Chantal Sutherland could become the first woman to ride in the Dubai World Cup after Game On Dude was aimed as an intended runner at the world’s richest race.
Bob Baffert, the trainer, confirmed last night that the Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up would not take part in Saturday’s Grade 1 Santa Anita handicap and would be prepared to run at Meydan racecourse on March 31.
When asked about whether the five year old would defend his title in the prestigious handicap, won by the likes of Seabiscuit and Affirmed, the last horse to win America’s Triple Crown, Baffert replied: “He’s not running. He’s going to Dubai.
“We’ve been discussing it for the last few weeks. It was one of those things where the horse’s last work was great. He’s never looked better.”
Sutherland was on board the son of Awesome Again in November when she was pipped by former boyfriend Mike Smith, who partnered Drosselmeyer to win the Classic at Churchill Downs.
She also partnered the gelding to victory by five and a quarter lengths in the San Antonio Stakes, a Grade 2 dirt race over 1,800m, at Santa Anita Park last month.
Baffert has won the Dubai World Cup twice, with Silver Charm in 1998 and Captain Steve three years later but the prize money stood at $US 4 million and $US 6 million respectively when run at Nad al Sheba racecourse. He also saddled Euroears to finish second to Rocket Man in last year’s Dubai Golden Shaheen
“I’ve never won a $10 million race,” Baffert added, in an interview with the Daily Racing Form. “I was going to go last year and he wasn’t ready to be put on the plane. He runs really hard. His style is to let it all hang out.”
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