The "Duel in Dubai" between the Australian superstar thoroughbreds Black Caviar and Sepoy is now firmly on the cards after Black Caviar was entered in both the Dubai Golden Shaheen and the Al Quoz sprint.
Speculation has been rife about whether Peter Moody's unbeaten sprinter would stop off in the UAE on her way over to challenge at Royal Ascot in England and yesterday her name was down in both races when the declarations for the races on Dubai World Cup night closed.
The Golden Shaheen over 1,200m is the more likely target as the Victoria Racing Club offer a cash bonus for any horse that wins the Patinack Farm Classic and then goes on to win a Global Sprint Challenge (GSC) race the following year.
The Golden Shaheen was admitted into the GSC in November and the Wilkie family that own the world champion mare will receive AUS$600,000 (Dh2,289m) on top of the US$1.2m (Dh4.4m) if their charge prevails at Meydan Racecourse on March 31.
"She's the best sprinter the world has seen for many years and we are extremely pleased that Peter has chosen to enter her on the Dubai World Cup card," Martin Talty, the international manager for the Dubai Racing Club, said.
After 16 unbeaten runs in Australia the six year old was unveiled earlier this month as the second highest-rated thoroughbred in the world behind Frankel, the unbeaten miler.
Her most impressive performance in 2011 was her astonishing effort in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap in Melbourne, which she won by three lengths, easing down after giving weight to the cream of Australia's sprinters.
Overall last season she picked up six Group 1 races and is the highest-rated Australasian horse since the inauguration of the World Thoroughbred Rankings (WTR) in 2004.
Only Miesque and Pebbles, the European fillies who won at the Breeders' Cup in the 1980s, were ranked as high under the old classifications.
Black Caviar will bid to extend her run in the Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley a week tomorrow.
Sepoy, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was the top Australian juvenile colt and continued his improvement in 2011 with five wins, including two Group 1 races.
According to the WTR, he was the highest-rated three year old for eight years.
It is a sad time for Australian racing with the Melbourne Cup dominated completely in November by European horses.
But with So You Think also given an entry to the Dubai World Cup their three best horses in a generation are set to race outside the country. Connections of So You Think confirmed this week that the eight-time Group 1-winning horse had been given an entry to the world's richest race in which his trainer, Aidan O'Brien, saddled Cape Blanco to finish fourth behind Victoire Pisa last year.
Should So You Think make the line-up it would be the sixth country in which he has raced since leaving Australia for the 2011 European season.
After his fourth place in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris, So You Think added to his victories in Australia and Ireland with second place in the Champion Stakes at Ascot before finishing the season with a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Classic in November and is the early big-race favourite.
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