Royal Delta readies for second appearance

Royal Delta readies for second appearance

Royal Delta, the dual Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (Grade-1) winner was seen on the track at Meydan on Saturday morning after the American runners were allowed out of the quarantine.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Mon 25 Mar 2013, 12:23 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:06 AM

The five-year-old daughter of Empire Maker prepares for her second appearance in the Dubai World Cup Group-1 after having disappointed last year to finish a long way back behind Moterosso due to traffic jam.

Trained by William Mott and ridden by L. Lizcano, the mare was squeezed between horses in home straight and virtually didn’t take part any more thereafter. But, this time out, Royal Delta would be partnered by the leading American jockey Mike Smith who has been in the saddle after she returned home. The veteran jockey won with the mare four of her five starts since then, including the Beldame Invitational Stakes Grade-1 at Belmont Park and the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic Grade-1 at Santa Anita last November. Most recently, Smith led Royal Delta to win her preparatory test in a Group-3 event on February 17, en route to the Dubai World Cup. The mare was reportedly galloped a lap of the tapeta.

The other American hope Animal Kingdom worked later in the morning and looked fresh and self-confident. The 2011 Kentucky Derby winner is likely to be the eighth American hero of the world’s richest horse race.

The Americans have landed the title on seven occasions on Nad Al Sheba dirt track, starting with inaugural edition in 1996 which was won by the Cigar, and ending with the last running of the prestigious race at Nad Al Sheba in 2009 which was claimed by Well Armed.

The Americans went strike for strike with the hosts UAE throughout Nad Al Sheba era, with seven wins each. But, Monterosso made the difference for the home team in 2012, while all indications suggest the Americans could level the result once again in the 18th running of the Cup.

Varsity who’s also looking forward to restore the American domination of the Dubai Golden Shaheen alongside the Breeders’ Cup Sprint hero Trinniberg stretched his legs around the place. Great Attack who will be eyeing the Al Qouz Sprint glory Gr-1 (turf) has also emerged full of speed. Private Zone, another fast sprinter jogged from the mile marker chute and galloped a lap of the track.

Little Mike worked on the turf track and watched by the owner Priscilla Vaccarezza’s husband Carlo. Vaccarezza indicated that there still remains a choice between the Dubai Duty Free over 1,800 meters or the Dubai Sheema Classic at 2,410 metres, and he seemed truly perplexed by the decision. Dullahan had a spin on the training track.

Breeders’ Cup champion sprinter Trinniberg gallop was interrupted by the tight schedule but still he had time to stretch his legs.

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