In The Spotlight Gets Second Chance To Shine At Dubai World Cup Carnival

Ryan Moore Reunited With Indian Star

Indian racing star, In The Spotlight, gets her second chance to shine on Meydan’s turf tomorrow (Thursday) as she contests the 2810m Classifieds Handicap at the fifth Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting, sponsored by Gulf News.

The mare, a six-time Classic winner in India, had her first Meydan outing on January 17, finishing fourth after a plucky effort which saw her briefly take the lead 300m out before giving way to the Godolphin pair, Anatolian and Ahzeemah and the Mike de Kock charge, Star Empire.

Finishing less than a length from the winner over that 2400m trip, In The Spotlight’s part owner, Zavary Poonawalla is hopeful his high profile galloper can step it up a gear tomorrow.

“It was a gallant performance but if I’m honest I was a little disappointed,” he said.

Poonawalla, a well-respected Indian owner and breeder, who bred In The Spotlight, enjoyed success at the Dubai World Cup Carnival in 2007 with dual winner and In The Spotlight’s half-brother, Mystical.

“Without a doubt In The Spotlight ran an admirable race, but I was hoping for a little bit more. I think that between the success of Mystical and my own desire to really put Indian racing on the map, I had hoped that she would win first time up,” said Poonawalla who purchased In The Spotlight’s sire, Alnasr Alwasheek from Dubai’s Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the owner of Jebel Ali racetrack.

Poonawalla, who shares ownership of the mare with Captain Jamshed Appoo, is realistic about the difficulties that she faces in making a name for herself among international company.

“She was running for the first time in 107 days and she was on her first international run,” he said. “She is on her own in a barn here in the quarantine centre and she trains on the track on her own in her 4am quarantine slot and I think that at first she was a little lonely as she is used to the hustle and bustle of her barn in India.

“This time she has the benefit of a local run under her belt and we also suspect that she will get better with the extra distance.”

In The Spotlight benefits from the services of three-time British Champion jockey, Ryan Moore, the man who also steered Mystical to victory in Dubai in 2007.

Moore, who was in the irons on January 17 has once again flown in especially to partner the Indian star.

“Ryan is riding her again,” said Poonawalla. “He was not unhappy with her race last time, but like us he will be looking for her to step up this time.”

In The Spotlight is to be campaigned with a berth in the Dubai World Cup day US$1million Group 3 Dubai Gold Cup, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors as her target and connections will then consider a trip to England for the mare where she will be conditioned by top British trainer, Sir Henry Cecil.