A GROUP OF eight horses trained by Doug O’Neill led by Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby hero Hot Rod Charlie is being aimed at the ongoing Dubai World Cup Carnival (DWCC) at Meydan. The octet’s preparations will be overseen by assistant trainer Leandro Mora.

It will be the second time in three years that the conditioner will be represented by horses stabled in Dubai, having celebrated an outstanding DWCC in 2020. O’Neill indicated last month that Hot Rod Charlie would have the $12 million Group 1 Dubai World Cup as his major early target. The newly turned 4yo was most recently narrowly beaten into second by Express Train in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes.

Similar to California Chrome and Curlin, each of whom prepped victoriously in Dubai prior to winning the Dubai World Cup, Hot Rod Charlie could take in a race such as the $100,000 Listed Curlin Stakes over the same 2000m dirt distance as the main event.

Among the 17 horses that represented O’Neill at the 2020 carnival was Fore Left, a dual Stakes winner on dirt in the US as a juvenile who defeated 15 rivals to land the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas on his lone appearance in the desert.

Khantaro D’Oro could be aimed at a similar UAE campaign, despite being a maiden after six starts. W C Racing’s Wildman Jack made history at the 2020 DWCC, becoming the first Americantrained runner to land a turf race in Dubai when scoring impressively in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint on Super Saturday.

The W C Racing-bred and co-owned sophomore gelding Get Back Goldie is expected to be part of the O›Neill team as well. Fore Left carried the silks of top O’Neill client Reddam Racing and that operation is set to be represented at the carnival by 4yo Go On, a maiden winner over 6f at Santa Anita in October.

The other four likely O’Neill horses are Strong Constitution, Positivity, Appreciated and Notre Dame.