With Antonio Fresu in the saddle, Hot Rod Charlie looked in fine fettle as he went through his final preparations ahead of next Saturday’s Dubai World Cup at Meydan.
The American three-year-old went through his final breeze by Fresu on Saturday morning on the famous dirt track. The Doug O’Neill-trained colt seemed relaxed and in good shape as he went through the gears and — on Saturday in front of a packed Meydan crowd — he will bid to add his name to the long list of winners of one of the grandest prizes in global horse racing. Previous Dubai World Cup winners include Thunder Snow, American Pharoah, Curlin, Invasor and all the way back to Cigar in 1996.
Hot Rod Charlie will be up against the likes of rising American star Life Is Good in a likely field of 11 for the 26th running of the $12 million Group 1 showdown at Meydan Racecourse on March 26.
Grade 1 winner Hot Rod Charlie has been training in Dubai since January with O’Neill and who captured the G2 Maktoum Challenge Round 2 in his most recent start
Bob Baffert’s Country Grammer, and the Steve Asmussen-trained Midnight Bourbon are also expected to contend.
Also in the international line-up is twice Uruguayan champion Aero Trem, Chuwa Wizard — second in the Dubai World Cup last year — and Godolphin’s Magny Cours.
There are two UAE-based runners, Hypothetical and Remorse, who finished first and second respectively in the G1 Maktoum Challenge Round 3 last time out, while the sole UK raider is the William Haggas-trained Grocer Jack.