Prep confirmed for Cal Chrome as World Cup noms announced
California Chrome, the 2014 Horse of the Year trained by Art Sherman, heads a strong list of American nominees for the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1). The five-year-old, who brings with him a huge fan base, is already stabled in Dubai Racing Club's quarantine facility ahead of his prep run in the Dubai World Cup Carnival. The National Sport reported Tuesday evening that California Chrome will prep in a 2000-meter handicap on February 25.
"I want to run him in the handicap and not on Super Saturday because it gives us another week before the World Cup," assistant trainer Alan Sherman told the publication. "The World Cup will be his third race after a long layoff and I just think it suits our schedule better."
Keen Ice, the conqueror of Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh in the Travers (G1) last year, will be bidding for a second victory in the Dubai World Cup for his trainer, Dale Romans, who claimed the 2005 renewal of the world's richest race with Roses in May.
Another U.S.-based raider to have touched down in Dubai ahead of the big day is Godolphin's Wood Memorial (G1) winner, Frosted, who will be trained out of Godolphin's yard. His trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin, knows what it takes to win a Dubai World Cup having campaigned the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum-owned Invasor to the title in 2007.
Dortmund, the 2015 Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner trained by Bob Baffert, has also been nominated to the Dubai World Cup field. Baffert will be bidding for a third Dubai World Cup having tasted victory in 1998 with Silver Charm and 2001 with Captain Steve.
Set to oppose for South Africa is the Mike de Kock-trained Mubtaahij, the 2015 UAE Derby (G2) winner who will be out to create history by becoming the first UAE Derby winner to return the following year and win the Dubai World Cup.
The 2015 Champion S. (G1) winner Fascinating Rock, trained by Irishman Dermot Weld, is also among those nominated to the Dubai World Cup and, along with Dortmund, has the distinction of being the highest rated among the nominations for the race.
Argentina's champion horse, Hi Happy, holds three nominations including the Dubai World Cup, the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) and the UAE Derby (G1).
Solow, the highest-rated horse in training, is among the nominations in the $6 million Dubai Turf (G1). Conditioned in France by Freddy Head, Solow launched a sequence of five Group 1 victories in 2015 with his winning run in the Dubai Turf on Dubai World Cup Day and he will be back to defend his title on March 26.
Solow faces a challenge from multiple Grade 1-winning Japanese contender Maurice, who claimed the Hong Kong Mile (G1) for trainer Noriyuki Hori last month. Hori has also nominated the Japanese 2000 Guineas and Derby winner Duramente to three races on the big day: the Dubai World Cup, the Dubai Turf and the Dubai Sheema Classic. The Grey Gatsby, the 2014 Champion S. winner trained by Kevin Ryan, will renew his rivalry with Solow having finished runner-up in the Dubai Turf in 2015.
Also nominated to the Dubai Sheema Classic field is the Roger Varian-trained King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (G1) winner Postponed as well as Prix Saint-Alary (G1) victor Queen's Jewel, trained by Freddy Head.
Edward Lynam has nominated sprint star Sole Power to his sixth Dubai World Cup day where he is likely to defend his $1 million Al Quoz Sprint (G1) crown against Hong Kong speedball Peniaphobia, who was just a half-length second in the 2015 renewal of the 1000-meter race. Peniaphobia ended the year with success in the Hong Kong Sprint (G1).
A challenge will be laid down by Australian sprinter Buffering, a multiple Group 1 winner trained by Robert Heathcote.
Nominated to the 1200-meter $1 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) is 2014 winner and local hero Reynaldothewizard, who made a winning start to his 2016 Dubai World Cup Carnival campaign this month in the Dubawi S.