Dubai Sheema Classic bid looking 'unlikely' for Cracksman

Tue 13 Feb 2018

By staff

Cracksman's owner Anthony Oppenheimer feels it is "unlikely" his star colt will travel to Dubai for the Sheema Classic on World Cup night, although a final decision has yet to be made.

The John Gosden-trained colt was placed in the Derby and the Irish equivalent last season and ended his campaign with a spectacular victory in the Champion Stakes at Ascot, a success which helped see him rated the joint-third best horse in the world, ahead of stablemate Enable despite her own incredible 2017.

Gosden will be at pains to keep the pair apart this year and has already stated he is not planning on them taking each other on until the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, which will be back at a redeveloped Longchamp in October this season.

"No decision has been made, but I think it is probably unlikely," Oppenheimer said.

"It makes it a long season if you go out there, so I'd say it's unlikely. But we haven't had a discussion yet and I don't think we will until March 10 or 12."

The Dubai World Cup meeting will take place at Meydan on March 31, and will also not involve Breeders' Cup Mile winner World Approval.

The six-year-old, trained by Mark Casse, won a Grade Three at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, when he beat Forge by half a length.

That race was staged over 8 1/2 furlongs and rider John Valazquez stated afterwards that it stretched the grey's stamina.

“The Dubai race is almost nine furlongs, which stretches us,” Casse told reporters.

World Approval - Del MAr - Eclipse Sportswire The Breeders' Cup Mile winner had been favourite for the Dubai Turf (Eclipse Sportswire)

“We’ve said all along a mile is his best play. You might be able to get away with it sometimes, but probably not when you’re up against the best horses in the world like he would be in Dubai. He’s a champion, and we’re going to take care of him.”

Casse added the Grade One Maker’s 46 Mile on April 13 at Keeneland becomes the new target, with possibly the March 10 Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita in between.

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