DUBAI, UAE: Group 1 Emirates Airline Jebel Hatta winner Lord Glitters is among a 34-strong contingent of horses who arrived in Dubai on Jan. 5 to quarantine ahead of the Dubai World Cup Carnival set to take place this weekend.
Lord Glitters, who is likely to begin his Dubai campaign in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya on Jan. 21, was joined on the flight from the UK by his David O’Meara-trained stablemate Summerghand, winner of 13 races, including the Group 3 Abernant in April. Also returning, this time for a fourth attempt, is the David Marnane-trained Freescape, who is part of a four-strong Irish contingent, with the Ado McGuinness-trained pair of Harry’s Bar and Pierre Lapin joined by 3-year-old JJ Jumbo for trainer Darren Bunyan.
As well as returning heroes, this year’s Carnival, which begins on Friday, Jan. 14, will welcome several trainers to Meydan Racecourse for the first time. These include Newmarket-based handler Alice Haynes, who sends over a pair of 3-year-olds, Freyabella and Mr Professor. Up-and-coming trainer Amy Murphy will also saddle her first Dubai runner when Abalone Pearl makes her UAE debut, while Heather Main will be represented by 11-time winner Highland Brave, contender for the staying races.
France will also once again be well represented, with Carnival-winning trainer Nicolas Caullery sending over Batwan and Pia Brandt bringing the filly Pessemona. Henri-Francois Devin has two in Dubai: Wild Majesty and Listed winner Integrant. The current French contingent is completed by Manjeer, trained by Carina Fey, and Pevensey Bay, trained by Hiroo Shimizu.
The newcomers join around 20 Carnival horses already based at Meydan’s extensive stabling complex. Stephanie Cooley, international liaison for the Dubai Racing Club, is delighted at the turnout.
“We’re very happy to have such a strong bunch of Europeans here in Dubai in time for the first Carnival meeting on Jan. 14,” she said. “They join those already here, which include horses from Sweden, Norway and Uruguay. We have more flights scheduled over the next couple of weeks, including from the US, bringing a team for Doug O’Neill, as well as Australia and Argentina.”
The Dubai World Cup Carnival runs for eight meetings, with $7.5 million in prizemoney up to and including Super Saturday on March 5. The prestigious Dubai World Cup fixture, worth $30.5 million across nine races, takes place on March 26.