De Kock – Ruling The World

Vercingetorix lands a seventh Al Rashidiya for trainer Mike de Kock under Christophe Soumillon (Pic: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins)

Vercingetorix lands a seventh Al Rashidiya for trainer Mike de Kock under Christophe Soumillon
(Pic: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins)

Mike de Kock, by far the most successful international trainer on Dubai World Cup Night with 12 wins, is well represented in the world’s richest raceday, on the final Saturday in March, with 72 nominations in eight of the nine races.

Vercingetorix, De Kock’s stable star, has been nominated for the $6-million Dubai Turf (formerly Dubai Duty Free), a race the South African won with Ipi Tombe (2003) and Right Approach, who shared the spoils with Paolini, 12 months later.

Vercingetorix had no answer in last year’s renewal when easily brushed aside by Japan’s Just A Way, a performance assessed by the International Handicappers as the best performance on a racetrack in 2014.

Vercingetorix made a winning comeback at Meydan last month, slamming his rivals in the Al Rashidiya, Group 2, and his first appearance since running third behind Designs In Rome in Group 1 company at Sha Tin last April.

This year’s Dubai World Cup Night, the 20th running, has attracted a star-studded cast, of the 20 highest-rated thoroughbreds in the world who remain in training 13 feature among the 2,142 nominations from 19 countries for the meeting, including the highest rated horses from Japan, Hong Kong, Great Britain and the USA.

California Chrome wins the Hollywood Derby

California Chrome

The $10-million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates, attracted 296 nominations made notable by the presence of the first seven over the line in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic which includes US Horse of the Year, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, California Chrome, UAE Derby winner Toast Of New York and Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist.

Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern attempts to give trainer Bob Baffert a third Dubai World Cup success following Silver Charm in 1998 and Captain Steve in 2001. Britain has a dismal record in the Dubai World Cup, Singspiel’s victory for Sir Michael Stoute in 1997, the sole highlight in a race Americans have historically dominated, winning nine of the 19 renewals. Their hopes rest with Toast Of New York, trained by Jamie Osborne. He has been installed the 5-1 favourite in the ante-post lists and will sport the silks of Qatar-based Al Shaqab, who purchased the four-year-old in a private deal last month. He’ll have the assistance of Frankie Dettori, the three-time Dubai World Cup winning rider.



De Kock has an impressive record in the $2-million UAE Derby, winning it on no less than five occasions, most recently with Musir in 2010. He looks to have leading contender in this year’s renewal with Mubtaahij, the winner of two of his three starts since switched to dirt after a couple of promising runs in Britain. He ran well in Thursday’s UAE 2000 Guineas, just failing to peg back Godolphin’s Maftool after a protracted duel between the pair up the Meydan home straight.

The Sheema Classic, over 2400m on turf, could see the first American winner of the race in the shape of Main Sequence, trained by 2013 Dubai World Cup winning trainer Graham Motion. He enjoyed an unblemished campaign last year, culminating in his victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.


Epiphaneia – highest rated horse in training

The Japanese are a formidable force on their international forays and they have nominated a strong team, bidding to add to their seven wins at Meydan.

The Katsuhiko Sumii-trained Epiphaneia, the highest-rated horse in training, holds a Dubai World Cup nomination for owners U Carrot Farm. It was Sumii who was responsible for the 2011 Dubai World Cup victory of Victoire Pisa and he is preparing his Japan Cup winner for another tilt at the world’s richest race, although the horse also holds nominations for the Dubai Sheema Classic and the Dubai Turf. Gold Ship, the Takarazuka Kinen star trained by Naosuke Sugai is also on the list from Japan, as is Derby winner, One and Only and 1000 Guineas winner, Harp Star who represent Japan’s 2014 Classic generation.

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