x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Overdose out to impress away from Hungary

Hungarian super horse Overdose, known back home as The Budapest Bullet, has made the trip to Dubai in fine and fit fashion.

Overdose is undefeated back in Hungary, where he horse is known as The Budapest Bullet and was voted the country's sports person of the year.
Overdose is undefeated back in Hungary, where he horse is known as The Budapest Bullet and was voted the country's sports person of the year.

Connections of Hungary's star sprinter, Overdose, say their charge has arrived in Dubai in good form ahead of his quest to land a first international Group 1.

The seven year old, who has 16 wins from 19 starts, is so popular in Hungary that he was voted Sports Personality of the Year in 2008.

Yet although he has never lost a race in his home country, he is yet to claim an international contest at racing's top tier.

That is to say, he is yet to officially claim one.

In 2008, on his debut dip into international Group 1 waters, he was first across the line in the Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp.

Unfortunately, behind the front-running Overdose a drama was unfolding.

The stall of one runner, Fleeting Spirit, failed to open - some jockeys saw the false start flag, others did not, and when the race was rerun four hours later, Overdose was not surprisingly deemed too tired to compete.

Marchand d'Or claimed the rerun.

Now, although connections have not yet publicly identified a final target for the British-bred son of Starborough, a Group 1 sprint on Dubai World Cup night must be part of their plans.

Overdose's vet, Dr Zsolt Szmodits, who has been keeping a careful eye on the horse since his arrival in Dubai on Sunday night, said connections would be taking his UAE campaign one step at a time.

"He travelled perfectly," he said. "He has a good appetite and has not lost any considerable weight after his flight."

Szmodits said that Overdose, who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, won a Group 3 in Italy on his last start in November, had not lost any fitness during the Hungarian winter.

"He is in a very fit form because, fortunately, we have had a very mild winter in Hungary, so the trainer, Jozef Roszival, was able to work with him during the whole period. He was able to keep his summer coat."

Overdose was due to have his first foray outside the World Cup quarantine barn, where he is stabled, on Wednesday morning.

He is expected to go to the track during the allotted training time for quarantined runners.

Roszival and Overdose's owner, the steel magnate, Zoltan Mikoczy, will then use the horse's early training sessions in Dubai to formulate a plan of attack for the World Cup Carnival and a possible race on the big night.

"The date of the first race depends on the beginning of his training and the way he acclimatises," was all Szmodits would say.

Whatever race he ends up in, whether he stays on the turf for the Al Quoz Sprint or tries his hand at Tapeta for the Golden Shaheen, Overdose's progress in the desert will be closely followed by his legions of fans in Hungary and Germany.

"He is the most popular horse in Hungary, with his own fan clubs," Szmodits said. "He's got a very strong and individual personality. He's actually rather excitable, but in the good meaning of the word. Really, he likes just a few people, and those are the ones he allows to get close."


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