Abu Dhabi // Having risen from the handicap ranks to win the Group 1 Emirates Championship, Versac PY is now ready to tackle an even stronger field in the traditional opening race of the Dubai World Cup meeting, according to his trainer.
Ten runners have already been declared for the Kahayla Classic at Meydan Racecourse on World Cup night, and Erwan Charpy is hoping for an invitation from the Dubai Racing Club for the Arabian showpiece, which features a maximum field of 16.
"It would be very hard for a horse that has been improving with every race and having just won a Group 1 prize not to get an invite for this race," said Charpy, buoyed by his charge's victory in the Emirates Championship at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday.
"It is worth taking the chance of running Versac PY because he has shown remarkable improvement every time he raced. He has two weeks and that's enough time to get him back to a final race before the season ends."
According to Charpy, the turning point in Versac PY's career came when he was given to the stable's Emirati apprentice Abdulla Al Masoori to gain turf experience.
"Actually, it was quite funny when I think about it," said Charpy, the Frenchman. "I wanted to give our Emirati apprentice some experience to ride on the turf and told him to follow the two little thoroughbreds on their track work.
"Abdullah couldn't hold up Versac and he passed the two thoroughbreds. We had a good laugh, but that's when we first saw the potential on this horse. We trained him on the turf from there onwards and he took a liking to the surface.
"He didn't impress on his work when he arrived at the stable as a three year old. He had no action and we had to work on him one step at a time.
"This season he has been a revelation."
Richard Hills has piloted the horse to three wins in his last three starts.
"Versac PY has just not stopped improving and has answered every challenge we have asked him over this kind of trip," said the veteran Englishman, who is retiring from racing after the World Cup meeting after riding in the UAE for the past 20 years.
"He has a turn of foot, stays well and tries hard."
Sunday's victory was the biggest in Versac PY's career and took his win total to seven, but all have come in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah while he finished second to Sarabella over a mile on the Tapeta at Meydan.
"Getting him back on the Tapeta is not a problem," Charpy said. "He has done some work in the early part of his training on it and has not shown any dislikes. He is versatile and handled both, the turf and the sand, equally well."
Charpy said Versac PY is one of the best Arabians he has trained and ranks him with Charh, who won the Emirates Championship in 2007.
"I loved this horse. He will always be one of my favourite Arabians," Charpy said.
"[Charh] rose from the handicap ranks - Versac PY has taken the same path. What I find so good about Versac is he travels well when he gets on the straight. He travels very easy and has the confidence. He is a lovely little horse.
"He is not big but has a big heart."