AFTER HIS scintillating Dubai World Cup victory, Godolphin’s Mystic Guide has taken everything in stride and is being prepared for a potentially historic summer and autumn campaign. “Since he’s been back, I’ve been shocked and amazed with how well he’s handled that whole experience, from all the travelling to the stress of the race,” trainer Michael Stidham said.
“Maybe he lightened up a little bit, visibly, but we went back to the track and, once back in his regular routine, he fell right back into his old self. He thrived over there in Dubai and the whole thing didn’t really affect him. “I almost worked him in May but there’s really no race for him until July, so he goes back to Fair Hill and back into a work pattern.
“The Grade 2 Suburban Handicap at the beginning of July is a strong possibility as a first race back. From there, we’ll look at how the races play out and consider spots like the Pacific Classic, Woodward, Whitney and Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Those are all possibilities leading up to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup.” While Thoroughbred luminaries Cigar (1996), Silver Charm (1998), Pleasantly Perfect (2004), Curlin (2008) and Arrogate (2017) all won the Dubai World Cup five months after winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic, they all failed in their attempts to win the same race in the same year, seven months later.
Others, such as Godolphin’s Thunder Snow, a dual winner of the Dubai World Cup in 2018 and 2019, Almutawakel (1999) and California Chrome (2016) also failed in their attempts to double up within the same season. However, other than being Dubai World Cup winners, they have little in common with Mystic Guide, a 4yo homebred Ghostzapper colt, at least at this stage of his career, which comprises just eight races to date.
He was not a champion and had not landed a Grade One before his Meydan victory, despite always being widely considered a potentially top level colt. “He’s the epitome of a horse who really handles the 2000m really well and wants that trip,” Stidham continued.
“If you look at his numbers, he made a huge step forward from three to four and it’s still early in his 4yo year, so I have to think there’s more there. “For him to handle the Dubai World Cup as he did, only a few weeks after returning from a break, I honestly believe there’s more to give.”