COOLMORE’S MULTIPLE Group One winner Kew Gardens is expected to head a strong Ballydoyle contingent that is Dubai bound, according to conditioner Aidan O’Brien. The 5yo Galileo horse is set to make his 2020 debut in the $1.5 million Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup after ending his 2019 season in style with a dramatic defeat of Europe’s classiest contemporary stayer Stradivarius in the Group 2 British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on 19 October. With six wins from 17 starts, the O’Brien trainee has faced and beaten many of Europe’s best, winning over distances from 1600m to 3000m. In a busier campaign at three, the strong son of Galileo showed his affinity for stamina tests by capturing his first Group One victory in the Grand Prix de Paris and later a Classic, the Group 1 St Leger over Dee Ex Bee, Old Persian and Loxley.
In the Dubai Gold Cup, he will likely face a formidable field, including Godolphin’s defending champion and 2018 Group 1 Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter, as well as Call The Wind, Mekong and Charlie Fellowes’ Prince Of Arran, who all defeated said Godolphin colour bearer in last month’s Longines Turf Handicap in Saudi Arabia. Dubai World Cup Carnival runner Spanish Mission, as well as the locally based quartet of Dee Ex Bee, Ispolini (runner-up in 2019), Mountain Hunter and Secret Advisor are also all under strong consideration. “I’m very happy with Kew Gardens,” O’Brien said. “It’s more possible at the moment that he’ll go for the two mile race. He was at Dundalk recently for a piece of work and we’re very happy with him.” Ballydoyle could have a handful of others coming for the Dubai World Cup card races, including Group 1 Investec Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck and globetrotting star mare Magic Wand.
“Anthony Van Dyck and Fleeting are likely for the $6 million Group 1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic and Magic Wand has come out her unplaced finish in the Saudi Cup very well and the plan at the moment is that she will go in the $6 million Group 1 Dubai Turf. “I’m not sure if Sergei Prokofiev will get into the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, but he will likely go if he does. I’m waiting to see who is accepted into the $2.5 million Group 2 UAE Derby, but plan to be represented in that.”