Photo Credit: Mathea Kelley
Coolmore’s multiple Group 1 winner Kew Gardens will likely be making his 2020 debut in the $1.5 million Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (G2) on Dubai World Cup night, per Aidan O’Brien, leading a strong team for the Irish-based outfit. It will be the bay 5-year-old’s first test outside of Europe after finishing off his 2019 season with arguably his most triumphant victory, cracking the mighty Stradivarius’ 10-race win streak in the British Champions Long Distance Cup (G2) at Ascot in October.
“I’m very happy with Kew Gardens,” O’Brien said. “It’s more possible at the moment that he’ll go for the two miles. He was at Dundalk (Stadium) recently (for a piece of work) and we’re very happy with him.”
With six wins from seventeen starts, the Aidan O’Brien trainee has faced and beaten many of Europe’s best, winning over distances from 1600-3000m. In a busier campaign at three, the strong son of Galileo showed his affinity for stamina tests by capturing his first Group 1 victory in the Grand Prix de Paris and later the classic St. Leger (G1) over Dee Ex Bee, Old Persian and Loxley. In the Dubai Gold Cup, he will likely face a formidable field, including defending champ and 2018 Melbourne Cup (G1) winner Cross Counter, as well as Call The Wind, Mekong and Charlie Fellowes-trained Prince of Arran, who defeated said Godolphin colour-bearer in last month’s Longines Turf Handicap in Saudi Arabia. DWC 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.
Ballydoyle could have a handful of others coming for the races, including Investec Derby (G1) winner Anthony Van Dyck and globetrotting star mare Magic Wand.
“Anthony Van Dyck and Fleeting are likely for the ($6 million 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 Dubai Turf), as well. I’m not sure if Sergei Prokofiev will get into the (Al Quoz) Sprint, but he will likely go if he does. I’m waiting to see who is accepted into the ($2.5 million UAE) Derby, but plan to be represented in that.”