x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Dubai winners have presence at Royal Ascot this week

Ortensia starts things up for the group of Dubai World Cup winners who are campaigning at Royal Ascot this week.

Ortensia heads out for a gallop at Newmarket on Sunday. The Australian runner is one of several Dubai World Cup winners running at the Royal Ascot meet this week.
Ortensia heads out for a gallop at Newmarket on Sunday. The Australian runner is one of several Dubai World Cup winners running at the Royal Ascot meet this week.


Aidan O'Brien did not declare Daddy Long Legs for Tuesday's St James Palace Stakes on Sunday, which leaves four of Royal Ascot's seven Group 1 races this week set to be contested by Dubai World Cup night winners.

Godolphin's Opinion Poll, Ortensia, Krypton Factor and Cirrus Des Aigles should show English racegoers what a victory at the most lucrative night in racing is worth at the 300-year-old amphitheatre of Ascot Racecourse over the next five days.

Starting Tuesday when Ortensia bids to mine the same rich seam of success as four previous Australian raiders in the King's Stand Stakes, Dubai form will be sewed into the fabric of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Paul Messara, Ortensia's trainer, has flown halfway across the world in a bid to follow up wins in the five-furlong sprint by Scenic Blast (2009), Miss Andretti (2007), Takeover Target (2006) and Choisir (2003).

Messara was joined last week by Peter Moody, who will bookend the Australian challenge by saddling Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on Saturday, the final Group 1 race of the week.

Wednesday's action could feature Cirrus Des Aigles, the Dubai Sheema Classic winner, who is likely to be declared on Monday for the Prince of Wales's Stakes. Thanks to the gelding's subsequent victory in the Prix Ganay, Cirrus Des Aigles is officially the third highest-rated thoroughbred in the international classifications behind Black Caviar and Frankel, who stars Tuesday in the Queen Anne Stakes.

If declared, Corine Barande-Barbe's six year old will clash with So You Think, O'Brien's Australian star, who found Monterosso too good in the World Cup in March. Unfortunately Monterosso was not deemed ready to participate by Godolphin after his Meydan Racecourse exertions and will not take part in the 10-furlong contest where he would have also met Carlton House, who Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, gave to the Queen as a present.

The Queen has attended every single day of Royal Ascot since 1945, and Carlton House, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, bids to give her a 21st success at the Royal Meeting.

"I think some people might be under the misapprehension that her advisers are exaggerating when we say that she is really very knowledgeable about horses but we are not," said Stoute.

Godolphin's stables look bare of high-class talent this season, but Mahmoud Al Zarooni and Saeed bin Suroor's private battle for supremacy will continue in the Ascot Gold Cup on Thursday, when they saddle respectively Opinion Poll and Colour Vision.

Opinion Poll's class is without question, but after two defeats to Fitri Hay's Fame And Glory last season, it is Colour Vision, the latest to carry the royal blue silks after emerging from Mark Johnston's production line, who is the most exciting contender of the two.

And then comes Krypton Factor's date with Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee on Saturday.

Meydan's Tapeta form has taken a hit this year after the Dubai Golden Shaheen winner struggled to deal with the rain in Singapore when fifth in the International Sprint in May. Fawzi Nass's gelding could not get a grip on the lush turf at Kranji Racecourse. There are those beginning to ask questions of this season's form on Meydan's artificial surface after African Story and Daddy Long Legs also failed to build on their Dubai heroics.

African Story was only sixth in the Champions Mile in Hong Kong in May, having won the Godolphin Mile while the UAE Derby winner Daddy Long Legs was pulled up in the Kentucky Derby.

Just four years ago, not a single winner on Dubai World Cup night at Nad Al Sheba appeared at the Royal Meeting.

In 2009 Gladiatorus and Eastern Anthem represented Dubai by coming sixth in the Queen Anne Stakes and fifth in the Gold Cup respectively. A year later Joy and Fun followed up his win in the Al Quoz sprint by injuring himself in the King's Stand Stakes, and Calming Influence made little impression in the Queen Anne Stakes having won the Godolphin Mile.

Only Rewilding has won at both meetings in recent times, after last year's defeat of So You Think in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes built on his win in the Sheema Classic.

Meydan was opened in 2010 with the intention of bringing the world's best to Dubai. The racecourse looks to have now returned the favour.


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