July and former Melbourne Cup winner, Dunaden are among 341 nominations for the world’s richest race.

The 19th renewal of the Meydan Racecourse showpiece will be held on Saturday March 29, 2014 and at the closing of the free nomination stage, has attracted entries from 15 countries.

Secretariat Stakes winner, Admiral Kitten, owned and bred by Ken Ramsey, winning owner of the 2005 Dubai World Cup with Roses in May, has also been nominated alongside Big Blue Kitten.

The 2013 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner, Olympic Glory, trained by Richard Hannon Jnr and John Gosden’s Irish Champion Stakes winner and Breeder’s Cup Turf and Hong Kong Vase runner up, The Fugue have also been nominated.

Game on Dude, who finished out of the placings in the 2012 Dubai World Cup for trainer, Bob Baffert is back for more after experiencing a resurgence to his best form in 2013, with three Grade 1 wins.

Godolphin’s 2014 Group 2 Cape Verdi winner, Certify could follow in the footsteps of the Dubai racing operation’s Dubai Duty Free heroine, Sajjhaa, as she holds nominations for the same race, as well as the Dubai World Cup and the Godolphin Mile.

In addition to Epsom Derby winner, Ruler of the World and Irish 2000 Guineas and Breeder’s Cup Turf star, Magician, the highly-successful racing operation of Irish trainer, Aidan O’Brien has nominated 13 other runners. Kingsbarns, the 2012 Racing Post Trophy winner, dual Group 3-winner, Ernest Hemingway and St Leger winner, Leading Light are among the group slated to make the trip to Dubai.

As often happens at this early stage, a number of runners hold nomination for multiple races. The Joey Ramsden-trained South African runner, Variety Club, a multiple Grade 1 winner on home soil, has been nominated for the Dubai World Cup, Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Sheema Classic and the Godolphin Mile.

Helene Superstar, a horse that may be more familiar to Dubai race fans by his former name, Lines of Battle, the 2013 UAE Derby winner, has been nominated by new trainer, Tony Cruz for the Dubai Duty Free, the Dubai World Cup and the Dubai Sheema Classic.

Japan’s best racemare, Gentildonna has been nominated for a second shot at the Dubai Sheema Classic, after finishing runner-up to the ill-fated St Nicholas Abbey in the 2013 running of the $5m turf race.

Meanwhile, the David Simcock-trained Trade Storm, the winner of the 2013 Zabeel Mile and Battle of Marengo, a former Ballydoyle star now trained by reigning UAE Champion Trainer, Ernst Oertel both hold nominations for the Dubai Duty Free and the Dubai Sheema Classic.

The winners of both the Dubai World Cup day sprints have been nominated for a defence of their 2013 titles, with the Satish Seemar-trained Golden Shaheen hero, Reynaldothewizard and Mike de Kock’s Shea Shea, the Al Quoz Sprint winner, both holding nominations for both sprint races.

Hong Kong’s newest sprint sensation, Amber Sky winner of the recent local Group 1 Centenary Sprint Cup holds a nomination for the Al Quoz Sprint.

To see complete lists of nominated horses in each race, please click on the links below:

Dubai Kahayla Classic

Godolphin Mile

Dubai Gold Cup

UAE Derby

Al Quoz Sprint

Dubai Golden Shaheen

Dubai Duty Free

Dubai Sheema Classic

Dubai World Cup

US$250,000 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 Bristles With Group Winners

02/06/2014 Dubai Racing Club

Hunter’s Light bids to defend his crownToday’s (Thursday) Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2, the second of three prep races for the US$10m Dubai World Cup features three Group 1 and three Group 2 winners among a quality field of 16.

Three-time Group 1 winner and 2011 Melbourne Cup star, Dunaden, Durban July victor, Heavy Metal, and Hunter’s Light, winner of the final two rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge in 2013 head up a classy field in the Group 2 contest held over 1900m of Meydan’s all-weather track.

Group 2-winning horses African Story, Battle of Marengo and Prince Bishop also face the starter in the $250,000 feature on the seven-race IPIC-sponsored card.

The fifth Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting of 2014 could also be a landmark occasion for Godolphin trainer, Saeed Bin Suroor, who will be attempting to land a record tenth victory in this round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

The Emirati, the most successful trainer in the history of the Dubai World Cup Carnival, claimed an eighth victory in the opening round of the Al Maktoum Challenge with Shuruq on January 9. And he holds a strong chance of continuing his impressive legacy in the prestigious three-race race series by sending out Hunter’s Light, 2012 Godolphin Mile winner, African Story  and Group 2 winning Prince Bishop this evening.

If Hunter’s Light (pictured above) wins tonight (Thursday) he will become the third horse to win two consecutive Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 contests, following in the footsteps of2001 and 2002 winner, Best Of The Bests and Jack Sullivan, who repeated the feat in 2005 and 2006. 

Yet jockey, Silvestre de Sousa, who rode Hunter’s Light to victory in this race last term, has deserted the horse in favour of African Story, who was fifth in the 2014 Dubai World Cup, two places ahead of Hunter’s Light on the big night.
It is William Buick who rides Hunter’s Light with Kieren Fallon aboard Prince Bishop.

“All three are having their first start this year but are going nicely at home and like the surface,” said Bin Suroor.
“African Story has the worst draw of the three but seems in really good form. Silvestre has chosen him and he should run very well. Of course, Hunter’s Light won this race and the final round of the Al Maktoum Challenge last year.

“He worked well the other day and Prince Bishop always tries very hard. I expect them all to be competitive in a strong race.”

The Bin Suroor-trained Moon Ballad won this on his way to Dubai World Cup success in 2003.
Fellow Godolphin handler, Charlie Appleby, relies on Artigiano, a good third in the Listed Singspiel Stakes on his local debut and first start since November 2012.

“We were very pleased with that comeback run over 1600m on turf,” said the trainer. “We really think the switch to the all-weather and step up in trip will help but are not well drawn and this is obviously a better race.

“Hopefully he can at least run into a place.”

South African trainer, Mike De Kock is a three-time winner of the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 and Zahee, a winner just last week, arrives in great heart. However, De Kock sounds hopeful rather than confident.

“It is never ideal running back so quickly but with his new rating of 111 my options are somewhat restricted,” he explained. “It was only a handicap he won last week but we think he is worth his place at this level. It looks a strong renewal but at least he has shown his wellbeing and is fit and well.”

The 2011 Melbourne Cup winner, Dunaden, Surfer – runner-up in this last year for Satish Seemar - and former Ballydoyle inmate, Battle Of Marengo, having his first start for reigning UAE Champion Trainer, Ernst Oertel, are just three others of interest in a fascinating contest.

Like Hunter’s Light, last year’s winner of the Purebred Arabian equivalent, the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2, Albar Lotois is back to defend his crown for UAE-based French trainer, Eric Lemartinel.

Versac PY chased him home 12 months ago and should go close again, while Awam (3rd), Takaamul (4th), Rasikh (5th) and Ghalib (6th) are all hoping to reverse that form.

The main support race, the Listed 1600m UAE 1000 Guineas, carries prize money of $250,000 and is another contest dominated by Godolphin trainers, especially Bin Suroor who is seeking an eighth win in the race and his Ihtimal looks the one to beat.

Third in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile on her most recent start, she was a Group 2 winner at Doncaster prior to that. Bin Suroor said: “She is a lovely filly, not the biggest but very tough. She is in good form and we expect a big run.

“Her form in England is very good, she has a good draw and works well on the surface so she has a lot in her favour.”
Appleby saddles two, with Mickael Barzalona aboard Wedding Ring, winner of the 1400m trial three weeks ago. Martin lane rides stable companion and local debutante, Feedyah.

“Wedding Ring should be fine over 1600m at Meydan and clearly relished the surface when winning the trial. This is obviously a stronger race and Ihtimal looks the one to beat.

“This was always the plan with Feedyah who needs at least 1600m and will hopefully develop into a filly for the UAE Oaks.”

De Kock, seeking a second win in a race he won in 2011 with Mahbooba, saddles three with Christophe Soumillon choosing to ride Mensoora, well beaten against her elders in last week’s Cape Verdi.

The Grand Prix d'Amerique 2014 in Vincennes, January 25-26

01/23/2014

A preview of the Grand Prix d'Amerique 2014 in Vincennes, January 25-26

Three Top American Runners Challenge World in Dubai Cup

03/28/2013 By Michele MacDonald
     Godolphin’s Hunter’s Light, strong winner of his last three starts including the Al Maktoum Challenge Round III (G1) at Meydan on March 9, is the early 7-2 favorite in Saturday’s $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) following Wednesday’s post position draw.
      Trainer Saeed bin Suroor chose post four for Hunter’s Light in a selection process in which the names of the 13 horses in the field were chosen randomly and then the connections opted for stalls in the starting gate. Bin Suroor got the sixth choice in the field.
     “He is a horse who is improving and a tough performer. He will be there at the end because he has a big heart,” bin Suroor said of Hunter’s Light, a five-year-old son of Dubawi. “A mile and a quarter is the best trip for him, and he has pleased me in the run-up to this race—his biggest test. He really likes this track.”
     American Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, given the third choice, selected post eight for Besilu Stables’ two-time champion Royal Delta, who is bidding to make history as the first female winner of the world’s richest race. The daughter of Empire Maker is the second choice on the morning line at 4-1.
     “We wanted to be somewhere in the middle to give the mare a chance to break well and settle. The rest is up to (jockey) Mike Smith,” said a delighted Mott, who won the inaugural World Cup in 1996 with Cigar, who started from post eight.
       Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Animal Kingdom’s connections were not as lucky; with the next-to-last choice, they got post 12 but are rated a close third choice at 5-1.
      “It’s not what I would have chosen,” said trainer Graham Motion while adding that he was more concerned about being on the inside. “Hopefully (jockey) Joel Rosario will have him in a good spot. Our tactics won’t change and he’s capable of coming from off of (the pace) if he has to. After all, we won the Derby from post 16.”
      The other American entrant, Donegal Racing’s Dullahan, will start just to the inside of Hunter’s Light from post three and is the early fourth choice at 6-1.
     “Post three is all right—it’s a good spot,” said trainer Dale Romans. “We’d rather not be outside. He’ll probably settle and come running. (Jockey) Gary Stevens and I will study the race and come up with a strategy.”
      Also likely to be plotting strategy is the Godolphin camp since there are five runners in the race that will be carrying the stable’s royal blue silks. Ironically, last year’s winner Monterosso and runner-up Capponi both are listed at 20-1 in the field and will start from posts ten and five, respectively.
     In addition to that pair and Hunter’s Light, the stable has entered 2012 Godolphin Mile (G2) winner African Story (10-1 from post 11) and 2013 Dubai World Cup Carnival star Kassiano (12-1 from the outside post).
    Large, competitive fields are the order of Dubai World Cup day. In the other races:
·       Japan’s reigning Horse of the Year Gentildonna, last year’s Filly Triple Crown winner, is the strong 9-5 favorite in the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) over 2410 meters (about 1 ½ miles) on turf. She will be making her first start since winning the Japan Cup (G1) in November and her main competition is expected to come from Coolmore’s 5-2 St Nicholas Abbey, the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner who finished second in last year’s Sheema Classic.
·       Priscilla Vaccarezza’s Little Mike, a three-time Grade 1 winner last year who capped his season by taking the Breeders’ Cup Turf, is the 3-1 morning line choice in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free (G1) over 1800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles) on grass. Trainer Dale Romans said the game and speedy Little Mike will be sent to the lead; from there he will have to fend off 9-2 Ocean Park, last year’s Cox Plate (G1) winner in Australia, and Godolphin’s course record-setting mare Sajjhaa.
·       Sherry Parbhoo’s American champion sprinter Trinniberg takes on a dozen rivals as the 5-2 early favorite in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) at 1200 meters (about six furlongs) on the all-weather track. Defending champion Krypton Factor, 8-1, will try to run down Trinniberg but Godolphin’s Australian Group 1 winner Mental is given the better chance at 7-2.
·       Two American speedsters, 6-1 Varsity and 8-1 Great Attack, are entered in field of 14 for the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint (G1) over 1000 meters (about five furlongs) on turf. South African Group 1 winner Shea Shea, another course record setter, is the early choice at 5-2, with last year’s runner-up Sole Power at 5-1.
·       Godolphin’s UAE classic winner Secret Number, a son of Raven’s Pass, heads the $2 million UAE Derby over 1900 meters (about 1 3/16 miles) on the all-weather track at 3-1 over 11 rivals. Reddam Racing’s He’s Had Enough, runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), will run for qualifying points to the Kentucky Derby (G1) while starting from the outside post at 8-1 on the morning line.
·       Coolmore’s French Group 1 winner Imperial Monarch is rated a 3-1 chance in the $1 million Dubai Gold Cup (G3) over 3200 meters (about two miles) on turf as he tries the distance for the initial time in his first start since October. Godolphin’s Cavalryman, a close third in the Dubai City of Gold (G2) on March 9, is given the best shot of the other nine runners at 7-2.
·       Lightly raced South African-bred Group 1 winner Soft Falling Rain, winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) in February, will challenge older rivals as the 4-1 early favorite in a competitive, 16-runner edition of the $1 million Godolphin Mile  (G2). Last year’s Travers Stakes (G1) winner Alpha, who did not impress in a previous effort on the all-weather track in Dubai, is rated 15-1 from the rail.

Dubai World Cup Carnival Begins With Top Contenders

01/07/2013
    PROSPECT, KENTUCKY, January 7, 2013—With the most exciting lineup of competitors in the rich history of Dubai racing poised to run, AmWest Entertainment will deliver the Dubai World Cup Carnival and the Dubai World Cup program for wagering in North and South America for the fourth consecutive season.
     The Carnival commences on January 10 with a first post of 10:05 a.m. EST for a six-race program featuring the $250,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round I (G2) over 1,600 meters (about one mile) on the all-weather track at Meydan Racecourse.
     The Maktoum Challenge series offers key preps for the $10-million Dubai World Cup (G1), the world’s richest race, which will be run as part of the richest day of racing on the globe on March 30 at Meydan with prizemoney of $27-million. There will be 10 Carnival race dates prior to the World Cup, peaking with Super Saturday on March 9, with an additional total of about $10-million in purses.
    “The Dubai Carnival and World Cup provide players with the highest quality fields anywhere in the world at this time of year and thus the best wagering product,” said AmWest Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens. “We are looking forward to presenting the most outstanding Dubai season ever to American fans.”
     American champions Animal Kingdom and Royal Delta are among the horses aiming for the Dubai World Cup, with multiple Grade 1 winners Little Mike and Dullahan also probable runners for the Cup or another event on that program. Trainer Dale Romans plans to ship Little Mike to Dubai early for a prep race at Meydan, following the path set by 2008 Dubai World Cup winner Curlin, prior to World Cup day.
      International champions pointing for Dubai include one of Japan’s Triple Crown winners, either the filly Gentildonna or the seasoned international campaigner Orfevre, both owned by Sunday Racing Co.; South African Horse of the Year Igugu; Australia’s Cox Plate (G1) 1-2 finishers Ocean Park and All Too Hard, the latter a half brother to sensational champion Black Caviar; and Indian record-breaking earner and multiple classic winner In the Spotlight. Coolmore will once again send a team to Dubai this year, with Irish Horse of the Year Camelot, who won two-thirds of Britain’s Triple Crown in 2012, a possible contender.
     “The Carnival just keeps getting better every year,” said Martin Talty, manager of the Dubai Racing Club’s international department. “From 2004 onward, it’s been getting stronger in both numbers and quality of horses every year. The ratings (of runners) have risen exponentially. You need a very, very good horse to win even a handicap race here.”
      Horses from 21 countries featuring at least 26 Group 1 winners are set to compete at the Carnival for prominent trainers including France’s Andre Fabre; Ireland’s Jim Bolger, John Oxx and Dermot Weld; South Africa’s Mike de Kock; Britain’s Richard Hannon, Brian Meehan and  Mark Johnston, and Germany’s Peter Schiergen.
      Following the January 10 opening of the Carnival, other dates for the season are: January 17, 24 and 31; February 7, 14, 21 and 28; and March 2, (Super Saturday) and 30 (Dubai World Cup day).
     Entries, free past performance data, post times, selections and other handicapping information is available at www.AmWestEntertainment.com.  AmWest has expanded the array of handicapping tools it will offer Carnival players this year, including special handicapping advice and picks from Dubai Race Night founder Patrick Cummings and detailed Trakus-sponsored post-race analysis. AmWest’s affiliate, www.AmWager.com, offers wagering on all Dubai World Cup Carnival events with the industry’s most efficient professional tools and highest cash rewards.
      For more information, contact Nelson Clemmens at (502) 292-1075.

Landmark Commingling to be Offered on Arc Weekend Programs

10/03/2012
Prospect, Kentucky, October 2, 2012—For the first time in history, Americans will have the opportunity to wager into the world’s second largest pool—and gain the chance for big payoffs—when AmWest Entertainment joins with France’s Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) to simulcast the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Weekend on October 6 & 7.
Featuring seven Group 1 events topped by the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), Europe’s premier event worth €4 million (about $5.15 million and thus more valuable than America’s richest race, the Breeders’ Cup Classic [G1]), Arc Weekend spans 15 Thoroughbred races over the two days at famed Longchamp Racecourse in Paris.
Never before have American horseplayers been able to wager into a major common pool. PMU conducts wagering on horse racing with volume second worldwide, behind only the closed market of Japan.
In 2011, a total of $60 million was wagered on the two Arc Weekend programs, with more than $36 million on Arc day alone.
      “In keeping with our ongoing commitment to bring the best of international racing and wagering to North America, AmWest is delighted to provide the opportunity to bet into the second largest pari-mutuel pool in the world and enjoy the best payoffs and wagering options,” said AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens. “We believe Arc Weekend will be the most rewarding racing and wagering experience possible.”
“PMU has the greatest pool open to commingling in the world and we have been working on developing the access to it. We believe that the extraordinary quality of French races and the big PMU pools will be of much interest to U.S. players,” said PMU International Director Aymeric Verlet. “We are pleased to be working again with AmWest Entertainment in the simulcasting of our premier races.”
A strong lineup of potential runners is preparing for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, led by Japanese Triple Crown winner Orfevre, who has banked over $12.3 million; Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner St Nicholas Abbey, earner of $4.26 million, and Epsom Derby (G1) and 2000 Guineas (G1) winner Camelot, earner of $2.8 million.
The October 7 program will begin at 7:20 am EDT, with eight Thoroughbred races for wagering extending through 12:25 pm, and the Qatar Arabian World Cup, broadcast as a non-wagering event. The October 6 program, which includes three Group 2 races among five Thoroughbred races to kick off Arc Weekend, will begin at 7:30 am extending through a final post at 10:10 a.m. The Qatar Total Arabian Trophy for fillies will be broadcast as a non-wagering event.
 
For more information, contact:
Nelson Clemmens                                                            Ines Hendili
CEO, AmWest Entertainment                                           International Project Manager, PMU
502-292-1075                                                                   +33 1 56 09 94 13

 
About AmWest Entertainment:
AmWest Entertainment is a diversified simulcast service and account wagering provider that enjoys strong relationships with racetracks and other racing organizations, including the Dubai Racing Club and Dubai World Cup. Our continued involvement in Thoroughbred racing and breeding, and our ongoing commitment to many state, national and international initiatives, are major determinants in how the company conducts business. AmWest is committed to serve the racing industry and our customers utilizing transparency and best practices.
 
About PMU:
   PMU is the number-one pari-mutuel operator in Europe, with $ 13.2 billion in turnover in 2011. PMU provides 11,300 outlets for its customers, and www.pmu.fr is the top betting website in France. Additionally, PMU has developed special applications for mobile terminals, and oversees the racing television channel Equidia. PMU provides 80% of financing for the horse-racing sector in France. PMU’s net income of $ 1.13 billion in 2011 is paid back in full to racing authorities, giving them the resources they need to operate.
 
About France-Galop:
France-Galop, the Parent Racing Organization for Flat and Jump races in France, operates six racecourses including Longchamp, Chantilly and Deauville, and three training centers. France-Galop organizes the world's most prestigious racing weekend at Longchamp in October with eight Group 1 races (seven for Thoroughbreds and the Qatar Arabian World Cup), topped by the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which is recognized by racing professionals as the most exclusive race in the world in terms of prestige and the quality of its runners.
http://www.prixarcdetriomphe.com/
 

AmWest Entertainment Launches Revolutionary AmWager.com Wagering Platform

08/01/2012
PROSPECT, KENTUCKY, August 1, 2012—Following 18 months of daily trials by professional handicappers working with technical developers, the revolutionary new AmWager.com website is now available to all horseplayers seeking the most advanced features for successful wagering and the most extensive racing content in the industry.
       Developed by AmWest Entertainment, one of North America’s largest account wagering companies, AmWager.com offers an array of sophisticated money management tools that allow players—from beginners to the most experienced—to maximize returns on wagering.
      Some of AmWager.com’s features include conditional wagering, real-time dutching, stacked bets and free live video and replays from more than 200 racetracks worldwide.
     “With the dedicated assistance of some of North America’s most successful high-volume players, we have created the equivalent of a Formula 1 betting machine that we can now deliver to retail players who have been used to driving economy wagering vehicles,” said AmWest Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens. “We are confident they will find this the most enjoyable and rewarding wagering ride they have ever experienced.”
     AmWager.com provides players the chance to wager on Thoroughbred racing across the world as well as harness, Quarter Horse and greyhound racing. Members also may place wagers by phone and gain assistance from live customer service representatives seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time.
      Players who sign up for AmWager will receive cash rewards for every wager they place, with those rewards credited on a daily basis. They also will be eligible for ongoing bonuses based on the wagering of any friends they pass on to AmWager through the industry-leading ReferALL program. Players will earn 0.5% of the wagers made by everyone they refer to AmWager for the life of those friends’ accounts.
       “Not only does AmWager give all handicappers the advantages enjoyed by high-volume players and thus help them become much more effective with their wagers, we also extend the most generous rewards while striving to deliver the best economics for all players,” said Clemmens, an active Thoroughbred owner and breeder. “We also will ensure that AmWager returns the highest possible revenues to support the sport of racing.”
       Players can experience the benefits of AmWager after signing up through the Join Now button at www.amwager.com or by visiting https://secure.amwager.com/registration. New members can rapidly fund their accounts and make their first wagers. There are no membership or wagering fees and no minimum volume required to gain access to AmWager’s advanced features, which will be further enhanced in the near future with a Kelly calculator.
For more information, contact: Nelson Clemmens, 502-292-1075
For questions about AmWager features, contact member services:877-767-4447
 
 
About AmWest Entertainment:
AmWest Entertainment is a diversified simulcast service and account wagering provider that enjoys strong relationships with racetracks and other racing organizations worldwide, including the Dubai Racing Club, Dubai World Cup, France’s Pari-Mutuel Urbain and the Singapore Turf Club. Our continued involvement in Thoroughbred racing and breeding, and our ongoing commitment to many state, national and international initiatives, are major determinants in how the company conducts business. AmWest is committed to serve the racing industry and our customers utilizing transparency and best practices.

North American Wagering Multiplied on Singapore’s Top Races

06/05/2012
PROSPECT, KENTUCKY, June 5, 2012Two exceptional programs from Singapore’s Kranji racecourse that were distributed for wagering in North America in late May by AmWest Entertainment yielded over five times the handle generated during the only previous Singapore simulcast to this continent.
      Featuring the $2.4-million Singapore Airlines International Cup (G1) and the $800,100 KrisFlyer International Sprint (G1), the Singapore International Racing Festival offered full fields of quality runners exemplified by American Grade 1 winner Chinchon, who captured the Cup prize; Ato, who defeated Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) winner Krypton Factor in the KrisFlyer International Sprint, and Super Easy, who swept the Singapore Triple Crown with a thrilling late run in the Singapore Guineas.AmWest CEO Nelson Clemmens, left, and Director of International Racing Michele MacDonald join William Nader, Hong Kong Jockey Club executive director, racing, and Yu Pang Fey, Singapore Turf Club president and chief executive, at Kranji (Singapore Turf Club photo)
      “Ultimately, the handle results are a superb confirmation that North American fans and players embraced the outstanding Singapore International Racing Festival and its attractive wagering opportunities,” said AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens, who attended Singapore's international festival. “This demonstrable acceptance, despite the challenges of early post times, holds considerable promise for Singapore racing in developing a following in the United States and Canada.”
       Due to the time differences between Singapore and North America, much of the festival racing occurred in the early morning hours of the Eastern time zone.
     AmWest Entertainment, North America’s leading provider of elite international racing for wagering through additional partners such as the Dubai Racing Club and France’s Pari Mutuel Urbain, was selected by the Singapore Turf Club to market and promote the Singapore International Racing Festival. AmWest also managed the live racing video signal and past performance data for all wagering outlets.
     Coverage of the 2012 Singapore International Racing Festival can still be accessed at www.AmWestEntertainment.com. The only other simulcast from Singapore to North America was conducted in 2009 with the Singapore Airlines International Cup program.
 
For more information, contact:       Nelson Clemmens, AmWest CEO, 502-292-1075          
                                                     
About AmWest Entertainment:
AmWest Entertainment is a diversified simulcast service and account wagering provider that enjoys strong relationships with racetracks and other racing organizations, including the Dubai Racing Club and Dubai World Cup. Our continued involvement in Thoroughbred racing and breeding, and our ongoing commitment to many state, national and international initiatives, are major determinants in how the company conducts business. AmWest is committed to serve the racing industry and our customers utilizing transparency and best practices.

Singapore’s International Festival to be Distributed by AmWest

05/17/2012
PROSPECT, KENTUCKY, May 14, 2012—Two outstanding days of racing from Singapore, topped by the $2.4-million Singapore Airlines International Cup (G1) and the $800,100 KrisFlyer International Sprint (G1) on May 20, will be simulcast around North America under the direction of Kentucky-based AmWest Entertainment.
     Selected by the Singapore Turf Club for the distinction of distributing the signals for the major Group 1 events as well as the May 18 program featuring the Singapore Guineas and the Aushorse Golden Horseshoe, AmWest Entertainment is North America’s leading provider of elite international racing for wagering.
     “We are anticipating two great days of top international competition as we follow many of the best horses and connections that have campaigned in the major races from Europe, Dubai, Hong Kong, Australia and other venues. It is an honor to partner with the Singapore Turf Club to provide our comprehensive simulcast program with the depth of quality that this racing and wagering represents to our North American customers and affiliates,” said AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens.
      Horses expected to compete in the international races at Kranji Racecourse include Chinchon, winner of the United Nations Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park in 2010 and second in that race last year; 2011 Hong Kong Cup (G1) winner California Memory; multiple German champion and Group 1 winner Zazou; five-time Singapore champion Waikato; venerable Hong Kong campaigner Thumbs Up, who was recently second in the international Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1); international Group 1 winner Rocket Man, Singapore’s reigning Horse of the Year, and recent Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) victor Krypton Factor.
     The quality of the Singapore fields is reflected in the fact that just those seven horses alone have earned $18.7-million, or an average of $2,675,084 each.
     The May 18 Kranji program will include nine races, with the featured Singapore Guineas set to be run at 9:35 a.m. EDT and the Aushorse Golden Horseshoe at 8:25 a.m. The May 20 program will span 11 races, with the KrisFlyer International Sprint, captured last year by Rocket Man, going off at 7:50 a.m. EDT and the Singapore Airlines International Cup, won last year by American Grade 1 winner Gitano Hernando, set for 8:40 a.m.
     Video of the Singapore racing will be available, along with free past performance data, at www.AmWestEntertainment.com.
 
For more information, contact:       Nelson Clemmens, 502-292-1075
                                                                
About AmWest Entertainment:
AmWest Entertainment is a diversified simulcast service and account wagering provider that enjoys strong relationships with racetracks and other racing organizations, including the Dubai Racing Club and Dubai World Cup. Our continued involvement in Thoroughbred racing and breeding, and our ongoing commitment to many state, national and international initiatives, are major determinants in how the company conducts business. AmWest is committed to serve the racing industry and our customers utilizing transparency and best practices.
 

Wagering on Dubai Racing Reaches All-Time High

04/10/2012 AmWest News Release
     PROSPECT, KENTUCKY, April 10, 2012—Wagering throughout the Western Hemisphere on the Dubai World Cup program, as administered by Prospect, Kentucky-based AmWest Entertainment, reached a new all-time record high this year of $5.1-million.
     Total betting in North and South America and the Caribbean on seven Thoroughbred races, headlined by the $10-million Dubai World Cup (G1), rose 19.5% from the amount wagered on the same seven races in 2011. The average wagered per race was approximately $728,500 with first post time at 9:10 a.m. EDT on March 31.
     Another record was established by combined handle from the Dubai World Cup program and the Dubai World Cup Carnival, the 15-day international festival that began on January 5 and extended through March 17, which was up 9% from 2011 totals. That record was reached despite unprecedented early post times, set in Dubai, for some days that equated to a challenging 6 a.m. for East Coast players and even earlier for others across the Americas.
      A third all-time record was set on Super Saturday, the prep day for the Dubai World Cup program that featured five rich group stakes including two Group 1 events. Wagering on Super Saturday, March 10, grew by 14.6% compared to 2011 totals for what had been a Super Thursday card.
     “We are very proud to have set new records this year for wagering on Dubai racing, which is the epitome of outstanding international competition,” said AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens, who attended the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse. “Our strong promotional programs that support elite global racing are generating new revenue for racing and horsemen in the United States, Canada and other regions of the Americas through handle while offering players superior racing and wagering action with full fields of exceptional runners and formful racing.”
      “It's very encouraging to see U.S. fans continuing to be so interested in the Dubai World Cup, and the record figures are a tribute to the work AmWest has put into promoting the Dubai World Cup Carnival and the big day itself and a reflection of the strength of the product generated by the top class racing from Meydan,” said Terry Spargo, who oversees worldwide broadcasting of Dubai racing.
      Following its record Dubai season, AmWest Entertainment soon will publicly launch its revolutionary wagering platform at www.AmWager.com, which features the industry’s most advanced betting features and functions for both professional and casual players.
For more information, contact: AmWest CEO Nelson Clemmens, 502-292-1075

Top Runners from Around Globe Will Likely Fill Dubai World Cup Fields

03/18/2012 By Michele MacDonald
     At least 48 Grade/Group 1 winners and more than 20 champions or classic winners are expected to meet in what will be the world’s richest day of racing, the $27-million Dubai World Cup (G1) program at Meydan Racecourse on March 31.
     With eight Thoroughbred races on the program, the prospective fields released by the Dubai Racing Club on March 18 have an average of 14 elite runners per race.
      American champion Royal Delta and fellow multiple Grade 1 winner Game On Dude each will try to become the ninth winner of the Dubai World Cup to represent the United States in what will be the 17th running of the world’s richest race, worth $10-million and $6-million to the winner.
      To win the prize, they will have to defeat a dozen likely challengers led by Australian champion and multiple European Group 1 winner So You Think from Ballydoyle; the formidable Japanese trio of champion Transcend (second in the 2011 World Cup), 20-time stakes winner Smart Falcon and classic winner Eishin Flash; German champion Zazou and the Godolphin-trained army of Monterosso (third last year), Prince Bishop, Mendip and Capponi.
      Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner St Nicholas Abbey heads the $5-million Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) at 2410 meters (about 1 ½ miles), with Ballydoyle stablemate and Irish Derby (G1) winner Treasure Beach a top contender. France’s top rated older horse Cirrus des Aigles and South African champions Bold Silvano and Mahbooba also are top contenders, along with American Grade 1 winner Chinchon.
     Eight Grade/Group 1 winners are expected to contest the $5-million Dubai Duty Free (G1) at 1800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles) on turf with Hong Kong Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon, Hong Kong Cup (G1) winner California Memory and Hong Kong Champions Mile (G1) winner Xtension a dangerous trio from that island. Last year’s winner Presvis is back to defend his title, with the talented Musir and proven Group 1 performers Wigmore Hall, Rio de La Plata and Planteur all creditable chances.
     American speed will be on display in the $2-mllion Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) at 1200 meters (about six furlongs) in the form of Grade 1 winners The Factor and Giant Ryan. They will vie to become the tenth American-based winner since the race was upgraded in 2000 but will have to defeat 2011 winner and Singapore Horse of the Year Rocket Man, Hong Kong Sprint (G1) winner Lucky Nine and South African Group 1 winner August Rush.
      Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G2) winner Regally Ready will try to rebound from his disappointing debut in Dubai on Super Saturday in a probable field of 16 for the $1-million Al Quoz Sprint (G1) at 1000 meters (about five furlongs) on turf. His opponents will include 2010 Al Quoz Sprint winner Joy And Fun, Australian Group 1 winner Ortensia and European Group 1 winning sprinters Prohibit, Sole Power and Margot Did.
      Trainer Graham Motion has entered Team Valor International’s Lucky Chappy in the $2-million UAE Derby (G2) over 1900 meters (about 1 3/16 miles), where the colt will encounter Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Wrote and United Arab Emirates classic winners Kinglet, Mickdaam and Falls of Lora. Multiple Australian Group 1 winner Helmet, Argentine Group 1 winner Balada Sale and Uruguyan champion Boby di Job have an age advantage as Southern Hemisphere-breds.
     American and Canadian Grade 1 winners Unusual Suspect and Joshua Tree both will try the 3200 meters (about two miles) of the $1-million Dubai Gold Cup (G3), a new addition to the Dubai World Cup program this year. Among their rivals will be South African Horse of the Year Irish Flame, German classic winner Fox Hunt and French marathon specialist Kasbah Bliss.
     American Grade 1 winners Richard’s Kid and Western Aristocrat along with the veteran Barbecue Eddie, who was Grade 1-placed in California, are among 13 probable starters in the $1-million Godolphin Mile (G2).
 
     Following are the likely fields:
 
$10-million Dubai World Cup, 2000 meters, all-weather
Horse (Sire)                              Country                Trainer
 
Capponi (Medicean)                  UAE                Mahmood Al Zarooni
Eishin Flash (King’s Best)         Japan               Hideaki Fujiwara
Game On Dude (Awesome Again)  USA              Bob Baffert
Gitano Hernando (Hernando)     South Africa      Herman Brown
Master of Hounds (Kingmambo) South Africa        Mike de Kock
Mendip (Harlan’s Holiday)          UAE                 Saeed bin Suroor
Monterosso (Dubawi)                 UAE                Mahmood Al Zarooni
Prince Bishop (Dubawi)              UAE                 Saeed bin Suroor
*Royal Delta (Empire Maker)       USA                  Bill Mott
Silver Pond (Act One)                 UAE                 Doug Watson
Smart Falcon (Gold Allure)          Japan                Ken Kozaki
So You Think (High Chaparral)    Ireland              Aidan O’Brien
Transcend (Wild Rush)               Japan                Yasuda Takayuki
Zazou (Shamardal)                  Germany             Waldemar Hickst
 
* Indicates filly or mare
 
 
 
$5-million Dubai Sheema Classic (G1), 2410 meters, turf
 
Beaten Up (Beat Hollow)            Britain                 William Haggas
Bold Silvano (Silvano)                South Africa          Mike de Kock
Cavalryman (Halling)                 UAE                      Saeed bin Suroor
Chinchon (Marju)                      France                   Carlos Laffon-Parias
Cirrus des Aigles (Even Top)       France                   Corine Barande-Barne
Grand Vent (Shirocco)               UAE                       Saeed bin Suroor
Green Destiny (Marju)              South Africa           Herman Brown
Jakkalberry (Storming Home)     Britain                    Marco Botti
*Mahbooba (Galileo)                South Africa           Mike de Kock
Shimraan (Rainbow Quest)         UAE                     Mahmood Al Zarooni
Simon de Montfort (King’s Best)  UAE                    Mahmood Al Zarooni
Songcraft (Singspiel)                  UAE                    Saeed bin Suroor
St Nicholas Abbey (Montjeu)      Ireland                  Aidan O’Brien       
Treasure Beach (Galileo)            Ireland                  Aidan O’Brien
Zanzamar (Fort Wood)              South Africa           Mike de Kock
 
 
 
$5-million Dubai Duty Free (G1), 1800 meters, turf
 
Ambitious Dragon (Pins)            Hong Kong            Tony Millard
Await the Dawn (Giant’s Causeway)   Ireland          Aidan O’Brien
California Memory (Highest Honor)      Hong Kong   Tony Cruz
City Style (City Zip)                     UAE                 Mahmood Al Zarooni
Cityscape (Selkirk)                     Britain                Roger Charlton
Dark Shadow (Dance in the Dark)  Japan                Norikyuki Hori
Delegator (Dansili)                     UAE                   Saeed bin Suroor
Dubawi Gold (Dubawi)                Britain                 Richard Hannon
Musir (Redoute’s Choice)           South Africa           Mike de Kock
Mutahadee (Encosta de Lago)    South Africa           Mike de Kock
Planteur (Danehill Dancer)          Britain                Marco Botti
Presvis (Sakhee)                       Britain                Luca Cumani
Rajsaman (Linamix)                   UAE                    Ali Rashid Al Raihe
Rio de La Plata (Rahy)               UAE                    Saeed bin Suroor
Wigmore Hall (High Chaparral)   Britain                 Michael Bell
Xtension (Xaar)                         Hong Kong          John Moore
 
 
 
$2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1), 1200 meters, all-weather
 
August Rush (Var)                  South Africa          Herman Brown
Giant Ryan (Freud)                    USA                  Bisnath Parboo
Happy Dubai (Indian Ridge)        UAE                  Ali Rashid Al Raihe
Hitchens (Acclamation)             Britain                David Barron
Inxile (Fayruz)                        Britain                 David Nicholls
Iver Bridge Lad (Avonbridge)      Britain               John Ryan
Krypton Factor (Kyllachy)           Bahrain              Fawzi Nass
Lucky Nine (Dubawi)                 Hong Kong          Casper Fownes
Rocket Man (Viscount)              Singapore            Patrick Shaw
Russian Rock (Rock of Gibraltar) UAE                   Musabah Al Muhairi
Sepoy (Elusive Quality)            Australia           Peter Snowden
Soul (Commands)                    UAE                   Saeed bin Suroor
The Factor (War Front)              USA                   Bob Baffert
 
 
 
$1-million Al Quoz Sprint (G1), 1000 meters, turf
 
*A Shin Virgo (Falbrav)               Japan                 Ken Kozaki
Addictive Dream (Kheleyf)          Britain                 David Nicholls
Ato (Royal Academy)                 Singapore            Patrick Shaw
Better Be The One (More Than Ready) Sinagpore     Michael Freedman
Eagle Regiment (El Moxie)          Hong Kong             Man Ka Leung
*Invincible Ash (Invincible Spirit) Ireland                Michael Halford
Joy And Fun (Cullen)                  Hong Kong            Derek Cruz
*Margot Did (Exceed and Excel) Britain                             Michael Bell
Monsieur Joe (Choisir)              Britain                  Robert Cowell
Nocturnal Affair (Victory Moon) Ireland                   David Marnane
*Ortensia (Testa Rossa)          Australia                Paul Messara
Prohibit (Oasis Dream)              Britain                             Robert Cowell
Regally Ready (More Than Ready)    USA                 Steve Asmussen
Secret Asset (Clodovil)               Britain                  Jane Chapple-Hyam
Sole Power (Kyllachy)                Ireland                   Edward Lynam
War Artist (Orpen)                     South Africa           Mike de Kock
 
 
 
$2-million UAE Derby (G2), 1900 meters, all-weather
 
*Balada Sale (Not For Sale)     France                   Pascal Bary
Boby Di Job (Job Di Caroline)    South Africa           Mike de Kock
Burano (Dalakhani)                 Britain                   Brian Meehan
Daddy Long Legs (Scat Daddy)    Ireland               Aidan O’Brien
Entifaadha (Dansili)                 Britain                 William Haggas
*Falls of Lora (Street Cry)           UAE                   Mahmood Al Zarooni
Genten (Bernardini)                Japan                    Yoshito Yahagi
Helmet (Exceed and Excel)         Australia            Peter Snowden
Kinglet (Kingmambo)                 UAE                   Mahmood Al Zarooni
Lucky Chappy (High Chaparral)   USA                    Graham Motion
Mickdaam (Dubawi)                  South Africa         Mike de Kock
Red Duke (Hard Spun)              Britain                   John Quinn
Wrote (High Chaparral)              Ireland               Aidan O’Brien
Yang Tse Kiang (Kahyasi)           France                Richard Chotard
 
 
 
$1-million Dubai Gold Cup (G3), 3200 meters, turf
 
Averroes (Galileo)                     UAE                   Ernst Oertel
Barbican (Hurricane Run)           Britain                 Alan Bailey
Fox Hunt (Dubawi)                     UAE                  Mahmood Al Zarooni
Irish Flame (Dynasty)              South Africa          Mike de Kock
Joshua Tree (Montjeu)              Britain                 Marco Botti
Kasbah Bliss (Kahyasi)                France               Francois Doumen
Makani Bisty (Zenno Rob Roy)    Japan                  Yoshito Yahagi
Mikhail Glinka (Galileo)              South Africa         Herman Brown
Opinion Poll (Halling)                 UAE                   Mahmood Al Zarooni
Unusual Suspect (Unusual Heat) Australia            Michael Kent
Zanzamar (Fort Wood)              South Africa        Mike de Kock
 
 
 
$1-million Godolphin Mile (G2), 1600 meters, all-weather
 
African Story (Pivotal)               UAE              Saeed bin Suroor
Barbecue Eddie (Stormy Atlantic)     UAE           Doug Watson
Derbaas (Seeking the Gold)        UAE              Ali Rashid Al Raihe
Do It All (Distorted Humor)        UAE              Saeed bin Suroor
*First City (Diktat)                     UAE             Ali Rashid Al Raihe
Haatheq (Seeking the Gold)       UAE               Ali Rashid Al Raihe
Red Jazz (Johannesburg)           Britain            Charles Hills
Richard’s Kid (Lemon Drop Kid) UAE                 Satish Seemar
Sandagiyr (Dr Fong)                   UAE               Saeed bin Suroor
Shamalgan (Footstepsinthesand)   France          Xavier Nakkachdji
Snaafy (Kingmambo)                  UAE               Musabah Al Muhairi
Viscount Nelson (Giant’s Causeway) South Africa   Mike de Kock
Western Aristocrat (Mr. Greeley)    Britain         Jeremy Noseda

Champions, Millionaires Ready for Dubai’s Super Saturday of Rich Stakes

03/05/2012
     DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 5, 2012— More than 20 international Grade/Group 1 winners are likely to compete on the March 10 Dubai Super Saturday card of seven stakes worth a total of $1,775,000 that are the principal preps for the world’s richest day of racing—the $27-million Dubai World Cup (G1) program on March 31.
     Seven runners who have won or placed in North American Grade 1 events, led by Breeders’ Cup winner Regally Ready, are set to be in the lineup for Super Saturday, with first post at 8:05 a.m. EST.
     Previews and free past performances (PPs) will be released this week by AmWest Entertainment, following entries and declarations, and will be available at www.AmWestEntertainment.com. The AmWest site also will host a special Night School handicapping seminar beginning at 8:30 p.m. EST on March 8 as part of Horseplayer NOW’s Big Event series, and will provide free live streaming video of all the Super Saturday races.
     Many more international stars are poised for the expanded eight-race Dubai World Cup program on March 31, when champions from around the world—led by Animal Kingdom and Royal Delta from the United States—are expected to run at Dubai’s spectacular Meydan Racecourse.
     “We have many of the best from America, high-class Europeans and top horses from Australia and Asia. There are not many we have missed,” said Martin Talty, manager of the Dubai Racing Club’s international department, in reviewing probable runners for Super Saturday and Dubai World Cup day.
     Super Saturday’s preps, topped by the $400,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round III (G1) and the $300,000 Jebel Hatta (G1), typically have yielded many World Cup program winners and place-getters. The program thus is a must-see event for Dubai World Cup handicappers and will feature the full fields and robust payoffs for which Dubai racing is known.
     Following are lists of the Super Saturday races, with just a few of the likely participants in each.
 
 
$400,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round III (G1), 2000 meters (about 1 ¼ miles) on Meydan’s all-weather track, a prep over course and distance for the $10-million Dubai World Cup (G1):
Fly Down (Mineshaft), earnings $1,210,862—Kentucky-bred $80,000 Keeneland yearling, winner 2010 Dwyer S. (G2), 2nd Belmont S. (G1), Travers S. (G1); 3rd Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), 2nd 2012 King’s Cup;
Bold Silvano (Silvano), earnings $460,298—winner 2010 Durban July (G1), Greyville S. (G2), 2011 Maktoum Challenge Round II (G3), 2009 Champion Juvenile Cup (G3);
Biondetti (Bernardini), earnings $358,891—Kentucky-bred $350,000 Fasig-Tipton July yearling, winner 2010 Grand Criterium (G1);
Mendip (Harlan’s Holiday), earnings $888,461—Kentucky-bred $375,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida two-year-old, winner 2012 Maktoum Challenge Round II (G2), 2011 Maktoum Challenge Round I (G3), 2011 Burj Nahaar (G3);
Monterosso (Dubawi), earnings $1,383,790—winner 2011 Dubai City of Gold (G2), King Edward VII (G2), 3rd 2011 Dubai World Cup (G1).
 
 
 
$300,000 Jebel Hatta (G1), 1800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles) on turf, a prep over course and distance for the $5-million Dubai Duty Free (G1):
Presvis (Sakhee), earnings $6,524,194—winner 2011 Dubai Duty Free (G1), 2009 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1), 2010 Jebel Hatta (G2), 2011 Al Rashidiya (G2), etc.;
Wigmore Hall (High Chaparral), earnings $1,343,761—winner 2011 Northern Dancer Turf S. (G1), 2011 Jebel Hatta (G2), 2nd 2010 Secretariat S. (G1), 3rd 2011 Dubai Duty Free (G1);
Musir (Redoute’s Choice), earnings $2,337,481—2009 champion South African juvenile male, winner 2009 Golden Horseshoe (G1), 2010 UAE Derby (G2), 2012 Al Rashidiya (G2), 2011 International Topkapi Trophy (G2), 2010 UAE 2000 Guineas (G3), 2012 Al Maktoum Challenge Round I (G3);
Dubawi Gold (Dubawi), earnings $675,959—winner 2011 Celebration Mile (G2), 2nd English (G1) and Irish (G1) 2000 Guineas [also possible for Burj Nahaar (G3), see below].
 
 
$250,000 Dubai City of Gold (G2), 2410 meters (about 1 ½ miles) on turf, a prep over course and distance for the $5-million Dubai Sheema Classic (G1):
Al Shemali (Medicean), earnings $3,501,252—winner 2010 Dubai Duty Free (G1), 3rd Singapore Airlines International Cup (G1), etc.;
Campanologist (Kingmambo), earnings $1,676,145—winner 2011 Gran Premio Jockey Club (G1), Preis von Europa (G1), 2010 Grosser-Hansa-Preis (G1), Rheinland-Pokal (G1), 2010 Dubai City of Gold (G2), 2nd 2011 Tattersalls Gold Cup (G1), 3rd Gran Premio di Milano (G1), etc.;
Cavalryman (Halling), earnings $1,678,652—winner 2009 Grand Prix de Paris (G1), Prix Niel (G2), 3rd 2009 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), 2010 Gran Premio Jockey Club (G1), etc.;
Joshua Tree (Montjeu), earnings $1,864,763—winner 2010 Canadian International S. (G1), 2009 Royal Lodge S. (G2), 2nd 2011 Canadian International S. (G1), 3rd 2011 Grosser Preis von Baden (G1), etc. [also possible for Maktoum Challenge Round III (G1)];
Rio de La Plata (Rahy), earnings $1,701,827—Kentucky-bred $75,000 Keeneland yearling, winner 2010 Premio Vittorio di Capua (G1), 2007 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1), 2nd 2008 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) (G1), 2nd 2010 & ’11 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (G1) etc.;
Mahbooba (Galileo), earnings $755,805—2010 champion South African juvenile filly, winner 2010 Golden Slipper (G1), Debutante (G2), 2012 Balanchine (G2), 2011 UAE 1000 Guineas, etc.;
Irish Flame (Dynasty), earnings $393,500—2010 South African Horse of the Year, champion stayer, champion three-year-old, winner South African Derby (G1), Daily News 2000 (G1), 2nd Durban July (G1), 3rd South African Classic (G1), etc.
 
 
$200,000 Burj Nahaar (G3), 1600 meters (about one mile) on all-weather, a prep leading to the $1-million Godolphin Mile (G2), the Dubai World Cup (G1) or the Dubai Duty Free (G1):
Gitano Hernando (Hernando), earnings $2,018,837—winner 2011 Singapore Airlines International Cup (G1), 2009 Goodwood S. (G1), 3rd 2011 Maktoum Challenge Round III (G2);
River Jetez (Jet Master), earnings $2,117,292—winner 2010 J & B Met (G1), 2011 Balanchine (G2), 2nd 2011 Dubai Duty Free (G1), Singapore Airlines International Cup (G1), 3rd Beverly D. S. (G1);
Richard’s Kid (Lemon Drop Kid), earnings $1,721,370—winner 2009 & ’10 Pacific Classic S. (G1), 2010 Goodwood S.(G1), San Antonio H. (G2), 3rd 2009 Goodwood S. (G1), etc.;
Le Drakkar (Anabaa), earnings $187,771—winner 2008 Cape Guineas (G1), Selangor Cup (G2), 3rd 2009 Cape Derby (G1), 2011 Al Fahidi Fort (G2), etc.
 
 
 
$200,000 Mahab Al Shimaal (G3), 1200 meters (about six furlongs) on all-weather, a prep over course and distance for the $2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1):
August Rush (Var), earnings $102,409—winner 2011 Mercury Sprint (G1), 2nd 2011 Golden Horse Casino Sprint (G1) (also possible for Meydan Sprint);
Hitchens (Acclamation), earnings $901,248—winner 2012 Al Shindagha Sprint (G3), 2011 Greenlands Stakes (G3), 3rd Darley July Cup (G1).
 
 
$250,000 Al Bastikiya, 1900 meters (about 1 3/16 miles) on all-weather, the middle jewel of the UAE Triple Crown and a course and distance stepping stone to the $2-million UAE Derby (G2):
Boby di Job (Job di Caroline), earnings $154,720—2011 champion Uruguayan juvenile colt, winner Uruguayan Gran Premio Jockey Club, Gran Premio Polla de Potrillos (Uruguayan 2000 Guineas), etc.;
Kinglet (Kingmambo), earnings $172,531—winner 2012 UAE 2000 Guineas (G3);
Matusalen (Caradak), earnings $100,379—2011 Spanish champion juvenile colt.
 
 
$175,000 Meydan Sprint, 1000 meters (about five furlongs) on turf, a prep over course and distance for the $1-million Al Quoz Sprint (G1):
Regally Ready (More Than Ready), earnings $1,219,684—winner 2011 Nearctic S. (G1), Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G2), Turf Sprint S. (G3), San Simeon H. (G3);
War Artist (Orpen), earnings $1,090,416—2007 Mercury Sprint (G1), 2010 Al Shindagha Sprint (G3), Prix de Ris-Orangis (G3), 2nd 2011 Al Quoz Sprint (G2), 2008 Golden Jubilee (G1), 3rd 2009 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp (G1), 2008 Darley July Cup (G1) [also possible for Mahab Al Shimaal (G3)].
Prohibit (Oasis Dream), earnings $813,265—winner 2011 King’s Stand S. (G1), 3rd Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (G1);
Sole Power (Kyllachy), earnings $454,134—winner 2010 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (G1), 2011 Temple Stakes (G2), 3rd 2011 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp (G1);
Margot Did (Exceed and Excel), earnings $425,664—winner 2011 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (G1).
 
 
For more information, contact AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens at 502-292-1075.
About AmWest Entertainment:
AmWest is a diversified simulcast service provider that enjoys strong relationships with racetracks and other racing industry organizations. Our continued involvement in Thoroughbred racing and breeding, and our ongoing commitment to many state and national initiatives are major determinants in how the company conducts business. AmWest is committed to serve the industry and our customers utilizing transparency and best practices.
 
 

AmWest to Distribute Dubai Carnival Signal for Third Year

01/03/2012

     PROSPECT, KENTUCKY, January 3, 2012—With more than $38-million on the line and some of the world’s best horses poised to compete, including Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Animal Kingdom, the Dubai World Cup Carnival will begin on January 5 for what could be its most exciting season ever.

    The first two of 16 total Carnival programs, on January 5 and 6, will feature the Meydan Masters international jockey challenge with such stars as Frankie Dettori, Ryan Moore, Andrasch Starke, Craig Williams and Christophe Lemaire vying for top honors.
     The Dubai World Cup program—eight prestigious stakes worth $27-million topped by the $10-million Dubai World Cup—will be run on March 31.
     Kentucky-based AmWest Entertainment will partner with the Dubai Racing Club for the third consecutive year to distribute the Dubai simulcast signal for wagering around North and South America and the Caribbean region.
    “This year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival and its capstone event, the Dubai World Cup, promise the most dynamic racing and wagering in its history. AmWest Entertainment, with our growing role of providing the best of international racing to North America and beyond, is particularly enthused about delivering this year’s Carnival through our broad affiliation of track, ADW, OTB and media partners,” said AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens.
    Team Valor International’s Animal Kingdom is pleasing trainer H. Graham Motion as he prepares for his bid to become only the second Kentucky Derby winner to capture the Dubai World Cup, following Silver Charm’s Dubai win in 1998. Animal Kingdom worked twice at Fair Hill Training Center in Marylalnd over the holidays in his first drills since he incurred a hock injury in the Belmont Stakes (G1), recording a half-mile breeze in :49 on January 2.
    “He’s doing great. I couldn’t be happier with him,” Motion said. “It seems to have taken us a long time to get him back, but I’m obviously very excited to have him back. He looks like a different colt now. He’s matured a lot—he’s a big, strapping horse.”
     Motion has picked out the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) on February 11 as Animal Kingdom’s possible return to competition and prep for the Dubai World Cup. However, he also has pinpointed a possible Dubai Carnival race in February if Team Valor opts to send the son of Leroidesanimaux to the Middle East early, as did the connections of champion Curlin.
   Additionally, Motion has other possible runners for Dubai: Riverdee Stable’s distance specialist Eagle Poise for the $1-million Dubai Gold Cup (G3); Augustin Stable’s Grade 2 winner Smart Bid for either the $1-million Godolphin Mile (G2) or the $5-million Dubai Duty Free (G1), and Team Valor’s Lucky Chappy for the $2-million UAE Derby (G2).
      Horses representing at least 14 countries are expected to compete in Dubai this year, said Martin Talty, Dubai’s international manager. Other American stars pointing for the World Cup include Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (G1) winner Royal Delta, with Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) runner-up Game On Dude and Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Ruler On Ice possible contenders.
     Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner St Nicholas Abbey is a potential runner in the $5-million Dubai Sheema Classic, and Coolmore’s Ballydoyle trainer Aidan O’Brien also could saddle four-time Group 1 winner Fame and Glory in Dubai.
     Other stars already on the grounds in Dubai include 2011 Dubai Duty Free (G1) winner Presvis, who has won at least one race during the previous three Carnivals and has earned an average of $522,000 in his nine Dubai starts; Singapore International Cup (G1) winner Gitano Hernando; top European sprinter and Group 1 winner Prohibit, and South African Group 1 winner Bold Silvano, who loomed as a possible World Cup favorite last year before he was sidelined by an injury.
      Multiple Australian Group 1 winners and champions Sepoy and Helmet are set to run for the Maktoum family’s powerful Godolphin stable, and Talty said Japan’s Triple Crown winner and probable Horse of the Year Orfevre also could compete.
    “I think we will have stronger racing than ever,” Talty said, pointing to the elevation of two races to Group 1 level on Dubai’s Super Saturday, March 10, which will be the key Carnival prep day for the World Cup program with five group stakes and $1,775,000 in purses. “The Carnival has built up to the stage now that everyone hoped it would reach. We’ve got top trainers coming back year after year and many of the world’s best horses.”
    AmWest Entertainment will provide free past performance data for all the Dubai World Cup Carnival races and also will provide live streaming video of each program at www.amwestentertainment.com. AmWest’s media partner Daily Racing Form also will provide live streaming video and editorial coverage of the Dubai races at www.drf.com.
                                                          —30—
 For more information, contact: AmWest CEO Nelson Clemmens at 502-292-1075                                                              
 
About AmWest Entertainment:
AmWest Entertainment is a diversified simulcast service and account wagering provider that enjoys strong relationships with racetracks and other racing organizations, including the Dubai Racing Club and Dubai World Cup. Our continued involvement in Thoroughbred racing and breeding, and our ongoing commitment to many state, national and international initiatives, are major determinants in how the company conducts business. AmWest is committed to serve the racing industry and our customers utilizing transparency and best practices.
 
 

AmWest Sponsors Awards Program for Racing Media

12/02/2011

 

     Taking a new step in its ongoing support of various segments of the Thoroughbred racing industry, AmWest Entertainment proudly served as primary sponsor of the 52nd National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Annual Awards Dinner during Breeders’ Cup week.
       AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens addressed the crowd of about 200 assembled for the dinner, which was held at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory in Louisville, Kentucky.
      Clemmens spoke about the key role that members of the media have in delivering not only the news about racing, but also the very heart and soul of the sport, to fans and followers. Thus, much of the public’s interest in, and understanding of, racing can be attributed to how well media members perform their communications duties.
      Mike Penna of Horse Racing Radio Network, which AmWest has enthusiastically supported, served as emcee of the dinner and introduced Clemmens. Some of AmWest’s guests attending the event included director Leo Govoni, founder and president of Boston Asset Management who also has invested in racing partnerships managed by Clemmens, and trainer Eddie Kenneally and his wife, Catherine.
      Following Clemmens’ talk, each of the award winners took their turn at the microphone, with Terry Wallace, winner of the Mr. Fitz Award typifying the spirit of racing, eliciting laughs and sighs as he recalled some of the landmarks of his life and career at Oaklawn Park. Wallace retired this year as track announcer after 37 seasons but remains connected to Oaklawn as a goodwill ambassador and simulcast host.
      The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, led by Executive Director Nancy LaSala, was honored with the Joe Palmer Award for meritorious service to racing, while Daily Racing Form reporter David Grening earned the Walter Haight Award for career excellence in turf writing.

AmWest Participates in International Leaders in Racing Event

11/28/2011

 

     Shortly after attending the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) at Longchamp in Paris and overseeing simulcasting of Europe’s championship program to North America, AmWest representatives participated in the first Leaders in Racing conference in London.
      AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens attended all the panel discussions during the five Leaders sessions held at the Chelsea Football Club facilities with sponsors including GBI Racing and The Jockey Club of the United Kingdom.
    International racing executives from around the world were featured on the list of speakers, including Hong Kong Jockey Club Chief Executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges; British Horseracing Authority Chairman Paul Roy; Phumelela Group Chief Executive Officer Rian du Plessis; Singapore Turf Club Vice President Kim Heng Teo, and Tabcorp International Wagering Manager Paul Cross.
     More than 200 delegates from 22 nations attended the event.
     The Leaders in Racing Conference was part of a larger Leaders forum that encompassed separate sessions for Leaders in Football, Leaders in Digital Sport, Leaders in Sponsorship and Leaders in Performance.
     As a prelude to the business sessions, GBI Racing hosted an evening of racing at Kempton Park. Clemmens and AmWest Director of International Racing Michele MacDonald helped present the trophy for the eighth race on the program, the GBI Welcome Leaders in Racing Handicap.
      Fedora, an Irish-bred five-year-old mare by Cape Cross trained by Olivia Maylam and ridden by Cathy Gannon, won the seven-furlong race on the all-weather track for owner Mrs. V. A. Ward.

Arc Simulcast Results Rise Significantly in North America

10/25/2011

 

     Prospect, Kentucky, October 25, 2011—Highlighted by several outstanding performances on two sunny afternoons at Longchamp, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Weekend generated  more than three times the total betting handle around North America this year compared to 2010.
     With Kentucky-based AmWest Entertainment overseeing the distribution of the French simulcast signal for the first time, outlets around the United States and Canada presented the Arc Weekend races on October 1 and 2 while offering wagering.
    “It was an inspiring weekend of racing and we are delighted with the results,” said Aymeric Verlet, international director of the Pari Mutuel Urbain, which directs wagering on French races both domestically and abroad under the auspices of France-Galop.
    “We are proud to be partnered with PMU to bring Arc Weekend to the North American market, which responded with unprecedented media coverage and sharply increased wagering and viewing results. We are looking very forward to building on our successful simulcast program in 2012,” said AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens, who attended the races at Longchamp for the second consecutive year.
    Verlet noted that the upset victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) by German-bred three-year-old filly Danedream, who led a procession of fillies across the finish line in first, second and third, greatly benefited savvy German bettors. Danedream, who paid $50.20 to her supporters in North America, set an Arc record of 2:24.49 for the 2400 meters before an on-track crowd of 50,250, which was up 17% from the 2010 attendance.
     International wagering, including the betting from North America, pushed the overall handle on Arc weekend considerably higher, with the Hong Kong market representing a hefty share of international betting on the Arc program, Verlet said. Seven Group 1 races were featured on the Arc program on October 2, while four Group 2 races were contested at Longchamp on October 1 to open France’s most dramatic weekend of racing.
      Other highlights included two wins on Arc day by horses ridden by Frankie Dettori, which represented his 500th and 501st group race victories. The jockey described Dabirsim, the juvenile colt he rode to win the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1), as a “superstar” and the best two-year-old he has ever ridden.
       William Buick, 23, a rising English-based jockey star, also rode two winners on Arc day, including Dream Ahead, who just caught champion mare Goldikova on the finish line of the Prix de la Foret (G1). Goldikova won the Foret last year prior to her third consecutive victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), and she is expected to try for her fourth Mile on November 5 at Churchill Downs.
      Buick’s other winner, the filly Elusive Kate in the Prix Marcel Boussac (G1), is set to contest the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2) on November 4. Additional noteworthy performers on the Arc program expected to travel to the U.S. include The Aga Khan’s multiple Group 1 winner Sarafina, slated to run in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), and Irish Champion Stakes (G1) winner and Australian champion So You Think, aimed at the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
      Other Arc weekend stars, including subsequent British Champion Stakes (G1) winner Cirrus des Aigles and the valiant four-year-old filly Snow Fairy, third in the Arc and in the Champion Stakes, are set to compete next in Hong Kong and/or Japan. Danedream may also run in Japan.
 
For more information, contact:
 
Nelson Clemmens
CEO, AmWest Entertainment                                        
502-292-1075                                                                   
 
 
Ines Hendili
International Project Manager, PMU
+33 1 56 09 94 13
 
 
About AmWest Entertainment:
AmWest Entertainment is a diversified simulcast service and account wagering provider that enjoys strong relationships with racetracks and other racing organizations, including the Dubai Racing Club and Dubai World Cup. Our continued involvement in Thoroughbred racing and breeding, and our ongoing commitment to many state, national and international initiatives, are major determinants in how the company conducts business. AmWest is committed to serve the racing industry and our customers utilizing transparency and best practices.
 
 
 
About PMU:
   PMU is the number one pari-mutuel operator in Europe, with €9.54 billion in turnover in 2010. PMU provides 11,000 outlets for its customers, and www.pmu.fr is the top betting website in France. Additionally, PMU has developed special applications for mobile terminals and oversees the racing television channel Equidia. PMU provides 80% of financing for the horse racing sector in France; PMU’s net income of €791 million in 2010 is fully returned to racing authorities, giving them the resources to operate.
 About France-Galop :
France-Galop, the parent racing organization for Flat and Jump races in France, runs six premier racecourses, including Longchamp and Chantilly, and three training centers. France-Galop organizes  the world's most prestigious racing weekend with seven Group 1 Thoroughbred races including the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, recognized as the most exclusive race in the world in terms of prestige and quality of runners.
 
 
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AmWest Chosen to Deliver Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

09/24/2011

 

     Prospect, Kentucky, September 22, 2011—AmWest Entertainment, cited for its excellence in promoting international racing, has been selected by France-Galop and Pari Mutuel Urbain to distribute the simulcast signal for Europe’s championship event, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Weekend, throughout North America.
     AmWest—which has set records as the exclusive provider of Dubai World Cup racing in North America—will coordinate wagering opportunities on the two highly anticipated days of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Weekend at Longchamp racecourse in Paris on October 1 and 2.
     Seven Group 1 championship caliber races will be conducted on October 2, including the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, one of the world’s richest and most prestigious events with a purse of €4 million (approximately $5,640,000). The Arc is run over 2400 meters (1 ½ miles) and recent winners include the extraordinary Sea The Stars and Godolphin’s Sakhee, who subsequently just missed catching Tiznow by a nose in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Workforce defeated Japan’s valiant Nakayama Festa in a thrilling 2010 finish.
     “In keeping with our commitment to present the best of international racing, we are especially excited and honored to partner with PMU and France-Galop to provide the Prix de l’ Arc de Triomphe Weekend of racing,” said AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens. “On both the Saturday and Sunday programs, North American racetrack, simulcast and account wagering customers will experience the highest quality racing featuring full fields along with a varied menu of wagers. This will be a great racing and wagering experience for everyone.”
     “PMU is very pleased to work with AmWest Entertainment to offer the best French Thoroughbred races of the year,” said PMU International Director Aymeric Verlet. “We trust in AmWest to best promote the excellence of Europe’s richest racing program, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Weekend, which has never before been completely offered for betting in North America. We have found in the AmWest team the same enthusiasm as ours about the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.”
     The Arc Weekend programs showcase some of the world’s most brilliant racehorses, jockeys and trainers, while also yielding formidable contenders for Breeders’ Cup races, such as the incomparable Goldikova. In 2010, Goldikova trumped a sterling ten-horse field in the Group 1 Qatar Prix de la Foret on the Arc program before winning her third consecutive Breeders’ Cup Mile, and she is expected to run again in the 2011 Prix de la Foret.
     AmWest is working with racetracks, off-track betting centers and account wagering providers around North America to arrange betting opportunities on the Arc Weekend programs. In addition to the Arc and the €300,000 Prix de la Foret at 1400 meters (seven furlongs), the other Group 1 races on October 2 will be:
·         Europe’s championship sprint, the €300,000 Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp at 1000 meters (five furlongs);
·         The €300,000 Total Prix Marcel Boussac for juvenile fillies at one mile;
·         The €350,000 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagerdere for juvenile colts at 1400 meters (seven furlongs);
·         The €350,000 Prix de l’Opera for fillies and mares at 2000 meters (1 ¼ miles), and
·         The marathon €250,000 Prix du Cadran at 4000 meters (about 2 ½ miles).
 
 
     Four Group 2 races will be featured on the seven-race October 1 program, all with purses of €130,000: the Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein for three-year-olds and up at one mile; the Qatar Prix Dollar for three-year-olds and up at 1950 meters (about 9 ½ furlongs); the Qatar Prix de Royallieu for fillies and mares at 2500 meters (about 1 9/16 miles), and the Qatar Prix Chaudenay for three-year-olds at 3000 meters (about 15 furlongs).
     First post for the October 1 program of seven Thoroughbred races will be 8 a.m. EDT, with the first Group 2 race, the Prix Chaudenay, at 9:40 a.m. EDT. First post on October 2 will be at 7:10 a.m. EDT with the Prix du Cadran kicking off the seven Group 1 events. The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is scheduled to be run at 10:15 a.m. EDT.
 
For more information, contact:
 
Nelson Clemmens                                                            
CEO, AmWest Entertainment                                           
502-292-1075 
 
Ines Hendili
International Project Manager, PMU
+33 1 56 09 94 13
 
About AmWest Entertainment:
 
AmWest Entertainment is a diversified simulcast service and account wagering provider that enjoys strong relationships with racetracks and other racing organizations, including the Dubai Racing Club and Dubai World Cup. Our continued involvement in Thoroughbred racing and breeding, and our ongoing commitment to many state, national and international initiatives, are major determinants in how the company conducts business. AmWest is committed to serve the racing industry and our customers utilizing transparency and best practices.
 
 
 
About PMU:
 
   PMU is the number one pari-mutuel operator in Europe, with €9.54 billion in turnover in 2010. PMU provides 11,000 outlets for its customers, and www.pmu.fr is the top betting website in France. Additionally, PMU has developed special applications for mobile terminals and oversees the racing television channel Equidia. PMU provides 80% of financing for the horse racing sector in France; PMU’s net income of €791 million in 2010 is paid back in full to racing authorities, giving them the resources they need to operate.
 
 
About France-Galop :
France-Galop, the parent racing organization for Flat and Jump races in France, runs six premier racecourses, including Longchamp and Chantilly, and three training centers. France-Galop organises in October at Longchamp the world's most prestigious racing weekend with seven Group 1 Thoroughbred races including the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which is  recognized as the most exclusive race in the world in terms of prestige and quality of runners.
 
 
 
 
-30-
 

 

   

Dubai World Cup program to feature live video, interactive chat

03/25/2011

    In partnership with AmWest Entertainment, North America’s most innovative account wagering provider, Horse Player NOW will produce a live, commercial and pop-up free chat covering the $26-million Dubai World Cup (G1) program from Meydan Racecourse on March 26.

    The World Cup chat will be housed with the live video feed at www.AmWestEntertainment.com (http://tiny.cc/i1fvw). The chat can also be accessed at horseplayernow.com, XpressBet.com and ntra.com. The service is provided free of charge and no sign-up is required.
   “The Dubai World Cup program is an International horse racing extravaganza, and we’re proud to work with AmWest to provide an information outlet for fans worldwide,” said Horse Player NOW co-owner Joe Kristufek. “Some of the very best horses in the world and full fields make these races the most exciting for fans and handicappers. The video and chat format very much enhances the race-day experience.”
   “We are delighted to partner with Horse Player NOW for the second year in presenting the best racing in the world to fans and horseplayers,” said AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens. “With star power from across the globe, this year’s Dubai World Cup program promises to be one of the most memorable in history as both a sporting event and wagering opportunity.”
    The Dubai World Cup chat room will open at 8:45 a.m. EDT, 30 minutes prior to the running of the $1-million Al Quoz Sprint (G2) and continues through the running of the $10-million Dubai World Cup (G1), which is slated for 1:35 p.m. EDT. The World Cup card features American stars like multiple champion Gio Ponti, Fly Down, I Want Revenge and ex-patriot Richard’s Kid vs. world-renowned headliners like multiple English highweight Twice Over; Japanese Horse of the Year Buena Vista, who is seeking to become racing’s all-time leading earner; Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Dangerous Midge; three-time South African champion J J the Jet Plane, and Singapore Horse of the Year Rocket Man. Horse Player NOW’s Jeremy Plonk, Globeform’s Geir Stabell and European analyst Liz Price will be hosts.
   Horse Player NOW chats allow fans from all over the world to watch and play the races with industry experts and each other. Producers and panelists provide commentary while allowing chatters to express their opinions. Participants can join chats online or via their smart phone from anywhere in the world.
 
Horse Player NOW is co-owned, managed and operated by lifelong racing enthusiasts Joe Kristufek and Jeremy Plonk, who share worlds of combined experience working on the inside of the industry. They bring an array of insight while placing the horseplayer first. For more information, visit horseplayernow.com or contact Jeremy Plonk at Jeremy@horseplayernow.com or 570-459-4501.
 
AmWest Entertainment is committed to Thoroughbred racing around the world and to delivering the best of the sport to account wagering and simulcast services customers. AmWest offers racing from every major track in North America and has been selected by the Dubai Racing Club as the exclusive provider of the Carnival and World Cup simulcast signals throughout North and South America. For more information on AmWest and Dubai racing, visit www.AmWestEntertainment.com or call 502-292-1075.
 
 

AmWest Teams with Horse Player Now to offer live chats on Dubai racing

03/02/2011

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeremy Plonk
570-459-4501
Nelson Clemmens
502-292-1075
 
 
Super Thursday & Dubai World Cup programs to feature live video & interactive chat
Watch the world’s best racing and chat and wager with experts and fans from across the globe  
 
    In partnership with AmWest Entertainment, North America’s most innovative account wagering provider, Horse Player NOW will offer live, commercial and pop up free chats covering the March 3 Super Thursday program, a highlight of the Dubai International Racing Carnival, and the $26-million Dubai World Cup program on March 26 from Meydan Racecourse.
 
    The chats will be housed next to the live video feed at www.AmWestEntertainment.com (http://tiny.cc/i1fvw). Each chat can also be accessed at horseplayernow.com, XpressBet.com and ntra.com. The service is provided free of charge and no sign-up is required.
 
   “Hats off to AmWest for providing the live video feed of the Super Thursday and Dubai World Cup cards,” said Horse Player NOW co-owner Joe Kristufek. “Some of the very best horses in the world and full fields make these races the most exciting for fans and handicappers alike. The video and chat format very much enhances the race-day experience for online fans.”
 
   “We are delighted to partner with Horse Player NOW for the second year in presenting the best racing in the world to fans and horseplayers,” said AmWest Chief Executive Officer Nelson Clemmens. “The quality of horses at this year’s Carnival is unsurpassed and the Super Thursday and Dubai World Cup programs promise to be the most memorable in history as sporting events and wagering opportunities.”
 
    The Super Thursday chat room will open at 9:30 a.m. EST, 35 minutes prior to the running of the $250,000 Al Bastakiya (the second jewel of the UAE Triple Crown that leads to the $2-million UAE Derby on March 26), and continues through the running of the $250,000 Jebel Hatta, a prep for the $5-million Dubai Duty Free that is slated for 1:45 p.m. EST. The feature race of the day is the $300,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round III, which has drawn American Grade 1 winners Richard’s Kid, Debussy and Gitano Hernando in addition to two champions from South Africa and Group 1 winners from England and Brazil. Horse Player NOW’s Jeremy Plonk and European racing analyst Liz Price will serve as hosts.
 
   The Horse Player NOW chats allow racing fans from all over the world to watch and play the races with industry experts and each other. Producers and panelists provide commentary while concurrently allowing chatters to express their opinions. Participants can join Horse Player NOW chats online or via their smart phone from anywhere in the world.
 
Horse Player NOW is co-owned, managed and operated by lifelong racing enthusiasts Joe Kristufek and Jeremy Plonk, who share worlds of combined experience working on the inside of the industry. They offer an array of insight with a “horseplayer first” approach. For more information, visit horseplayernow.com or contact Jeremy Plonk at Jeremy@horseplayernow.com or 570-459-4501.
 
AmWest Entertainment is committed to Thoroughbred racing around the world and to delivering the best of the sport to account wagering and simulcast services customers. AmWest offers racing from every major track in North America and has been selected by the Dubai Racing Club as the exclusive provider of the Carnival and World Cup simulcast signals throughout North and South America. For more information on AmWest and Dubai racing, visit www.AmWestEntertainment.com or call 502-292-1075.
 
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AmWest Entertainment to Offer World's Best Racing Throughout the Americas

01/10/2011

Read Article (PDF)

AmWest Chosen to Offer Expanded Menu of Dubai Racing in 2010-'11

11/08/2010

Read Article (PDF)

AmWest's Clemmens moderates International Simulcast Conference panel

09/29/2010

Read Article (PDF)

AmWest CEO Presents National Breeder Award

09/25/2010

Read Article (PDF)

Dubai Carnival Supplement

01/26/2010 Meydan

Read Article (PDF)

AmWest Entertainment Chosen to Distribute Dubai Racing in North & South America

01/19/2010

Read Article (PDF)