Issue 838


To book a nomination, contact Will Wright: +44 (0)7787 422901 | [email protected] | Discover more about the Shadwell stallion roster on our website THE HIGHEST-RATED TURF HORSE IN THE WORLD FOR A DECADE The best on turf since Frankel OFFICIAL RATING: 135 6 brilliant Group 1 victories World Champion turf horse and miler in 2022 CHAMPION OF THE TURF A star-studded debut book, supported by many of the world’s leading breeders AN EXCEPTIONAL FIRST BOOK OF MARES


adiyat racing 4 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21st March 2024 Al Quoz Sprint prospect Frost At Dawn and a number of others bidding for races on the Dubai World Cup card have arrived in the city and are busy being put through the motions in preparation for the big night. DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL 18-19 French handler Caullery disappointed with Fort Payne’s ratings snub. IN FOCUS 22-25 Trainers’ title hopeful Costa happy to focus on the process. COVER A FRESH DAWN Dubai World Cup night hopes getting fine tuned at Meydan Competition, hope crucial for growth. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 3 COVER PHOTO: MARTIN DOKOUPIL

adiyat racing 5 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21st March 2024 Baffert Bullish 8-9 Newgate and Hopkins picked to represent multiple winning trainer Bob Baffert in Dubai World Cup. GODOLPHIN NEWS 20 JEBEL ALI REVIEW 26-29 ABU DHABI PREVIEW 30-31 ABU DHABI REVIEW 32-33 AL AIN PREVIEW 34-35 AL AIN REVIEW 36-37 POLO 40 COLUMNS 42-45 THE LAST WORD 47 FACES AT THE RACES 48-49 MANAGING EDITOR Taha A Taha ENGLISH EDITOR Sam Turner ASSISTANT EDITOR Duane Fonseca WRITERS Mohammed Omer Khuzaima Al Habeeb Mehiar Elmahi Thamer Abdalla ART DIRECTOR Mohammad Juma DESIGNERS Nadim Ahmed Arif Ahmed Alzarooni Nisar Shaikh Navas Muhammed CREATIVE DIRECTOR Abdulla Khalifa Ismail KV Taha Omar LIBRARY & PHOTOGRAPHERS Ali Juma ADVERTISING/MARKETING [email protected] WEBSITE Osama Shousha PRODUCTION Ashraf Ali Gamal Fouda For editorial, contact: [email protected] DUBAI WORLD CUP MEMORIES 12-17 Contributors Laura King, Andrew Hawkins and Michele MacDonald look back fondly on spectacular World Cup nights. Dubai World Cup 10-11 Last year’s Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen hero Sibelius back to defend his title.

DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing 6 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21st March 2024 Group 1 Dubai Turf at Southwell recently and John Gosden reports the three-time World Cup night winner in good heart ahead of his bid for an astonishing fourth success. “He had a long, long summer break after last year’s race at Wood Ditton Stud where he was looked after by Geraldine who did a stunning job with him,” reported Gosden senior. “He came back from there two years younger, and he’s been a pleasure to train gently through the autumn and winter and he ran a good race the other day (Southwell) over a trip a little further than ideal, but we got a race into him which was essential. “As long as he breezes well the next couple of times, we’ll be ready to rock’n’roll with him in Dubai.” By Sam Turner Preparations for an enthralling Dubai World Cup night continued to hot up at Meydan Racecourse this week with a host of highprofile contenders intensifying their work schedules. As per normal the Japanese contingent, led by defending Dubai World Cup hero Ushba Tesoro, were on track first, put through their paces at 5am under the floodlights to enjoy the coolest of the conditions. Joined by fellow DWC aspirant Derma Sotogake, the Saudi Cup runner-up was kept under wraps as he stretched his legs with two spins around the Meydan circuit on Tuesday. Also present at trackwork was Ushba Tesoro’s Saudi conqueror Senor Buscador who breezed effortlessly on the dirt track to advertise his well-being, while Richard Fahey trainee Spirit Dancer enjoyed a spin at 7am as he builds up to a tilt at the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic and a date with Japanese trio Liberty Island, Justin Palace and Shahryar. Also set to be involved in a cracking renewal of the 12-furlong Group 1 feature will be dual Derby winner Auguste Rodin who will leave Irish shores for Dubai on March 24th as part of a powerful Ballydoyle team dispatched by trainer Aidan O’Brien. A consignment of John and Thady Gosden contenders, including Sheema Classicbound Emily Upjohn and the history-seeking Lord North will also depart for Dubai that day. The eight-year-old enjoyed a warm up for the PREP FOR DUBAI WORLD CUP NIGHT HOTS UP AS EUROPEANS TOUCH DOWN AS LONG AS HE BREEZES WELL THE NEXT COUPLE OF TIMES, WE’LL BE READY TO ROCK’N’ROLL WITH HIM IN DUBAI — JOHN GOSDEN SPEAKING FONDLY OF THREE-TIME G1 DUBAI TURF WINNER LORD NORTH. Longines Dubai Sheema Classic hopeful Sisfahan cools down after a workout

DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing 7 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21st March 2024 In high spirits: Part-owned by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Spirit Dancer enjoyed a spin around Meydan Racecourse on Tuesday morning. A winner of the Bahrain International Trophy and the Group 2 Neom Cup in Saudi Arabia this winter, the Richard Fahey trainee will bid for an historic treble when he lines up for the Group 1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic on World Cup night. PHOTO: MARTIN DOKOUPIL

DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing 8 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21st March 2024 By Laura King “They’re taking off right now, how about that?!” Bob Baffert is in relaxed mood in California as two of his horses speed down the runway, about to launch for Dubai. Newgate (pictured opposite) heads for the $12million Dubai World Cup and Hopkins for the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen. Despite success in the desert which has seen him win four Dubai World Cups so far, Baffert won’t be joining his horses on the trip. “I love Dubai, I’d love to go but I’m shorthanded an assistant right now, so Jimmy (Barnes) is going, he’ll be there at the weekend, along with a rider and a groom.” Barnes was also at the helm when Country Grammer won Baffert his most recent Dubai World Cup, in 2022. This time he takes charge of Newgate, who returns to action less than a month after winning the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap on March 3rd. “With Newgate I know I’m kind of back a little quick, but he’s a really hardy horse who carries a lot of flesh,” says Baffert. “He’s doing better now than he was going into the Big Cap when he was a little heavy. I really think he’s doing well.” Newgate will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, who combined with Baffert on Country Grammer and who also has three other Dubai World Cups on his resume. “The thing about Frankie Dettori is the great BAFFERT REMAINS GRATEFUL TO DUBAI AS HE DISPATCHES WORLD CUP NIGHT CONTENDERS riders don’t need any instructions,” continues Baffert. “When the gate opens, they figure it out. The last thing on my mind is worrying about Frankie and what he’s going to do on the horse. My job is to make sure that the horse shows up.” Baffert is under no illusions as to the strength of the $12million race, which features defending champion Ushba Tesoro as well as Laurel River, who he trained to win the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien Stakes at Del Mar, before the sixyear-old moved to Bhupat Seemar in Dubai. “I’m running against one of my old horses (Laurel River). He’s a really talented horse; a top calibre horse. They can all stay if they don’t go too fast early on.” Is there any similarity between Newgate and Baffert’s four winners of the race? The answer is emphatic. “Totally different. My other winners were in top form, coming off big races. Country Grammer was coming off a long layoff, ran in Saudi and he was just a true mile and a quarter horse. The ride that Frankie gave him was unbelievable. He beat Life Is Good who was a great horse, but the distance got him a little bit. “Arrogate was one of the greatest performances of any racehorses that I’ve ever trained — he was incredible. To me, it was like a Secretariatlike performance. What he did that night; not breaking, being last, coming around… Gun Runner was a great horse and he just Bob Baffert ARROGATE WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST PERFORMANCES OF ANY THAT I’VE EVER TRAINED — HE WAS INCREDIBLE. TO ME, IT WAS SECRETARIAT-LIKE — BOB BAFFERT ON HIS 2017 DUBAI WORLD CUP WINNER.

DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing 9 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21st March 2024 catches him like it was an exercise gallop. Winning the first time with Silver Charm was just really exciting. It’s the only race that you lead your horse up there and you go ‘I think he’s doing well but I really don’t know. I hope he handles everything.’ “I remember Captain Steve; he was normally on the lead but he was four lengths off it and I thought ‘maybe he’s not running’ and then he came up and won it. It’s magical, it’s a challenge and I love challenges, but if you have a good horse and he’s ready, you can win it.” Baffert also has a Dubai Golden Shaheen on his roll of honour, having won the $2million sprint with Secret Circle in 2015. His runner this year, Hopkins, was fourth to the reopposing Sibelius 12 months ago. “Hopkins ran well last year and I think he’s doing better this year,” says Baffert. “He always shows up; he’s big strong horse. I had him and another horse but I decided to go with him because he’s doing so well right now. When you go halfway across the world you have to make sure your horse is in top form because it’s a tough ship.” Missing out on Dubai, where will he watch the action? Over a relaxed lunch with friends, perhaps? Not the case. “I usually watch it in my barn at Santa Anita with all the grooms; we all huddle up to watch. It’s exciting when they run well. To win the Dubai World Cup, it’s just a thrill.” Arrogate Country Grammer SAVED BY DUBAI , LOVED BY DUBAI Baffert’s love of Dubai is rooted in genuine emotion, understandably so. “Dubai – everytime I go, it changes. It’s so much fun – I’ve gone snow skiing there! It’s a working vacation. “I have great memories because I had a heart attack there and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, saved me. “I have so much respect for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and his family – he’s such a visionary guy and has been really good for American racing. “I got a second chance; he sent a top guy (doctor) in there and he fixed me. There wouldn’t have been any Triple Crowns if he hadn’t saved me.” he rek he’s t. “He orse. I ded to ll right world top tch h s “I USUALLY WATCH IT IN MY BARN AT SANTA ANITA WITH ALL THE GROOMS; WE ALL HUDDLE UP TO WATCH. IT’S EXCITING WHEN THEY RUN WELL. TO WIN THE DUBAI WORLD CUP, IT’S JUST A THRILL!”

DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing 10 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 Sibelius (right)

DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing 11 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 There were unforgettable scenes at the 2023 Dubai World Cup when Sibelius stormed along the rail to deny Switzerland in a thrilling edition of the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen. It was trainer Jerry O’Dwyer’s biggest win to date and it launched him onto the world stage. The US-based Irishman now plans to do it again, with Sibelius prepped and ready to defend his title on March 30th. First though, he’s keen to reminisce. “I thought he had a good shot,” he says of last year’s race. “Everybody I spoke to thought he belonged there and that he was stepping up at the right time. I got a lot of confidence when he won the Pelican Stakes as they said if you like that track at Tampa then you’ll like Dubai.” The win wasn’t for the fainthearted; just a nose separated Sibelius and Ryan Moore from 2022 winner Switzerland and Tadhg O’Shea – ironically a good friend of O’Dwyer. “I’d be lying if I said I thought I was going to win. They were a solid group and that was the first time I’ve seen him that far out of his ground in a race. For him to rally like that along the rail was a testament to the horse and the jockey. He wants to win and he knows how to win.” After Dubai, the wins were a little hard to come by and Sibelius suffered three straight losses. “We took a step back with him after a couple of defeats and then he was fifth in Kentucky (G2 Ogden Phoenix Stakes) which showed me he was still there, numbers wise. We reedited our plan so that getting back to Dubai was the main aim.” O’DWYER CONFIDENCE IN SIBELIUS UNDIMINISHED AHEAD OF SHAHEEN TEST Sibelius flies to Dubai this week. As in 2023, he arrives fresh from success in the Listed Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, in which those he beat included Shaheen rival Nakatomi. “Visually it was better than last year and he beat a better bunch of horses,” says O’Dwyer of the victory. “We’re ready. He had his last breeze this morning (Thursday) and he’s fit, he’s well. “I’d have to be more confident this year than I was last year. It’s a little less pressure as we know the way it all works and that he handles it all.” O’Dwyer, who will be joined on the trip by wife Alison, has booked Moore for the race but the day-to-day riding at Meydan will be done by Allyson Hartfield, who accompanied Shirl’s Speight last year. She’s sat on him a few times and she gets on with him well, but then there aren’t many people who don’t get on with him,” adds O’Dwyer of the horse who became something of a media darling in the build-up to last year’s race. “I wasn’t expecting the attention we got last year. Out of the Americans there were others with a better chance of winning, on paper. But he’s a ham, he loves the attention and he’s a photographer’s dream. The owners (Jun Park and Delia Nash) deserved it too – they’ve stood by him through thick and thin and turned down multiple offers for him.” For O’Dwyer, Sibelius is the horse of a lifetime. “He’s a six-year-old so hopefully we’ll have another couple of years out of him yet,” he added. “He’s a horse I’ll never forget.” I’D HAVE TO BE MORE CONFIDENT THIS YEAR THAN I WAS LAST YEAR. IT’S A LITTLE LESS PRESSURE AS WE KNOW THE WAY IT ALL WORKS AND THAT HE HANDLES IT ALL — JERRY O’DWYER ON HIS SPRINT ACE SIBELIUS.

12 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing WHO PRESENT ON THE DAY CAN FORGET EQUINOX? By Laura King INVASOR 2007 Dubai World Cup Despite seven runners, this was billed as something of a match between Invasor and Discreet Cat, who had given Invasor his only career defeat in the previous year’s UAE Derby. In the event, only one of them really showed up, with Invasor and Fernando Jara easing to a near two-length defeat of Premium Tap. Discreet Cat trailed in last, with a throat abscess later put forward as an excuse. I covered this race for local radio and therefore was right by the winner’s enclosure when Invasor came back in – I’ll never forget the reception he received. MIND YOUR BISCUITS 2017 & 2018 Dubai Golden Shaheen Very few horses have won the same race twice on the card, but Mind Your Biscuits won the Dubai Golden Shaheen in 2017 and 2018. In the first year he was a first career runner and winner for his rookie trainer Chad Summers, whose confidence throughout the week was unwavering. A year later, Summers predicted the victory once again, his stable star arriving just in time to beat subsequent Shaheen winner X Y Jet by a head. PRESVIS 2011 Dubai Duty Free A Dubai regular, British-based, Greek-owned Presvis was nurtured from smart handicapper to G1 winner by Italian trainer Luca Cumani and assistant Charlie Henson. A tricky customer, he needed producing at just the right time in a race and Ryan Moore managed As a stalwart of Dubai World Cup night, having covered 17 renewals in her role as a respected broadcaster and journalist, Laura King is well placed to highlight some of those World Cup night displays which have left the greatest impression. Here are the performances which have struck a chord in nearly two decades of reporting on an iconic race meeting. t, having covered 17 renewals in her role as a respected n. Here are the performances which have struck a chord in nearly race meeting. CALIFORNIA CHROME 2016 Dubai World Cup California Chrome (pictured) was already something of a legend when he arrived in Dubai. After defeat to Prince Bishop in 2015, trainer Art Sherman did something different 12 months on. Prepping the horse a month before the race at Meydan meant we got to see him each morning, posing on the track like a real star. His win, with Victor Espinoza clinging to a slipping saddle, felt overdue, and the ‘Chrome tuns to gold’ commentary by Terry Spargo was spine-tingling.

13 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing ‘CHROME TURNS TO GOLD’, WAS FORMER ERA RACE CALLER TERRY SPARGO’S CALL AFTER CALIFORNIA CHROME FLEW PAST THE FINISH TO WIN THE 2016 DUBAI WORLD CUP. just that when he finally won the Dubai Duty Free, at the third time of asking, in 2011. SIBELIUS 2023 Dubai Golden Shaheen Every year there’s a set of connections who really embrace World Cup week and last year it was Jerry and Alison O’Dwyer and Chelsie Raabe, the trainers and exercise rider of Sibelius. Their flashy chestnut loved the occasion too, doing plenty of posing on track in the mornings. In the race, he was less easy to see, sneaking along the rail under Ryan Moore and denying 2022 winner Switzerland by a nose. ARROGATE 2017 Dubai World Cup Most people, trainer Bob Baffert included, thought Arrogate had blown his chance when he missed the break by several lengths. What happened next was extraordinary, the roan circling the whole field and beating non other than multiple G1 winner Gun Runner by two and a quarter lengths. Arrogate? More like arrogant. VICTOIRE PISA 2011 Dubai World Cup Coming in the wake of the devasting Japanese earthquake, this was a poignant victory. It was secured by a moment of brilliance from jockey Mirco Demuro, who made a decisive forward move in the backstraight which effectively won him the race. HH Sheikh Mohammed hugging Japanese connections in the winner’s enclosure afterwards was an amazingly humbling moment. EQUINOX 2023 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic OK, so it was only last year, but who present on the day will forget Equinox? He was barely extended in beating five other Group 1 winners, and it was no surprise when he completed the season undefeated, eventually being crowned the World’s Best Racehorse. SOLOW 2015 Dubai Turf I remember seriously doubting the chances of Solow, who had won four in a row before arriving at Meydan, but all at a lower level. I’ll never again doubt Freddy Head, who had the grey gelding spot on for a four and a quarterlength demolition job. Solow’s winning spree continued after Dubai when he won another four Group 1s – a superstar.

DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing 14 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 By Michele MacDonald Memories flow as streams in waterfalls, tumbling over one another as they chase after the shadows of what was and will never be again. For anyone who has been involved with the Dubai World Cup, those memories are likely manyfold, rich with experiences that could never be mined anywhere else. In general, one aspect I remember most is the early mornings, with the stirring call to prayer from the mosque near the track echoing in the pre-dawn air, followed later by the haunting calls of palm doves and the chirping of hoopoes. And always the barrage of CURLIN STANDS AT THE PEAK OF A RICH COLLECTION OF DUBAI WORLD CUP MEMORIES beauteous horses barreling through their works, nostrils aflare and hoofbeats drumming the earth. What horses! Those mornings were our introductions to them and their distinctive quirks and rippling muscles prior to their indelible performances on the sport’s richest day of racing, first during the years within the intimate confines of Nad Al Sheba and later around the overwhelming expanse of Meydan. Beginning with the breathtaking victory of Dubai Millennium in the 2000 Dubai World Cup — after which the two eldest sons of Sheikh Mohammed took turns jumping on the champion’s back — and the screams of euphoric Japanese when Stay Gold pipped Godolphin’s Fantastic Light the following year to begin a catapulting of both the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic and Japanese racehorses to the forefront of the sport; memories flood the mind. In the final chapter at Nad Al Sheba, when Well Armed stormed home, victorious jockey Aaron Gryder arrived at the post-race party twirling his gold whip, and he kindly let a few of us feel the true weight of this souvenir as we waved it in the air, toasting him and trainer Eoin Harty. Then there was the shock of 2012, when premier American trainer Bob Baffert suffered a heart attack while preparing runners for YET ONE DUBAI WORLD CUP WEEK AND ITS KING STANDS ABOVE ALL FOR ME: CURLIN (PICTURED) WINNING IN 2008.

DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing 15 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 CURLIN LOCKED HIS EYES ON EACH OF US THERE, ONE BY ONE, AS IF TO BE SURE WE WERE PROPERLY IN AWE. I WAS COMPLETELY DAZZLED. NEVER HAVE I WITNESSED ANY OTHER HORSE BE SO COMPLETELY UNFAZED AFTER SUCH A MAJOR WIN IN DEMANDING CIRCUMSTANCES. the World Cup programme, and HH Sheikh Mohammed intervened to ensure he received the care he needed: three stents in two blocked arteries. Yet Baffert, the winningest trainer in Dubai World Cup history other than Saeed bin Suroor, would not be kept away from race night and his horses, even though he appeared ashen and frail. Five years later, Baffert returned to achieve what is the most implausible Dubai World Cup triumph when trainee Arrogate, who looked hopelessly beaten after a poor start, circled the field to prevail in a move that was just like, as the trainer exclaimed jubilantly in the parade ring, the best of Secretariat. So many memories. Yet one Dubai World Cup week and its king stands above all for me; Curlin, 2008. Part of the allure stems from the way the statuesque hunk of a colt trained during the week before the race, like a thunderbolt waiting to be unleashed by Thor himself. On one foggy morning he emerged with his regal head raised high, seemingly assessing his fiefdom and attendant serfs before soaring effortlessly through his work. “He’s very smart. He knows what he’s here for,” trainer Steve Asmussen’s assistant Scott Blasi explained then. “He just has a tremendous amount of confidence; he just exudes it when he’s around other horses.” CURLIN PIERCED THE FIELD TO WIN Already a champion and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Curlin sliced past 11 rivals in the 2008 Dubai World Cup, defeating UAE Triple Crown winner Asiatic Boy by a then race record seven-and-three-quarter lengths. Finishing well behind were two subsequent Dubai World Cup victors, Well Armed in third and 2010 winner Gloria de Campeao in eighth. But perhaps the most telling moments occurred in the Nad Al Sheba post-race stabling area, where Curlin strutted around a small ring, his head held high just as it had been that morning a few days prior. He never took a deep breath and only a few times did he reach for a sip of water. He locked his eyes on each of us there, one by one, as if to be sure we were properly in awe. I was completely dazzled. Never have I witnessed any other horse be so completely unfazed after such a major win in demanding circumstances. Curlin’s rumble through the 2000m on a sultry evening took very little out of this singular champion, who, of course, has gone on to sire the likes of Godolphin’s 2023 American Horse of the Year Cody’s Wish and Shadwell’s twice champion filly Malathaat. His Dubai triumph also marked the most meaningful landmark on the ascent of trainer Steve Asmussen, who now ranks as America’s all-time leader by wins with over 10,445 and who has since developed a series of champions including Rachel Alexandra, Gun Runner, Epicenter, Echo Zulu and Jackie’s Warrior. On that warm night in Dubai, Asmussen and Blasi watched Curlin cool out, with the trainer pausing several times to lift his young sons up so they could gently pat Curlin’s nose. Two of those three sons, Keith and Erik are now making their own marks as jockeys. Looking back, that Dubai night was a nexus for the sport, both in America and Dubai. Anyone who was there is so very fortunate to have seen the mighty Curlin. He was, and remains, truly unforgettable. Stay Gold (left)

16 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing DRAMATIC DUBAI DUTY FREE OF OLD, FUELLED MY PASSION FOR RACING By Andrew Hawkins There is nothing greater than seeing champion horses going toe-to-toe, stride-for-stride, duelling at the peak of their powers. If that is a measure of a great race, then the 2001 Group 1 Dubai Duty Free delivered in spades. It was a mouthwatering clash on paper: Sunline, New Zealand's mare of the world, tackling her old sparring partner Fairy King Prawn, the horse of Hong Kong, with Jim And Tonic, the French red, adding further spice to the rematch. Each on their day could claim to be the best horse in the world between 1600m and 2000m. Perhaps less so Fairy King Prawn, whose sole attempt at a middle distance saw him finish sixth in the HKG1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) three weeks before his Dubai debtut. However, he was an electric sprinter-miler with wins from 1000m to 1600m at both Hong Kong tracks — Sha Tin and Happy Valley — as well as at Tokyo in the JPN G1 Yasuda Kinen. Yet the "middle-distance champion" tag could certainly befit Sunline, a two-time G1 Cox Plate (2040m) winner who, at that time, had won nine Group 1 races. In the 1999-2000 racing season, beginning August 1st, she had won eight of her nine races leading into the Dubai Duty Free, with her sole defeat coming by a nose in the G2 Turnbull Stakes (2000m). Those eight wins came across three different countries and ranged from 1200m in the G1 Manikato Stakes to the 2040m of the Cox Plate, which she won by a widening seven lengths. And it was definitely a label fitting of Jim And Tonic, who was the first true globetrotter to pave the way for horses like Takeover Target, Red Cadeaux, Highland Reel and Magic Wand in the years ahead. The 1999 G1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) winner, he was coming off a fair third in the same race in 2000. That same Sha Tin card had seen Sunline and Fairy King Prawn match motors in a race for the ages in the 2000 G1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m). Sunline, so deftly guided by regular partner Greg Childs, kicked clear before her tenacity saw her fend off crowd favourite Fairy King Prawn for the win. A RACE FOR THE AGES So, the Dubai Duty Free was set to be a race for the ages - and that's before others lining up were also considered, including G1 Grand Prix de Paris (2000m) Victor Slickly, JPNG1 NHK Mile Cup (1600m) winner Eagle Cafe, G1 Eddie JIM AND TONIC WAS THE FIRST TRUE GLOBETROTTER WHO PAVED THE WAY FOR HORSES LIKE TAKEOVER TARGET, RED CADEAUX, HIGHLAND REEL AND MAGIC WAND IN THE YEARS AHEAD. Jim And Tonic

17 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing Read Handicap (1800m) hero Ladies Din, G1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes (2000m) runner-up Sumitas and classy mare Golden Silca. The stage was set for a dramatic battle between three champion horses and three of the world's best riders - Kiwi Childs (Sunline), Frenchman Gerald Mosse (Jim And Tonic) and South Africa's Robbie Fradd (Fairy King Prawn) - in a race that, in theory, most certainly matched its billing as a world championship contest. Who could have predicted, however, that the 108 seconds from pillar to post would exceed expectations? Drama developed straight away with Italian representative Crisos Il Monaco simply refusing to move under a desperate Olivier Doleuze. It left 13 runners thundering towards the first bend at Nad al Sheba. Sunline raced fiercely under Childs, more so than usual. Pressured by Slickly and Frankie Dettori to her inside and David Flores on Happy Diamond to her outside, she formed the sacrificial lamb in a Godolphin sandwich. While sectionals weren't then recorded in Dubai, unofficial data suggests that the 1600m to the 1200m was run in 22.45 seconds - a sizzling pace for the nine-furlong affair. The 1200m to the 800m was run in a more sedate 23.60 seconds, but that only had the effect of allowing Jim And Tonic - racing sixth on the inside - to make up easy ground on a rampant Sunline that proved crucial at the end. It did, though, see Fairy King Prawn - threewide with a trail early - forced back through the field into an awkward position, ensuring that it would require a Herculean effort from the Hong Kong gelding coupled with a delicate ride from Fradd for him to prevail. Approaching the daunting spectre of the lengthy Nad al Sheba straight, Childs made a bold move on Sunline, allowing her to stride a length clear but keeping her under the tightest of holds. When Childs finally shook the reins aboard the champion mare at the 350m, the response was tepid; more a slow increase in speed rather than lightning quick acceleration, her early exertions taking their toll. But while they may have blunted her sprint, nothing could take away the factors that separated her from so many of her peers: her tenacity and sheer determination. Inside the 250m, the New Zealanders had finally shaken off Slickly before a pair of ominous threats loomed out in the middle: Jim And Tonic was winding up gradually, while Fairy King Prawn was sprinting fast from a mile back. MAGNIFICENT MOSSE Sunline was first to tap out, although it was far from a submission. Somehow, from her freakish reserves, she managed to find something more when she was headed. Entitled to drop out, she stuck with her rivals but could not quite match Fairy King Prawn and Jim And Tonic. And so there were two. Fairy King Prawn, set an enormous task once the pace slackened and at the very upper reaches of his stamina, could get no more than a head in front before Jim And Tonic - seemingly struggling to quicken - hit top gear and matched strides. Heads up, heads down, the horse of Hong Kong and the French red, Fradd and Mosse, stretching every sinew as the post loomed. If the race was 1750m, it probably went the way of Fairy King Prawn. But Mosse, ever the master, lifted his horse at just the right time to take the prize — one of a dozen moves throughout the race that proved the difference between agonising defeat and precious victory. It was Jim And Tonic by a short neck, the extended margin failing to capture the gripping battle accurately. It may not have the wow factor of Dubai Millennium's Dubai World Cup victory a year earlier, but as far as racing battles go, it is one of the very finest. It was a race in which all three protagonists left with their reputations not just intact, but bolstered. And, for a young boy approaching his teens, watching the replay from Sydney, Australia, it fuelled a love for international racing that took me to all ends of the planet. Hopefully, the 2024 Dubai World Cup meeting may similarly inspire the next generation to embrace the internationalisation of our great sport. FOR A YOUNG BOY APPROACHING HIS TEENS, WATCHING THE REPLAY FROM SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, IT FUELLED A LOVE FOR INTERNATIONAL RACING THAT TOOK ME TO ALL ENDS OF THE PLANET. HOPEFULLY, THE 2024 DUBAI WORLD CUP MEETING MAY SIMILARLY INSPIRE THE NEXT GENERATION TO EMBRACE THE INTERNATIONAL NATURE OF OUR GREAT SPORT.

DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing 18 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 FORT’S LACK OF RATINGS RISE A REAL WORLD CUP PAYNE FOR CAULLERY By Liz Price Nicolas Caullery is a happy man . . . well, almost. The French trainer is happy that Fort Payne won the Ras Al Khor at Meydan Racecourse on March 2nd but is slightly confused why his Group 3 winner hasn’t gone up in the ratings. In fact, following his victory over the Godolphin favourite Noble Dynasty who could only finish fifth in this 1400m race, Fort Payne’s rating was kept at 102, which makes it very unlikely he will be invited to run in any of the Dubai World Cup races at the end of this month. H o w e v e r , Nicolas (pictured) is an extremely positive individual, who likes to share a laugh with his wife Marine, a former trainer herself who stays in Dubai while he travels back and forth for the big races, and so he says: “Lets enjoy Emirates Super Saturday, as it was such a great moment when he won. He was beaten in Abu Dhabi, even though he could have won the race, but his real target was always the Ras Al Khor. “And he did it really well, pushing back all the horses that came to attack him. Because of the draw, we rode him more positively this time and he went all the way. Usually, he just sleeps b e h i n d and then comes with a

DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing 19 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 bang, but this time he was close to the pace and was still able to quicken, which was great. “It was another side we saw of Fort Payne, which bodes well for his future races.” Indeed, but it is his future which is slightly in doubt, at least regarding a possible start on Dubai World Cup night and his trainer explains: “We have a bit of a dilemma. When he made his seasonal reappearance on the dirt he wasn’t ready and didn’t really understand what he needed to do on the dirt, so his rating was lowered from 106 to 102. “In Abu Dhabi, he was the runner-up and remained on 102. He then won the Ras Al Khor and still his rating remained on 102, which I don’t understand. I was told that he didn’t beat the best horses, but I did beat those who were rated 106 and 107. It’s true that they finished further back in the field, and it was the lower rated horses who finished just behind him, but what more can he do but beat what is there?” The French trainer, who is a huge supporter of the Dubai Carnival is slightly frustrated but concludes: “Fort Payne was always the horse I fancied to do well in Dubai. Him and King Gold. And he didn’t disappoint. Going home with a victory is already a huge plus. “Having said that, King Gold obviously ran in Riyadh where he was invited and if I had known that the race was going to turn out as it did, with him getting knocked the whole way with not a breather in between, we would have looked at other options. Anyway, King Gold is entered in the Al Quoz, but we shall see. There are other options like the Golden Mile, but it will be better for him to stay on the turf. And with Fort Payne we just have to see.” In any case, Nicolas’ and Marine’s Dubai adventure is not over yet and he still harbours the hope that Fort Payne will make the cut for the Dubai Turf, which is the race he would really like to see him compete in. However, even if it didn’t happen, he already knows he will be back for more next year. Fort Payne

GODOLPHIN NEWS adiyat racing 20 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 Godolphin Australia head trainer James Cummings enjoyed a Group race double at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney on Saturday as Zardozi turned up an impressive winner of the Group 2 Chandon Phar Lap Stakes after Red Card sprinted to victory in the Group 3 Maurice McCarten Stakes. A three-year-old Kingman filly, Zardozi had won the G1 Kennedy Oaks at Flemington in November and making her first start of 2024 in the G1 Surround Stakes at Randwick in early March was seen finishing 11th in a field of 12. She went under visiting English jockey Tom Marquand at Randwick and the Englishman retained the ride for the Phar Lap. Putting his experience to good use, Marquand led Zardozi between runners in the straight and breaking CUMMINGS THRILLED AFTER FILLIES ZARDOZI AND RED CARD BLOOM WITH A STAKES DOUBLE AT ROSEHILL IN SYDNEY clear, the pair kicked for home and finished with two lengths to spare from Makarena, with Kintyre a neck away in third. Zardozi’s sixth success in 11 starts also helped drop her name into the mix for the G1 Vinery Stud Stakes and the G1 Australian Oaks. Her win arrived 40 minutes after Red Card, a four-year-old Ribchester filly, breezed home under Adam Hyeronimus to win the 1100m Maurice McCarten Stakes by three quarters of a length from Libertad with Airman a half length behind in third. The win thrilled Cummings and proved his filly was on course for the two big G1s this autumn. “She’s a class act, you had to be prepared to forgive her for her first-up effort (11th) when plenty went against her and yet she pulled up from the run well,” Cummings said. “We stuck to our guns and the Phar Lap was perfect for her and a stepping stone to the Vinery. Up to 2,000m in a couple of weeks she’s going to be spot-on. Her win in the VRC Oaks was pretty special. I certainly think she’s the kind of filly who is going to reward Godolphin.” Cummings will look to start Red Card in the 1200m G2 Sapphire Stakes. “That win today gives me the opportunity to step her up to six furlongs in a month’s time,” he said. “I think a month to the Sapphire looks good. A great job that Adam was able to do on her, she jumped so fast and took control of the race. She’s got that natural pace and it’s a great result for our work riders who continue to try to teach her to settle.” UP TO 2,000M IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS SHE’S GOING TO BE SPOT-ON. I CERTAINLY THINK SHE’S THE KIND OF FILLY WHO IS GOING TO REWARD GODOLPHIN — CUMMINGS ON ZARDOZI up from the run well, Cummings said.

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IN FOCUS / MICHAEL COSTA adiyat racing 22 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 NAME: MICHAEL COSTA AGE: 36 NATIONALITY: AUSTRALIAN Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi! Total Wins 50 Strike Rate 22.2% First UAE winner: Mouheeb (1200m Jebel Ali, Oct 29, 2022) Last UAE winner: Lahfaty (1400m Jebel Ali, March 16, 2024) Biggest win: Mouheeb (G3 Al Shindagha Sprint, 2023) UAE RECORD AUSTRALIAN RECORD Total Wins: 293 Strike Rate: 20% First winner: Ultimate Gaze (March 16, 2013) Last winner: The Catch (June 1, 2022) Biggest win: Phobetor (G2 Heineken Missile Stakes, 2021) The impact Michael Costa has had in the two years since his appointment as Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s resident trainer at Jebel Ali Stables has been enormous with his yellow brigade firing on all cylinders at venues across the UAE. A slender two-win lead keeps the Australian at the summit of the UAE Trainers’ Championship leaderboard and with the season running quickly out of ground, he is now encumbered with the responsibility of holding on even as his challengers close in sharply. AR+ delves into the figures that maketh the man! 132 26% 36 26.5% RUNNERS PLACED HORSES TOTAL WINS STRIKE RATE THIS SEASON Trainer to Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

IN FOCUS / MICHAEL COSTA adiyat racing 23 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 TRAINERS’ TITLE PROSPECT COSTA KNOWS IT AIN’T OVER TILL IT’S OVER By Duane Fonseca If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! It’s the mantra being followed by Michael Costa as he looks to hold on to his slender lead at the top of the UAE Trainers’ Championship and win the title for the first time. Costa sits atop the leaderboard with 36 winners, two more than second placed Bhupat Seemar and six clear of third-placed Musabbeh Al Mheiri. And with just a few meetings remaining, including the prestigious Dubai World Cup programme, every success is vital to his hopes of maintaining his lead and claim a firstever championship in only his second year of training in the UAE. HAPPY TO MAINTAIN STATUS QUO The trainers’ race has been an intriguing one this term with Costa coasting to a comfortable lead, which then started to diminish once 2024 set in. Seemar and Al Mheiri have been his challengers all along with their respective yards peaking since January, which really made things interesting. A five timer helped Seemar draw level with Costa during the final Dubai Racing Carnival meeting a fortnight ago at 34 wins, however, success in the closing event on the same card helped the Aussie go one clear, with another winner on the last day of racing in his backyard at Jebel Ali last Saturday helping him double his lead. Jebel Ali Stables have been one of the standout acts of the season and Costa is happy to maintain status quo despite the title being his to lose now. “It’s business as usual and we’re not going to change anything now,” Costa told Adiyat Racing Plus. “We’re just going to turn every horse out the best way we can. I’ve got a few little ones to still race for at Abu Dhabi and there’s a couple of little nuggets still there to go to with a few horses and then we turn all our focus on to the World Cup which is business as usual. “You can’t look too much into that (the championship). Don’t change anything. It’s just another race meeting and we will keep going.” IT’S BUSINESS AS USUAL AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO CHANGE ANYTHING NOW. WE’RE JUST GOING TO TURN EVERY HORSE OUT THE BEST WAY WE CAN. IT’S JUST ANOTHER RACE MEETING AND WE WILL KEEP GOING — MICHAEL COSTA. ead at the top of the UAE Trainers’ hampionship and win the title for the rst time. osta sits atop the leaderboard with 36 hupat Seemar and six clear of hird-placed Musabbeh l Mheiri. And with ust a few meetings emaining, including he ubai World Cup rogramme, uccess is vital to his opes of maintaining is lead and claim a firstver championship in only is second year of training n the UAE.

IN FOCUS / MICHAEL COSTA adiyat racing 24 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 COSTA ROCKETS READY TO FIRE While a few Thoroughbred races remain on the domestic side of things, Costa has readied a pair of sprinters to tackle the two Group One affairs on the Dubai World Cup programme. Bilhayl goes first in the Al Quoz Sprint (turf), while G3 Al Shindagha Sprint winner Mouheeb is among the local contingent looking to stop Sibelius from winning consecutive Dubai Golden Shaheen titles. “It’s going good with both of them and it’s probably the best we’ve got both horses at, at the moment,” said Costa. “And it’s all coming together really well, which is good. And they’ve got to be at their best on DWC night so we’ll just head that way.” Ma Yetal was one of the top acts for Costa during the 2023/24 campaign and might have seemed a top prospect for the G2 UAE Derby at one stage, but his retraction from the G3 Mahab Al Shimaal on Super Saturday might have spelled the end of his season. Costa confirmed the Flameaway colt lacked maturity and that bound him to “do the right thing by the horse”. “It was just immaturities with him (Ma Yetal) and he just started to feel the prep and he’d sort of had enough, so we decided rather than just push him through we just pulled up stumps,” said Costa, with a hint of disappointment in his voice. “No issues were stopping us, it’s just immaturities and he just needs a bit of time to fill up and develop. He needs to strengthen up and develop so we’ll do the right thing by the horse and have a proper sprinter for next year.” Ma Yetal won both his starts, debuting with a 14 length victory in a 1200m Conditions event for juveniles in December and running on gamely thereafter to lift the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial in early January. His next obvious appearance might have been in the 2000 Guineas on January 26th, but his return to action was delayed until the Mahab Al Shimaal, which eventually fizzled out. “We gave him the best shot, we tried,” explained Costa. “We wanted to get him to the 2000 Guineas, we wanted to get him to that sprint (Mahab Al Shimaal) we thought was pretty winnable, especially with him at his best. “I was confident that he would’ve done a job Mouheeb WE GAVE HIM THE BEST SHOT, WE TRIED. BUT IT WAS NOT TO BE AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO PUSH A HORSE IF IT’S GOING TO JEOPARDISE THEIR NEXT SEASON. SO WE’LL DO THE RIGHT THING BY THE HORSE AND ENJOY THE FRUITS NEXT YEAR — MICHAEL COSTA ON STABLE STAR MA YETAL’S SEASON.

IN FOCUS / MICHAEL COSTA adiyat racing 25 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 Ma Yetal Bilhayl there even as a younger horse, but it was not to be and we’re not going to push a horse if it’s going to jeopardise their next season. So we’ll do the right thing by the horse and enjoy the fruits next year.” Appointed to school the population at the base of Jebel Ali Racecourse by patron and founder Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Costa replaced Nicholas Bachalard in 2022 and has since trained a total of 50 winners in the UAE, the latest of which was Lahfaty, who won the Jebel Ali Distaff, a fillies only event over 1400m by two lengths on Saturday. If all goes well over the next few weeks, at this time next year, Costa might be dispatching horses in a title defence bid. While it’s something that is bound to interest him, Costa seems to prefer focusing on the process. Guess, it’s his way of dealing with the pressure. “I said we would take a quantum leap this year compared to last year and now we are excited about next year with the twoyear-olds that are coming through, so we’re getting stronger and stronger,” he said.

REVIEW / JEBEL ALI adiyat racing 26 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 DARAMETHOS DEFENDS STAKES HONOUR AS THE CURTAINS COME DOWN ON RACING AT JEBEL ALI By Duane Fonseca Musabbeh Al Mheiri and Oscar Chavez were left to celebrate feature race success on the final fixture of the campaign at Jebel Ali Racecourse after a season-defining performance from Daramethos saw him stage a successful defence of the Listed Jebel Ali Stakes. After two rather tepid performances from his three previous starts this term, it turned out to be a case of fourth time lucky for the sixyear-old Sea The Stars gelding, who put the race to bed when he stole to the front along the rail with a kick that saw him go three clear. A determined King Ottoman, the ride of Pat Cosgrave, made a brave effort to reel him inside the closing 200m of the 1950m contest, but their bid fell by the wayside as they could only manage to bring the winner’s victory margin down to three quarters of a length. DARAMETHOS PUT THE RACE TO BED WHEN HE HIT THE FRONT 600M OUT AND WENT THREE CLEAR IN NO TIME. In what was a 2-3 for Bhupat Seemar, Franz Strauss, the race favourite ridden by defending champion Tadhg O’Shea, was forced to settle for third, a further two-and-ahalf lengths in arrears. When winning the first time, Daramethos had claimed victory by three and a half lengths under Antonio Fresu, but Chavez did not mind the narrower three-quarter length win that brought him a 16th success of the campaign. He said: “It was a very good performance from him. “He is a solid horse who might have been a bit unlucky earlier in the season but look he’s finished it really well and defending a title is no mean feat. “He showed a lot of courage and we w e n t He said: It was a very good performance

REVIEW / JEBEL ALI adiyat racing 27 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 838 Thursday 21 st March 2024 COSTA-TRAINED LAHFATY WINNING THE JEBEL ALI DISTAFF (BELOW) early but he always had enough in the tank to come home and hold off the rest of his rivals out there.” Racing got underway with the Wathba Stallions Cup sponsored by the HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Racing Festival 0-90 handicap for Purebred Arabians over 1200m, the only race for the type, which was won by Jaber Bittar’s Najih, who might have finished with just fumes left after a tank emptying performance under Omani apprentice Qais Al Busaidi, who asked for an effort at the 600m marker. The five-year-old full son of Mahabb seized the lead from AF Marmuq (Ernst Oertel/ S’Shea) with a little under 100m left to run and finished a game one length winner, with the latter’s teammate AF Layth settling for third a further length-and-a-quarter in arrears. The undercard comprised a further three Conditions events, all over the 1400m strip, including a pair of runs for three-year-olds, which kept the fillies away from the colts and geldings. With the ladies going first, it was UAE Trainers’ Championship leader Michael Costa who was seen celebrating a 36th winner of the campaign after Lahfaty’s success in the Jebel Ali Distaff. Receiving her orders from Ben Coen with less than half of the distance left to run, the daughter of Mitole picked up pace to hit the front 400m out and thereafter had only the one challenger in Salem bin Ghadayer’s Kibo Misaki (Royston Ffrench) to watch out for and she took on her assignment bravely to win with two lengths to spare. Kibo Misaki was second with Le Faucon Maltais a further two-and-a-half lengths adrift for Seemar and O’Shea. Another winner for the hosts after Lahfaty won the Distaff Daramethos’ connections collect their silverware ( ) p p y g g ,