Home team headline Godolphin Mile storyline
If there’s one thoroughbred contest at the Dubai World Cup meeting that sees a compelling battle between the UAE team and the visitors, it’s Group 2 Godolphin Mile (sponsored by Nakheel) which includes eight locals and eight raiders over the 1600m on land.
This season’s top UAE coach Bhupat Seemar sends three runners, including last year’s winner Secret Ambition, who won for his uncle Satish, as well as G2 Al Maktoum Challenge runner-up (Round 2) Al Nefud and the winner of the Dubai Creek Mile Listed Tuz.
“I can’t separate them,” Seemar said of Secret Ambition and Al Nefud. “Secret Ambition is that old warrior and now he’s ready. He kicked and kicked and it’s good to see a nine-year-old doing that. I think with a good run and a good draw, he’s going to run really well because he’s so tough and genuine Al Nefud is this new kid in town coming in and he’s got a world of talent, so it’ll be like Michael Jordan and Lebron James.
Al Nefud was originally heading to the main event, the Dubai World Cup (sponsored by Emirates Airline), but Seemar is content to wait for next year’s $12million feature.
“We talked about it and looking back I think it was a good decision to run the Mile rather than the big race,” he said. “This race is so strong and I think mentally, more than anything, maybe he wasn’t ready for it. He just broke his young daughter about two months ago and he’s already racing on Cup day. of the world.
Seven-time UAE champion coach Doug Watson will ride Golden Goal and Mubakker in his search for a third Godolphin Mile, while longtime Godolphin coach Saeed bin Suroor will be represented by the highly promising Storm damage and honest Dubai icon in his quest for an 11th victory in this race.
“Storm Damage won twice out of seven furlongs and showed a lot of speed,” he said. “Last time he won, I talked to Frankie [Dettori] and he told me, a mile is no problem for him. We are going to the dirt because I want to try him next year, to see if he could become a Dubai World Cup horse in 2023.”
The home team is completed by Desert Wisdom, the latest G3 Burj Nahaar winner from Ahmed Al Shemaili.
While a mile of dirt should be in the wheelhouse for the American contingent, only one American trainee – Todd Pletcher’s Coal Front – has walked the Godolphin Mile since moving from Nad Al Sheba to Meydan in 2010.
This year, it will be Steve Asmussen to fly the Star-Spangled Banner as he aims for a second victory at this meeting after Curlin’s success at the Dubai World Cup in 2008.
Asmussen finished fourth last year Sinclair snapper and the mercurial Bankit, who goes in search of his first victory at the stakes. While the coach has remained in the United States, Snapper Sinclair owner Jeff Bloom is among those making the daily pilgrimage to Meydan for pre-dawn work.
“He’s my favorite horse,” Bloom said. “I mean, how many horses can run and compete on the different distances and different surfaces he has?
“Steve Asmussen told me he was training incredibly well, so when the invite came we felt we had to come here and hopefully he can have a good trip.”
Japan are also treble with Yoshito Yahagi-formed Bathrat Lion and Daisuke Takayanagi’s Soloist Thunder joined by 2020 Saudi Derby winner Full Flat making a comeback after nearly two years on the sidelines.
Last year’s third Saudi Cup Great Scot lines up for Abdullah Mishriff, having finished second to 2022 Saudi Cup hero Emblem Road on his last start in January, while British List winner Pogo will be aiming to land a rare shot in the UK in this run for coach. Charlie Hills and jockey Kieran Shoemark.
Scheduled as the second race and first of the Thoroughbred contests, the Godolphin Mile is scheduled to jump at 4:20 p.m. local time.
Dubai Racing Club press release