Dubai: From a Meydan specialist to big-race disappointment, life will come full circle for Satish Seemar’s North America when he lines up to contest the $1 million Godolphin Mile on Dubai World Cup day next Saturday.
A big hit with the local racing fan ever since he made a stunning UAE debut at Meydan in November 2016, when storming home an eight-length winner of his maiden, North America has steadily built up a huge fan following.
He has posted seven decisive victories from 13 starts, including two in the prestigious Al Maktoum Challenge series, and has contested two successive Dubai World Cups where he may not have performed up to expectations. For whatever reason.
Now, he will return to the Godolphin Mile, a race that he contested as a five-year-old in 2017 where he would finish 10th to Second Summer.
That was three years ago. A lot of water has flown under the bridge since and the strapping son of Dubawi remains as competitive a performer as he ever was at the age of eight.
Owned by Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic, North America recently contested the $20 million Saudi Cup in Riyadh where he did not enjoy the best run and trailed in last but one.
Seemar, nonetheless, has not lost faith in his stable flagbearer’s ability and is hoping for the real North America to turn up at Meydan next weekend. “Everybody knows North America and what he is capable of,” he said.
“He hurt himself during Round 1 of the Al Maktoum Challenge at Meydan (Jan 9) where a sharp object pierced a leg. That obviously compromised his chances because he still ran a big race and finished a very close third behind Kimbear and Secret Ambition.
We gave him time to recover, which he did, and we took him to Saudi where things did not go his way. He has since received an invitation to run in the Mile and has been in training for that race
“Without the incident, I believe that he would have won that race,” added Seemar.
“We gave him time to recover, which he did, and we took him to Saudi where things did not go his way. He has since received an invitation to run in the Mile and has been in training for that race. He is in good form and doing whatever is asked of him. So we’re hopeful. It’s going to be a very good race.”
North America is a 12/1 chance in the international betting markets behind the 3/1 favourite Salute The Soldier, an impressive 5 ½ length winner of the Group 3 Burj Nahar on Super Saturday, the lead-up race to the Godolphin Mile.
Other big names in the running are Capezzano, Mr Freeze, Muntazah, midnight Sands and Matterhorn.
Godolphin Mile (G1) 1,600m Dirt
Salute The Soldier 3/1, Capezzano 5/1, Mr Freeze 5/1, Muntazah 6/1, Midnight Sands 7/1, Matterhorn 8/1, Mozu Ascot 8/1, Mucho Gusto 10/1, Azelrod 12/1, Chiefdom 12/1, North America 12/1, Secret Ambition 12/1, Kimbear 14/1, Elusive State 16/1, Rodaini 16/1.