x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Dubai World Cup remains Danedream target

The Sheema Classic in March is on the agenda if the filly is cleared from quarantine following a swamp fever scare.

The results of an equine infectious anaemia test on January 1 will be crucial in determining Danedream's future.
The results of an equine infectious anaemia test on January 1 will be crucial in determining Danedream's future.

Connections of Danedream have once again confirmed that next year's Dubai World Cup meeting is firmly on the agenda but the filly faces a final test for equine infectious anaemia on January 1.

A horse tested positive for what is commonly known as swamp fever earlier this month, which resulted in the entire training centre around Cologne, Germany, being put under lockdown.

Around 400 horses were placed in quarantine for three months, which prevented Danedream from defending her title in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, won 18 days ago by Solemia.

"At the moment she is still in quarantine," Patrick Barbe, the racing manager to the part-owner Teruya Yoshida, said.

"She is due to be tested again and that is the critical day.

"After that, Mr Yoshida needs to decide whether to carry on with her in training, when Dubai would be an option, or to retire her to the breeding sheds."

Danedream's target at Meydan Racecourse in March would be the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic, run over 12 furlongs on turf, on World Cup night.

If the daughter of Lomitas did come to the UAE, she could run into the champion Cirrus Des Aigles and possibly The Fugue, who was among the pre-entries for next week's Breeders' Cup meeting at Santa Anita in California.

John Gosden's filly will face Ridasiyna, who won the Prix L'Opera at Longchamp on the Arc card, in the Filly and Mare Turf, while Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid will be represented by Nahrain, who went down narrowly to Perfect Shirl in the race last season when staged at Churchill Downs.

Godolphin appear to have the favourite of the Breeders' Cup Sprint, with Emcee, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, who has a strong hand in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic with Questing and an outside chance with Alpha in the Classic. The race of the meeting, however, could well be the Mile, in which Aidan O'Brien's Excelebration clashes with America's best miler, Wise Dan.

Excelebration is now rated as the second-best thoroughbred in the world alongside Cirrus Des Aigles after his impressive victory at Ascot in England on Saturday.

The triple Group 1 winner will also face the French raider Moonlight Cloud and Animal Kingdom, the former Dubai World Cup favourite, who has been off the track since February.

"I'm very happy with him," O'Brien said yesterday.

"He has shown top form on all types of ground - he is a very fast horse who has got stronger and quicker."

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