Monday, November 18, 2019
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Dubai World Cup: Akeed Mofeed in perfect spot

Dubai: Trainer Richard Gibson issued an upbeat bulletin about his Dubai World Cup (G1) hope Akeed Mofeed after watching his star canter on the all-weather track at Meydan Racecourse.

The former French-based Englishman arrived in Dubai on Monday morning and said he is happy to be reunited with his $2.8 million Hong Kong Cup winner.

“He looks great,” said Gibson. “He was a bit fresh going cantering around the all-weather track as it was his first time, but I’d say that’s a good sign.

“His weight loss on the trip was standard and he’s where I’d want him to be. I’m very happy to see him in such good order.”

Gibson, who is one of the newest yet most successful additions to the Hong Kong training ranks, revealed that the five-year-old son of Dubawi will have one final piece of work ahead of Saturday’s $10 million contest, where he faces 15 rivals in the biggest field ever assembled for the race.

“Douglas Whyte will ride him on the main track on Thursday, just a gentle blow doing something like 28 and 26 seconds for his final 800 metres,” said Gibson.

Once considered an Epsom Derby (G1) contender when trained in Ireland by the legendary John Oxx, Akeed Mofeed proved a revelation for his new connections in Hong Kong, having being bought out of UAE businessman Jaber Abdullah’s string.

Considered one of the best horses in Hong Kong after having the beating of Group 1 winners Cirrus des Aigles, Military Attack and Side Glance in the Hong Kong Cup, the world’s richest turf race, he holds genuine claims of giving Gibson the biggest win of his career and first since he landed the Nass International Stakes at Nad Al Sheba in 2005.

Gibson has won more than 600 races worldwide and has recorded wins in Dubai, the UK, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the US and Hong Kong and even Kazakhstan, as well as competing in Japan, Singapore, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Spain and St Moritz, on the snow.

Meanwhile, Military Attack, who beat him on his most recent start in the Hong Kong Gold Cup at Sha Tin in February, has also been pleasing his trainer Australian John Moore in the build-up to Saturday’s showpiece.

The six-year-old, who was previously trained by retired jockey Richard Hills’ brother John in the UK, is yet to get a feel of the Tapeta track having had his stay in the Dubai World Cup Quarantine Centre extended.

“We kept him to the quarantine area again this morning and he was out in the ring there with my other two runners,” said Moore, who also jetted into Dubai on Tuesday morning. “The travel from Hong Kong went okay but I’d prefer to give them another day to rehydrate them after the trip before going out onto the main track.”

“Military Attack is a very fit horse. You’ll see him in great shape on the track on Wednesday.”

Ron the Greek bids to give Saudi Arabia a first win in the Dubai World Cup under his new name, Wattani.

The former Bill Mott-trainee warmed up for his Dubai test by recording a compelling victory in a Conditions race at the Janadriyah track

Trainer Nicholas Bachalard, who was on hand to supervise his multiple Grade I winner at Meydan said: “We’re just going to stretch his legs the next few days. He won’t do too much.”

The seven-year-old son of Full Mandate arrived in Dubai from his Saudi Arabian base on Sunday. “It was uneventful,” Bachalard said. “He’s done everything right. He’s a pro and is used to shipping.”