DUBAI // Mike de Kock’s Dubai World Cup hope Bold Silvano has been scratched from the US$10 million (Dh36.7m) race after pulling up lame following his final gallop on Sunday.
The comfortable winner of the Group 3 Al Maktoum Challenge Round Two was not declared for the big race yesterday.
He is the second high-profile horse to pull out of a World Cup day contest after Snow Fairy, Ed Dunlop’s Guineas and Oaks heroine, was withdrawn from the Dubai Sheema Classic.
Bold Silvano, who was to be the mount of Christophe Soumillon, the Belgian jockey, put in a scintillating final session before the big race but was later found to be lame in a hind leg. He had been installed as second favourite for the World Cup after Twice Over cruised home in his prep race, the Al Maktoum Challenge Round Three, when ridden by Tom Queally.
Bold Silvano won the Durban July, a Grade 1 race, in South Africa last year but had not enjoyed a trouble-free run-up to the World Cup.
He suffered from sore feet following his outing in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round Two. His second prep race, the third round of the race series, was cancelled and he was rested for a few days before De Kock brought him back into training.
As recently as Sunday morning the handler had been confident that his charge was back to his best, saying he was “flying” before the latest disappointment struck.
De Kock, the most successful international trainer at the Carnival, is yet to win a World Cup. He has come close in the past, claiming second by a nose with Lizard’s Desire last year and was the runner-up to Curlin with Asiatic Boy, his UAE Triple Crown winner, in 2008.
Though he has suffered a disappointment the trainer is not left without a chance this year.
Such is the strength in depth at the South African’s yard that De Kock will saddle Musir, his 2010 UAE Derby winner, as well as Golden Sword, the 2009 English Derby horse, who was confirmed as a runner yesterday.
Golden Sword, a former inmate at Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle yard, has been a revelation for De Kock this season, winning twice and running second on his seasonal debut.
With Bold Silvano ruled out, Soumillon is expected to opt for Musir as his partner in Saturday’s showpiece with Kevin Shea on Golden Sword.
De Kock told the Racing Post: “He [Bold Silvano] worked very well yesterday but seems to have tweaked or pulled something. We cannot actually put our finger on it immediately but it is enough to rule him out.
“It is a great shame as he is a genuine World Cup horse. It has not been easy with him this season but we will be back next year.”
As well as his World Cup hopes, De Kock also has chances in other World Cup day races. His team boasts a number of excellent fillies this season who have dominated their races.
Among them are Raihana, the 2010 UAE Derby runner-up, as well as River Jetez, the 2009 Durban July winner and this season’s Group 2 Balanchine victor, who both contend the Dubai Duty Free.
Reem, winner of the Listed Al Bastakiya this term, could spring a surprise in the UAE Derby, but will have to beat Mahbooba, De Kock’s 1000 Guineas winner. That is not inconceivable as the second-string Reem got the better of her stable companion in the 1000 Guineas Trial on her seasonal debut.
The Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid-owned Zanzamar, a winner this season for De Kock, will also contest the Derby. Raihana and Musir worked on the main track at Meydan Racecourse yesterday with Soumillon in the irons of Musir.