Spotlight On India As Star Mare Gets First International Start

In The Spotlight Faces 15 Rivals At Meydan

India`s highest-earning racehorse is in fine form ahead of her international debut in the Dubai World Cup Carnival tomorrow, according to part-owner, Zavaray Poonawalla.

In the Spotlight, who has so far won more than Dh3,3m and claimed six Indian Classic victories, takes to the turf tomorrow (Thursday) in the Dubai Duty Free Full of Surprises Handicap over 2410m. Three-time British champion jockey, Ryan Moore, who will ride her at Meydan was up at 330am on Tuesday to give the five-year-old a pre-race gallop during her quarantine slot at the main track.

“She had a lung opener this week under Ryan and he said he was pretty happy with her,” said Poonawalla. In The Spotlight is by Alnasr Alwasheek, a stallion Poonawalla purchased from Jebel Ali Racecourse patron, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

“Ryan feels that she is fit and she`s looking well and he did enough with her to have her ready for the race tomorrow, we are hoping that she can prove herself on the international stage tomorrow. “

Poonawalla, who bought a share in the mare recently, said he had been tracking the progress she made under her trainer, S Padmanabhan, in the hope that she could rival the success of Indian dual Dubai World Cup Carnival winner, Mystical.

“I have been hoping to have a horse to succeed in Dubai since the success of Mystical,” said Poonawalla. “I have been breeding horses for many years and it gives me great satisfaction to breed a winner like In The Spotlight. If she wins tomorrow then that would definitely be a highlight of my involvement in racing.”

If she gives a good account of herself tomorrow the plan is to campaign In The Spotlight for the Dubai World Cup day Group 3 Dubai Gold Cup.