Dubai: Tom Queally is keeping calm ahead of a race that could provide him with the biggest win of his career, even as the odds continue to shorten on the favourite that he rides in Saturday's $10 million (Dh36.7 million) Group One Dubai World Cup.
"The key is to keep everything under control and not to get carried away," the 27-year-old Irish jockey told Gulf News after completing a routine piece of work yesterday morning on Twice Over, the 2/1 market-leader with most leading English bookmakers.
"You have to look at it like it's any other race and disregard the hype. His work has been good and he hasn't missed any either. He's in very good heart.
"He's happy here and I think that's the main thing. I don't look at the World Cup any differently to any other race — the same rules apply."
Leaps and bounds
Twice Over, who is trained in England by the legendary Sir Henry Cecil, is attempting to win the race at the second attempt after being beaten just over three lengths 12 months ago.
Queally was on board on that occasion and recalled the day. "He was drawn wide and got bumped early. But he still ran a big race to finish tenth," said the jockey.
"He has thrived ever since and has improved in leaps and bounds. He's tightened up physically and gives you a good feel."
Twice Over underlined his credentials as the World Cup favourite after posting a smashing two-and-three-quarter length victory over last year's UAE Derby winner Musir in his prep, Round Three of the Al Maktoum Challenge three weeks ago at Meydan Racecourse.
"He did that nicely and quickened as well as he's ever done," added Queally. "He has a good laid back character and is taking all in his stride. He'll have another piece of work on Friday, when Mr Cecil arrives and hopefully that will take him to the race in one hundred per cent condition.
"We just need him to step forward and run his race."
On a more personal level Queally, whose big race wins include the Eclipse Stakes, Yorkshire Cup and Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, said he would love to by lifting the glittering World Cup.
"It's a very prestigious race and every jockey wants to win it," he said, keeping his emotions well under check. "It will be a feather in anyone's cap and I certainly want to be aboard the winning horse come Saturday."
Twice Over is owned by Saudi Arabia's Prince Khalid Abdullah.