De Kock’s runners in Dubai

Variety Club

Twice Horse of the Year – Variety Club in Dubai for the 2014 Dubai World Cup Carnival (photo: Liesl King)

26 international Group 1 winners among 228 headed for Dubai

The first international contenders have arrived at Meydan Racecourse ahead of the 2014 Dubai World Cup Carnival, which begins on Thursday January 9, 2014.

There are 26 international Group 1 winners among the acceptances for the three-month-long festival of racing, which concludes with the March 29, 2014 Dubai World Cup and carries combined prize money of more than US$37m.

Mike De Kock in Dubai

From South Africa, the new recruits for the four-time champion trainer Mike De Kock are the Durban July winner, Heavy Metal; South Africa’s champion three-year-old colt, Vercingetorix; 2012 Champions Cup winner, Master Plan and the champion miler, Variety Club.

De Kock, who claimed the Godolphin Mile with Soft Falling Rain last term, has a good record with former Aidan O’Brien-trained horses and two more are added to the ranks this year. Jersey Stakes winner, Gale Force Ten and International Stakes winner, Flying The Flag join the likes of David Livingston and Daddy Long Legs, who already bolster De Kock’s string. His globe-trotting Soft Falling Rain, now rated 122, will be back, as will the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint-winning Shea Shea while The Apache, the 2013 Dubai Duty Free runner-up, also contests the new season.

…more arrivals

Newmarket-based Italian handler, Marco Botti, brings an extended string to contest the Dubai World Cup Carnival this year. His runners include last season’s Group 2 Dubai City of Gold winner, Jakkalberry, this year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup fifth, Dandino and recent Group 1 Prix Royal Oak winner, Tac De Boistron. Botti’s string is also strengthened by the new additions of Australian Group 1 winner, Linton who comes to Dubai following his Hong Kong Mile run and four other Brazilian prospects belonging to Dubai World Cup-winning owner, Stefan Friborg’s Estrela Energia.

Six from Andrew Balding’s Park House Stables will make the trip, with Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes victor Side Glance chief among them. Former international footballer, Michael Owen’s Brown Panther also travels to Dubai following his Melbourne Cup run for trainer, Tom Dascomb, while Meydan stalwart, Mike de Kock comes armed with a string bristling with Group 1 winners.

Ed Dunlop’s tough galloper, Red Cadeaux, the 2013 Dubai World Cup runner up, has been accepted for another trip to Dubai. He will be joined by the three-time Canadian International winner, Joshua Tree and Red Avenger.

Dunaden, last see finishing third in the 2013 Hong Kong Vase has also been accepted alongside 2012 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and French 1000 Guineas heroine, Flotilla for trainer, Mikel Delzangles.

Richard Hannon Junior, who takes over the training reins from his father, the English Champion Trainer, Richard Hannon Senior in January, brings four including 2013 Topkapi Trophy winner, Producer while Charlie Hills has entered Dewhurst Stakes runner-up, Cable Bay.

Full list of runners:

(This is a working list and is subject to change released by the Dubai Racing Club)

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