Escobar wins the2019 Balmoral Handicap over Lord North on British Champions Day (Sporting Life)
On the heels of a 2020 Dubai World Cup Carnival when stable star Suedois was a popular winner, trainer David O’Meara was swift to strike again on opening night of the 2021 edition with initial starter Lord Glitters landing the Group 2 Singspiel stylishly. The accomplished conditioner—never one to shy from global affairs—will try to keep his meeting record unblemished in Dubai this season when he starts Withernsea Thoroughbred Limited’s Listed winner Escobar in Thursday’s nightcap over one mile on grass.
Leading the weights with a 105 rating, the newly turned 7-year-old son of Famous Name will get a bit of class relief, coming out of a 13th in October’s 14-horse Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1) at Ascot. A five-time winner from 38 starts, the winner of the 2019 Balmoral Handicap on British Champions Day (over Lord North) will break from post 13 of 16 with Adrie de Vries, pilot of Lord Glitters last week.
“Escobar is a very good horse,” O’Meara said. “He can be a little bit inconsistent. The nature of the bend and the track are ideal conditions for him. We hope he’ll run well, but we do think he’ll improve while he’s out there and with each run.”
Lord Glitters Eyes Al Rashidiya , Jebel Hatta
Meanwhile, plans are being laid out for 8-year-old globetrotter Lord Glitters this winter, including a possible return to the $4 million Dubai Turf (G1), a race in which he was third in 2019 behind Almond Eye and Vivlos. The 2019 Queen Anne Stakes (G1) winner appeared quite at home over Meydan’s 1800m of good ground last Thursday.
“Lord Glitters came out of the race well and had a little swim and a hack-about since he ran,” O’Meara said. “I suppose the races out in Dubai for him on the agenda would be would be what’s next for him. On the agenda would be the (Group 2 Al Rashidiya) on February 11 and then there’s the (Group 1) Jebel Hatta on March 6 and Dubai Turf (March 27) over the same trip on grass—nine furlongs.
“Obviously, we’d love to get him there, if we can. We would like to take him to the Jebel Hatta, whether we run him on February 11 or not. I suppose we’ll just enter and then just make a decision based on what the field looks like.”
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