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Dubai World Cup

Duty Free: Await The Dawn in focus
by Geir Stabell / Globeform
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Dubai World Cup Day

Aidan O'Brien has not exactly been a frequent visitor to Dubai over the years, but he sent out Cape Blanco to finish fourth in last year's World Cup and the Master of Ballydoyle is aiming more horses for the big day this time. One of them, the Dubai Duty Free (G1) contender Await The Dawn, comes here with a winning chance. In fact, most of O'Brien's horses has a winning chance.

Await The Dawn is a high class 5-year-old who has raced no more than eight times in his career. He has won five races, and he is open to further improvement. That's a bit scary to his rivals, as Await The Dawn already has some solid achievements on his CV.

The Duty Free will be his first start of the year but that is probably nothing to worry about. This son of top stallion Giant's Causeway can get ready for a big run after a rest. He made an unusually strong seasonal debut last year, when cantering home by 4 ˝ lengths from Distant Memories in the Huxley Stakes (G3) over 10.5 furlongs (2100 metres) at the tight Chester racecourse in England, and he was to prove the form to be no fluke in the summer. Await The Dawn was sent to Royal Ascot in June, stepped up in class and looked even better; landing the Hardwicke Stakes (G2) over 1 ˝ miles with incredible ease. Await The Dawn dominated throughout the home straight and won the race as he pleased, outclassing the runner-up Harris Tweed (GB) by 3 lengths.

The sky seemed to be the limit for Await The Dawn after this excellent win, but difficult times were ahead. He was disappointingly “flat” when finishing only third of five behind multiple Group One winner Twice Over in the Juddmonte International (G1) at York in August, and came back a very sick horse after the race. A long break was needed. Reportedly at one point connections feared they would lose him, but Await The Dawn pulled through. He made a full recovery and returned to racing action in the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs last November. O'Brien's team won the race, with St Nicholas Abbey, but Await The Dawn failed to fire and could not contribute to what was a great day for the Irish stable.

He finished seventh of nine runners, trailing home over thirteen lengths behind the winner. This horse is better than that showing, much better, and he is clearly an interesting Duty Free contender. Most of his races have been over 10 and 12 furlongs (2000 – 2400 m.), however, and he would be best served by a strong pace in the Duty Free, which is run over 1800 metres.

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Published: 2012-03-21 05:32:02

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