Dubai: He goes by the name Sleepy Eyes Todd but put him on a racetrack and he behaves more like Wide Eyes Todd, as form watchers were happy to learn at the Meydan gallops the last couple of days.
A five-year-old son of Kentucky-based and Secretariat Stakes-winning stallion Paddy O’Paddy, Sleepy Eyes Todd has also been pleasing his handler Miguel Angel Silva as he prepped for Saturday’s $12 million Dubai World Cup.
Silva’s charge comes into the race on the back of a fifth-place finish to Mishriff in the $20 million Saudi Cup at Riyadh on February 20.
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He was a 66/1 long-shot on that occasion, but international bookmakers were impressed by what they saw in him and offer him as a best-price 8/1 chances for the Dubai showpiece.
After Silva’s ‘horse of a lifetime’ returned to the international quarantine barn in peak order following his final breeze on Tuesday, the Mexican expat handler said: “He did a two-minute mile and finished the last half very strongly. He went beautifully. I really liked it. Today was the last day of working. From now on, we just wait for the big race.”
Sleepy Eyes Todd has already visited several racecourses during his career and has been ridden many jockeys.
However, Silva keeps the faith with Alexis Moreno who was on board during the Saudi race where Sleepy Eyes Todd got squeezed up early and raced towards rear of midfield for most of the trip. He kept on well under pressure but could not match the first four home for speed.
“He likes to travel,” Silva said. “Alexis will ride the horse for us on Saturday. In nearly every single race, Sleepy Eyes Todd has had a different jockey. We want somebody who knows the horse and how he likes to be ridden. Moreno just won the big race a couple of days ago in Saudi. He’s a great jockey.”
Silva describes Sleepy Eyes Todd as “a beautiful sound horse”.
“He is easy to manage. He lets you have fun. At the end of the day we are in this business to have fun. This kind of horse gives you all that,” the 45-year-old Mexican told the Paulick Report earlier this year.
Prior to 2021 Silva had amassed 722 wins from 4,209 starters. Thanks to Sleepy Eyes Todd, he had his best earnings year in 2020.