18 March 2020, Dubai, UAE ~ With the Dubai World Cup still 10 days away, American conditioner Mark Casse is excited to see what Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Sir Winston can do on his first foray overseas and the chestnut homebred of Tracy Farmer led a set of 10 USA invaders arriving at Meydan Racecourse on Wednesday afternoon, 18 March 2020. The son of Awesome Again denied fellow Dubai World Cup runner Tacitus—already on the grounds after his fifth-place run in the Saudi Cup—in the 2400m Belmont Stakes before an injury put him on the side-lines until late December.
Sir Winston returned with a non-effort (finishing 11th) in the Woodchopper Stakes (Listed) at Fair Grounds on turf before returning with an eye-catching 1600m dirt win at Aqueduct on Jan. 31. That day, he passed five horses in the stretch en route to a 2¼-length win and showed the same marked acceleration that won the Belmont. What made it even more impressive, despite against inferior opposition, was how well he adapted to a distance well below his forte.
“He’s training extremely well,” Casse said. “His last race’s (speed figure) was even bigger than his Belmont win. I was hoping for a decent race and then to try to run him one more time going farther, but he ran so well, I decided that that was all. After her got hurt after the Belmont, he came back really well. Since his (January) run, he’s been working great. We didn’t really change the way we prepare him for this race. You dance with the one who brought you. We think he deserves a chance in the Dubai World Cup.”
Others to arrive with the classic winner were fellow Dubai World Cup runners Math Wizard and War Story, the Peter Miller-trained trio of Gray Magician (Godolphin Mile), Texas Wedge (Al Quoz Sprint) and Wrecking Crew (UAE Derby), as well as Shotski (UAE Derby), Killybegs Captain (Dubai Golden Shaheen) and the Richard Mandella-conditioned duo of United (Longines Dubai Sheema Classic) and Tizamagician (UAE Derby).
The decade of competitors join 11 USA representatives already on the grounds—making for a record 21 likely American runners—including the aforementioned Tacitus and fellow Dubai World Cup contender Mucho Gusto, Dubai Golden Shaheen runners Truck Salesman, Imperial Hint and Captain Scotty, UAE Derby runners Fore Left and Rowdy Yates, Godolphin Mile runner Parsimony and Al Quoz Sprint speedsters Wildman Jack, Ghoul and Blitzkrieg.