Robert Garner
1 minute read
29 Mar 2014
7:00 am

SA horses can clinch world’s richest race

Robert Garner

The world's richest race meeting will be run at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai today – and South African horses have outstanding chances in several of the nine races, which collectively carry prize money of $27.25 million (R285m).

DUBAI GLORY. Cape Town trainer Joey Ramsden with his champion five-year-old Variety Club at Mike de Kock's stables in Dubai. Ramsden hopes Variety Club will win the $1-million Godolphin Mile tonight. Picture: Supplied.

The $10-million Dubai World Cup, the richest race in the world, is the topliner – and last year’s Investec Epsom Derby winner, Ru-ler of the World, is dominating the ante-post betting.

Trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brian, Ruler of the World jetted in this week and made his first public appearance doing a light workout yesterday morning. He’s the class runner in the race, but it will be no surprise to see South African challenger Sanshaawes give him a run for his money.

Sanshaawes, one of South African champion trainer Mike de Kock’s eight runners at the meeting, is facing a tough test, but he’s fit and loves the Meydan synthetic track on which the Dubai World Cup run.

De Kock, the leading international trainer at Dubai World Cup with nine victories since 2003, had two winners at last year’s meeting – Soft Falling Rain and Shea Shea – and both are set to win the same races again.

Soft Falling Rain runs in the $1-million Godolphin Mile, in which South Africa will also be represented by trainer Joe Ramsden’s charge Variety Club, and Shea Shea will be in action in the $1-million Al Quoz Sprint.

De Kock also has a big chance of winning one of the major races at the meeting – the $5-million Dubai Duty Free – with his South African-bred challenger Vercingetorix, who has won all six of his career races.

Vercingetorix didn’t have great luck in the ballot for starting gate positions and drew No 11, but De Kock is optimistic his charge will run a big race.

The Dubai race meeting will be shown live in all TABs and on SuperSport Select SA from 3.30pm.

There’s also a major race meeting at Turffontein today headed by the R2-million SA Classic.