Duty Free Hopeful, Vercingetorix Attempts to Maintain Unbeaten Record

De Kock Charge Could Land Fourth Victory for Trainer in $5m Turf Race

As always the $5million Group 1 Dubai Duty Free, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free, is one of the strongest races on the Dubai World Cup card and 13 are set to face the starter in the 1800m turf feature.

Super Saturday’s Group 1 Jebel Hatta, over the same course and distance, was won by Vercingetorix (SAF), trained by South African, Mike De Kock who has won the race three times – including with Right Approach who famously dead-heated in the 2004 renewal.

Unbeaten after six career starts, De Kock’s charge has looked a potential superstar but his trainer urges a note of caution. He said: “We basically do not know how good he is or how much more he can improve. He is a lazy horse at home and, on the track, he wins his races with the minimum effort.

“Basically, Saturday is his toughest task to date and should answer a few questions. A lower draw would have been preferable but we are really looking forward to running him against the likes of The Fugue.”

Stable companion, Anaerobio (ARG), third in the Jebel Hatta three weeks ago, appears to have a fair bit to find.”

The UK are well represented and The Fugue (GB), originally thought to be a Dubai World Cup candidate but switched to this contest last weekend, looks guaranteed to run a big race.

Trained by John Gosden for Andrew Lloyd-Webber, she is the mount of William Buick and therefore represents the same connections as Dar Re Mi, winner of the 2010 Dubai Sheema Classic.

Gosden said: “She had two easy days when she arrived and did a piece of steady work Thursday as she will Friday. I’m very happy with her. It was always the plan to keep her in training at five so hopefully she can vindicate that decision.”

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Dank (GB), a dual Group 1 winner in America last year, has also reportedly settled in well and David Simcock, trainer of a third English challenger, Trade Storm (GB) is also happy with his charge.

He said: “He did his last serious work on Wednesday and went nicely. The turf has taken the rain very well and they were flicking the top off, but it was a sound, firm footing underneath.”

Tasaday (USA) and Hunter’s Light (IRE) both represent Godolphin and Saeed bin Suroor. Favourite when disappointing in last year’s Dubai World Cup, Hunter’s Light is a Group 1 winner on both turf and all-weather.

His trainer said: “The 1800m is going to really suit him and we know he has improved a lot from his one previous run this season. He did a really pleasing piece of work on Sunday and I am very happy with him.”

Tasaday won her second 2014 Dubai World Cup Carnival outing, the 2000m Dubai Millennium Stakes and her trainer said: “She showed a touch of class that day and will be fine over 1900m but it does look a strong renewal.”

Japan is particularly well represented with three runners, of whom Just A Way (JPN), looks the leading light. He beat subsequent Japan Cup heroine and Dubai Sheema Classic hopeful, Gentildonna in last year’s Group 1 Tenno Sho and won his prep race nicely earlier this month.

His trainer, Naosuke Sugai said: “He had a nice, strong gallop on Wednesday and we were very pleased with him. We are very happy with our draw in two.
“All being well, he will run a very good race on Saturday as everything has gone to plan so far.
Compatriot, Logotype (JPN), also galloped on Wednesday, pleasing his trainer, Ttsuyoshi Tanaka who said: “He did a lot of strong work before we left Japan and arrived in Dubai so we have not been too hard on him here. He has done everything asked of him comfortably and has enjoyed a good preparation.”

Tokei Halo (JPN) also represents his homeland, giving them a strong looking hand.

Hong Kong’s Blazing Speed (GB), trained by Tony Cruz, has been pleasing his trainer and did his last fast piece of work on the all-weather surface on Wednesday.
Cruz said: “We are very pleased with him and things have gone smoothly. Wednesday’s gallop was his last serious one and he is fit and ready to race so it will just be light exercise between now and the race.”

Mshawish (USA), from France, is another to have won at the 2014 Dubai World Cup Carnival. Trained by Mikel Delzangles, he will be ridden by Frankie Dettori and looks well berthed in stall one.