American trainer Bill Mott, who saddled Cigar to glory at Nad Al Sheba in 1996, is planning an audacious raid on the Dubai World Cup with Royal Delta, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.
Royal Delta aimed at Dubai World Cup tilt
Royal Delta went through the Keeneland sales four days after her success at Churchill Downs last month and was picked up by Ben Leon's Besilu Stables for US$8.5m (Dh31.2m) after the dispersal of Saud bin Khaled's Palides Investments.
The three year old will bid to become the first filly to win the world's richest race. To The Victory, trained by Yasutoshi Ikee of Japan, finished the best of the six fillies to have tried after chasing home Captain Steve at Nad Al Sheba in 2001.
"We're pointing for that [Dubai World Cup]," said Leon. "We'll see how she'll do between now and a preparation race that will take place when Mr Mott thinks it's the right time and the right place and the right race for her.
"If all the stars align themselves for that, then we intend to run there, yes."
Mott, who won the inaugural World Cup with Cigar in 1996, was looking forward to returning to the UAE once again.
"It's difficult to top what she's already accomplished, but I won't say it can't be done," he said. "It's going to be a big challenge for us to do well for her and for her new owner again next year."
Joining Mott at Meydan Racecourse on March 31 could be Singapore trainer Steven Burridge, who intends to bring a string of four horses to race at the Dubai World Cup carnival which starts on January 5.
Burridge, who lies third in the Singapore trainers' championship, will bring over Ip Man, Captain Obvious, Apache Crown and Dark Matter. The quartet will be looked after by Mick Lockett, who helped Michael Freedman saddle Better Be The One to finish third to fellow Singapore raider Rocket Man in the Dubai Golden Shaheen in March.
"It has been something I've been looking at for quite a while," Burridge said of his maiden trip to Dubai. "While I've got the opportunity to take some nice horses over, and the owners are happy to go, then it is worthwhile having a shot at.
"I'll be guided by how they perform as to how long they will stay. If they show good enough form they might stay all the way through to World Cup night otherwise they can come home."
All four horses will have a run at Singapore's Kranjii Racecourse this week, with Ip Man running on Friday, while the other three will race on Saturday.