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Japan Cup Conditions Ideal For Dubai Graduate Jakkalberry

Jockey Colm O`Donoghue Talks Up Mount’s Chances

For most people on a winter break in Dubai, visits to the mall or beach are the order of the day.

For top Irish rider, Colm O`Donoghue, 4.30am starts, a busy schedule of track work and a few race rides are more his style.

The 32-year-old, who has ridden for Aidan O’Brien`s powerful Coolmore yard for the last 15 years, spent four days working for UAE trainer, Satish Seemar.

“I have been friends with Satish since I was a lad coming out to Dubai just for holidays,” said globetrotting O’Donoghue, who rode the then Aidan O`Brien-trained Daddy Long Legs to victory in last season`s UAE Derby.

“I would always ride out for him whenever I was in town and I`ve known Satish and his assistant, Bhupat, since he was assistant to Bob Baffert in the US.

“We have all been great friends for years and I’ve always enjoyed riding out of Satish`s yard. They started the season well and there is a buzz about the place.”

O`Donoghue also rode three races at Meydan Racecourse last night (Thursday) before making tracks to the airport to board a plane to Japan where his ride in Sunday`s US$6.5m race, Jakkalberry, is already waiting.

And the rider is relishing the prospect of renewing his partnership with the Marco Botti-trained 2013 Dubai World Cup Carnival prospect.

The pair were third in last month`s Melbourne Cup and O`Donoghue believes both the ground and the trip will suit his mount in Japan.

“I`m really looking forward to getting back on him,” he said of Jakkalberry who will be going down in trip to 2,400m from the Melbourne Cup`s 3,200m. “It`s a tough race with some of the best horses and I know that he’ll have to step up. But having said that everything about the place should be ideal for him.

“He`s a tough, genuine horse and I would say that he would love the conditions out there.”

The rider, who is set to return to Meydan Racecourse for January`s Dubai World Cup Carnival, said he was hoping to pick up some other plum rides for Botti who boasts an exciting string.

“I’ll be coming back to Dubai during the Carnival as Marco Botti said he should have some horses for me, so I`ll be looking forward to that,” said the jockey, whose book of rides could include Group 1 winners, Joshua Tree, the ex-Coolmore inmate who has claimed two Canadian Internationals, one for O`Donoghue, Crackerjack King, Planteur and interesting prospect Fattsota.

Thanks to his job with O`Brien, O`Donoghue has a unique insight into a number of other former Coolmore horses also set to contest the Dubai World Cup Carnival.
As well as Joshua Tree who runs out of Botti`s Newmarket yard, two other alumni from Ballydoyle are especially well-known to O`Donoghue.

His partner in the UAE Derby, Daddy Long Legs and Treasure Beach, on whom he claimed the 2011 Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes and the Group I Irish Derby now join Mike de Kock`s Blue Stables, having touched down last night.

“Daddy Long Legs obviously performed well here last season,” he said. “It depends how they adapt to the changes in climate and surface and how well they settle. They all have the potential to do very well and it will be interesting to see how they fare.”