Animal Kingdom leads US challenge

Animal Kingdom leads US challenge

The USA Dubai World Cup hopeful Animal Kingdom appeared for a gallop at the main track (tapeta) at Meydan on Sunday morning and the connections were pleased with the effort. Royal Delta and Trinniberg had also a piece of work each.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Mon 25 Mar 2013, 10:21 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:24 PM

Animal Kingdom who missed last year’s edition of the Dubai World Cup Gr-1 has joined multiple (Gr-1) winner Dullahan and the top mare Royal Delta in a bid to restore the American dominance over the $10 million world’s richest horse race on Saturday, March 30.

Trainer Graham Motion, who was scheduled to arrive in Dubai, reportedly said Animal Kingdom could go for a short drill on Wednesday. J. Rosario who partnered the horse to finish second behind Point Of Entry in the Gulfstream Park Turf andicap (Grade-1) will be back in the saddle for the Dubai World Cup.

However, Animal Kingdom has his proven ability on synthetic tracks after using Turfway Park’s Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes successfully as his Derby prep.

But due to incurring an injury that sidelined him from mid-March until Breeders’ Cup last year, he was forced to skip the Dubai World Cup. He finished second to the Horse of the Year Wise Dan in a scintillating run in the Breeders’ Cup Mile in November 2013.

Motion was quoted to have said: “I have seen a change in him, he seems a lot sharper into this race.”

Two-time filly champion Royal Delta has been preparing well for the challenge ahead and the Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott appeared confident that the daughter of Empire Maker seems stringer this year than she did in 2012 when she finished a traffic-troubled ninth in this race behind Monterosso.

Royal Delta has won five of her six starts under Mike Smith, including a final preparatory race on February 17 before heading for Dubai. The champion mare cruised to an impressive five-length in the Sabin Stakes Gr-3 at the Gulfstream Park.

Reigning sprint champion Trinniberg who has stretched his legs on the track on Saturday, returned to the main track on Monday watched by the trainer Shivananda Parbhoo and the connections who were delight to see him handling the tapeta nicely.

The Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner four-year-old son of Teuflesberg , who has never raced on a synthetic track, but looked confident to impress in his start in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen Gr-1.

The other horses which have arrived within the American contingent in Dubai are:

  • The Doug O’Neill-trained pair of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up He’s Had Enough for the $2 million UAE Derby and Malibu Stakes runner-up Private Zone for the Dubai Golden Shaheen;
  • Varsity, winner of the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Stakes on Feb. 2 and trained by Christophe Clement, and Grade 3 winner Great Attack, trained by Wesley Ward, both aimed for the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint;
  • Dice Flavor, handy winner of the El Camino Real Derby on Feb. 16 at Golden Gate Fields, which has the same brand of all-weather track that is installed at Meydan.

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