Dubai World Cup hopefuls work the track at Meydan
Dubai World Cup hopefuls work the track at Meydan Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Godolphin homebred Mystic Guide, the ante-post Dubai World Cup (Group 1) favourite, was among several international contenders who worked at Meydan Racecourse on Monday morning ahead of this weekend’s big race.

Trainer Mike Stidham gave the four-year-old son of a son of multiple Grade 1 winners Ghostzapper and Music Note an easy exercise on Monday morning, one day after blowing out 600m down the Meydan stretch under jockey William Buick.

However, Mystic Guide, who will be bidding to give Godolphin a ninth win in the Dubai World Cup, will be piloted by Panama’s Luis Saez in the big race on Saturday.

Assistant trainer Ben Trask who has been overseeing his preparation said: “He just walked and grazed here today. He came out of the work in great shape.”

Mystic Guide headlines a likely field of 14 For this year’s 25th renewal of the Dubai Dubai World Cup.

Meanwhile, at Godolphin’s Dubai headquarters in Al Quoz, another stable hopeful was going through his paces under the watchful eye of nine-time Dubai World Cup winning trainer Saeed Bin Surour.

Gifts Of Gold, who is coming off an impressive win on grass in the Red Sea Turf Handicap at the Saudi Cup last month, is yet to win in five outings at Meydan.

But Bin Suroor was pleased with his recent form and said: “We are very happy with him, he will canter for the rest of the week and we are just hoping for a good draw now.”

Another interesting contender who was out on the Meydan gallops as early as 5am on Monday, was Jesus’ Team, the Pegasus World Cup Invitational runner-up.

Trainer Jose Francisco D’Angelo watched from the rail as his ward exercised over a turn and a half around the Meydan dirt track with his customary draw reins and blinkers applied.

“We went to the track with him very early, because I want him to know the lights when we’re going to run,” D’Angelo said. “It will be his first time running under the lights. Jesus did it perfectly.

“The horse is 100 per cent. He loves Dubai, the weather, the water and the environment. I think he’s ready with that last work at Palm Meadows over seven furlongs under his belt.”

Venezuela’s 2018 leading trainer, D’Angelo relocated to the USA in 2019 where he saddled his first local runner at Gulfstream Park during the summer of that year. In the spring of 2020, Jesus’ Team joined his stable and the pair travelled to many racecourse around the country, by truck.

However, this is the first time that the son of Kentucky stallion, Tapiture, was experiencing air travel on his way to Dubai.

D’Angelo said: “With Jesus, I’ve learnt a lot about travelling all over the United States, especially in the truck. Travelling on an aeroplane is very different, but he arrived well. I liked the experience.”

Other Dubai World Cup runners who also stretched their legs at Meydan were Al Maktoum Challenge (R3) scorer Salute The Soldier and two-time Meydan scorer Hypothetical, who also finished runner-up in the aforementioned race.

Latest odds

Dubai World Cup ($12 million)

Saturday, March 27 at Meydan, Dubai

Mystic Guide 5/2

Mishriff 3 (intended race Dubai Sheema Classic)

Charlatan 5

Tacitus 5

Military Law 11/2

Jesus’ Team 6

Maxfield 6

Salute The Soldier 6

Swiss Skydiver 13/2

Knicks Go 15/2

Chrysoberyl 10

Magny Cours 10

Hypothetical 12

Gamine 14