x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Animal Kingdom among Dubai World Cup hopes with chance to test their credentials

A host of contenders for the world's richest horse race – including Animal Kingdom, Helmet and Black Caviar – have outings ahead of the showcase at Meydan Racecourse next month.

Animal Kingdom, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, is one of the contenders for the Dubai World Cup.
Animal Kingdom, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, is one of the contenders for the Dubai World Cup.

A host of Dubai World Cup contenders have outings around the world today in preparation for the showpiece at Meydan Racecourse next month.

In the United States tonight, Graham Motion sends out Animal Kingdom, the Kentucky Derby winner, at Gulfstream Park in Florida as he steps up the colt's programme for the world's richest race after a long layoff.

Animal Kingdom won his first race on dirt when winning America's most famous contest last season and then followed up by finishing second in the Group 1 Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Despite Animal Kingdom's eight months off the track following a leg fracture in the Belmont Stakes, Motion believes his charge is in perfect condition ahead of his assignment on turf.

"I'm excited to get him back, and now that we've entered him I'm anxious," he said. "He's got three months of pretty solid foundation under him so I feel pretty good about where he's at."

The trainer also will run Lucky Chappy on the Tapeta track at Golden Gate Fields in California to tee up a bid for the UAE Derby next month.

Meanwhile, Helmet and Black Caviar limber up with outings at Melbourne's Flemington Racecourse this morning.

Black Caviar, the world's best sprinter, aims for her 19th consecutive victory in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes, the first leg of the Global Sprint Challenge, while Helmet, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, starts in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes.

Black Caviar comes back 400 metres in distance, having proved she can handle 1,400m a week ago when winning the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes by an easy three lengths.

"We all know it is not ideal circumstances being back to 1,000 but I am banking on her ability and that she has come through it in unbelievable condition due to the fact she had such a soft run," said Peter Moody, her trainer.

sports@thenational.ae