Market Rally ruled out of defence of $2 million UAE Derby at Dubai World Cup
The domestic defence of the UAE Derby became significantly weaker on Monday when Dhruba Selvaratnam ruled our Market Rally from the US$2 million (Dh7.3m) race at Meydan on Saturday.
Market Rally worked at Selvaratnam’s Jebel Ali Stables base on Thursday, when he picked up a stone bruise.
By Friday Market Rally was running a temperature of 103, which is around two degrees higher than an average thoroughbred.
Selvaratnam has been forced to medicate the three-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song and as such, has lost the battle to get his big hope to World Cup night.
“It is a real shame, as I thought he had a really good chance,” Selvaratnam said.
“We’ll put him away for a campaign here next year. He’s too young to be going to race in America or anything like that.”
Market Rally was among the favourites for the UAE Derby after he dominated what proved to be a very weak Al Bastikiya on Super Saturday three weeks ago.
Market Rally still looked very inexperienced that day but over the 1,900-metre distance he bettered the time of Polar River, who was just over two seconds adrift in the UAE Oaks over the same distance two days previously.
Polar River had won her first three starts by an aggregate margin of 31.25 lengths, but kept South African challenger Vale Dori at bay by only three quarters of a length.
Before the Oaks, Polar River had a tooth removed, which went some way to explaining her comparatively lacklustre performance in the fillies’ Classic.
Polar River underwent her final piece of work for the Derby on Sunday under Pat Dobbs, and it resulted in her regular partner confident of success.
“The last race people questioned her a little bit, but she didn’t stop, and we all knew she was coming back for this race.” Doug Watson, who is still to have a World Cup night winner, said.
“We had a couple of niggling problems before that race, but she’s done very well since then.
“After her work Pat came back with a huge smile on his face. She is ready. She is our best chance, and the best chance we have had since I have been training and she is the best horse I have had.”
Vale Dori had to give Polar River 4.5kgs in the UAE Oaks, and will have to once again in the Derby due to being bred in the southern hemisphere.
The UAE Oaks was Vale Dori’s first race since she won a Group 1 juvenile dirt contest at Argentina’s Palermo in May, and the trainer expects much better.
“She missed the first part of the Carnival after injury so we were delighted with her run in the UAE Oaks,” Mike de Kock said. “She has improved a lot since and should run a big race.”
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Updated: March 21, 2016 04:00 AM