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Dubai World Cup

Dubai World Cup: Cape Blanco in focus
by Geir Stabell / Globeform
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Cape Blanco takes the highest Globeform rating into this year's Dubai World Cup, having produced GF 124 when running away with the Irish Champion Stakes (G1) last September.

The Aidan O'Brien trained colt had previously won the Dante Stakes (G2) at York in England and the Irish Derby (G1) at The Curragh beating Midas Touch over a mile and a half but outclassing top older horses in the 10-furlong Irish Champion Stakes represented even better form.

He turned what ought to have been a competitive affair into a procession and was visually most impressive. Cape Blanco may have 'stolen the race' somewhat, however, as he went off in front and soon held a clear lead, though he was setting a good pace, and he kept on really strongly in the straight. Rip Van Winkle got closest to him, but not very close he was beaten 5 lengths. Twice Over, who had been second to Rip Van Winkle in the International Stakes (G1) in England, was only a nose behind him in third on this day. A day that truly belonged to Cape Blanco, one of the best three-year-olds in Europe last season. He went for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) in Paris in October but a combination of soft ground and added distance may have contributed to a dull performance at Longchamp he finished unplaced, beaten around 20 lengths by the winner Workforce.

One point worth making is that Cape Blanco ran way below form also when sent across to France for the Prix du Jockey Club (G1) the French Derby at Chantilly back in June, and it was suggested at the time that he had travelled badly across from Ireland. If he is a bad shipper, then that must be a worry as he goes for the World Cup on his seasonal debut.

Dubai based Mrs Fitri Hay recently purchased a share in Cape Blanco, and thus has an interest in one of the leading contenders. The World Cup distance is perfect for him and Cape Blanco's prominent running style should make him suited to Meydan, though this will be his first start on an artificial track.

His sire, the highly successful Galileo, won the Derby (G1), Irish Derby (G1) and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) and was beaten just a head by Fantastic Light who he had beaten in the 'King George' in a thrilling finish to the Irish Champion Stakes (G1) in 2001. Galileo has also sired other champions in New Approach, Rip Van Winkle, Red Rocks and Soldier Of Fortune, and his son Frankel, an oustanding juvenile last year, is currently favourite for both the 2,000 Guineas (G1) and Derby (G1) in England.

Cape Blanco's dam, Laurel Delight, was a sprinter and also a half-sister to the top class sprinter Paris House. A daughter of Presidium, Laurel Delight earlier produced the smart US turf runner Mr O'Brien winner of the one mile Kelso Stakes (G2) at Belmont and the 9-furlong Dixie Stakes (G2) at Pimlico as a five-year-old, when he was also placed in Grade Ones over 10 and 11 furlongs.

Published: 2011-03-22 08:56:13

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