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One For The Meydan Black Book

Ageless galloper in the pink of health

A mainstay in top-level turf races on multiple continents, ageless David O’Meara trainee Suedois has taken his show, once again, on the road and lands in Dubai for the Dubai World Cup Carnival.

A nine-time winner from 47 starts, the soon-to-be 9-year-old has admirably held his form over the past five seasons, including victories in the Gr3 Prix de Meautry Barriere over 1200m in 2015, $1 million Gr1 Shadwell Turf Mile and Gr2 Boomerang Stakes over 1600m in 2017, and Gr3 Supreme Stakes over 1400m just four months ago.

The nearly black son of Le Havre literally landed in Dubai on Monday and entered quarantine.

“He likes seven furlongs to a mile,” O’Meara said. “I think the first race for him is on 2 January and we’ll look at those good handicaps for him. Later on, we’ll look at a race like the Gr2 Zabeel Mile. He’ll likely have three races between January and February.”

The inaugural running of the $175,000 Listed Meydan Challenge over 1400m will likely be the first target on opening night. Before the aforementioned $250,000 Gr2 Zabeel Mile on 20 February, the logical race in the interim would be the $250,000 Gr2 Al Fahidi Fort over 1400m. Two $175,000 handicaps fit his 110 rating during the DWC Carnival, including one over 1600m on 16 January and 1400m on 27 February. If his rating slips to 108 following his local bow, additional handicap opportunities present themselves.

The George Turner and Clipper Logistics-owned gelding was last seen in the public eye while preparing for the Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita, but reportedly developed a minor hoof infection within a day of the race. Returning from Stateside, he has been training well at his home base near York, UK. The French-bred enters the DWC Carnival having finished fourth or better in 17 of his previous 19 starts, including a triad of Gr1s. When last competing, he finished third in the 2019 edition of the Gr1 Shadwell Turf Mile on 5 October.

“He will be ready,” O’Meara concluded. “He’s an older horse and I wanted to keep him going through winter. He fits well into the races in Dubai.”

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