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Kip Deville – America’s best turf miler
by Geir Stabell / Globeform
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Kip Deville, the top turf miler in North America, is set to represent trainer Richard Dutrow Jr in the Dubai Duty Free (G1) on World Cup night.

Dutrow saddled Benny the Bull and Diamond Stripes for a double on the big day last year, and within hours he also won the Florida Derby (G1) with Big Brown, who went on to take the Kentucky Derby (G1). Dutrow has enjoyed an excellent run over the past three years, and Kip Deville has played no small part in his success.

But for the brilliant French filly Goldikova, Kip Deville would have been back-to-back winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). He beat the Irish trained Excellent Art to win the BC Mile at Monmouth Park in 2007, but had to settle for second behind Goldikova at Santa Anita last year. That was also en excellent run, in a career that so far has yielded 10 wins from 21 appearances. The most recent win came on Kip Deville’s last start, when he dominated a nine-runner field from start to finish in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) in Florida on February 1.

He was by far the most accomplished runner going into the event, but as the 9-furlong trip posed a slight question mark, he did not start favourite. Something that has become a bit unusual when Kip Deville comes to the races. It was a perfect comeback for the grey son of Kipling, and a nice way to bounce back from a disappointing run un the Hong Kong Mile (G1) in December. Kip Deville did not handle the right handed track at Sha Tin, and his trainer said after the race that “we need to spend less time in Hong Kong and more time in Dubai…”

Preparations for a crack at the Dubai Duty Free (G1), where Kip Deville will once more be asked to run further than a mile, his optimum, began there and then.

Prior to last year’s Breeders’ Cup, Kip Deville had been well below par in the Woodbine Mile (G1) in Canada, a race he won in 2007, but there were excuses that day. Kip Deville became upset on the journey to Toronto, and the ground came up too soft for him. A shipping solution that suits him has been ironed out, and there is little chance of encountering soft ground at Nad Al Sheba.

Kip Deville must be considered a leading contender for the Duty Free, though this distance is a bit further than he prefers, and he cannot expect to be handed what we call “a soft lead” on World Cup night. If he is, he may be hard to peg back.

Published: 2009-03-17 09:33:22

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