Trainer Chad Summers at Meydan
PICTURE: Lewis Porteous
A SOAKING start in the desert is not what you would expect on your first day in Dubai but that is what the weather gods decided was in order at Meydan on Tuesday.
Regardless, with horses working from 5am in the morning, there was still a good turnout at the track, where the athletes were restricted from working on the turf track due to the rain.
The majority of British and Irish trainers are not due in Dubai until the end of the week but there is already a good spread of international handlers on the ground.
New Yorker Chad Summers was among the foreign contingent on Tuesday and despite looking like a drowned rat in the pouring rain, there is no wiping the smile from his face as he gets ready to saddle Golden Shaheen favourite Mind Your Biscuits on Saturday.
Remarkably for someone with a favourite on World Cup night, Summers has never even saddled a winner and he is relishing the prospect of breaking his duck on one of the biggest stages of all.
He’s held just about every job in racing from journalist to assistant trainer but only recently taken the plunge into training in the United States, where he has so far saddled four runners without success.
“I’ve been the jack of all trades and master of none but I’m hoping I will be a master trainer,” said Summers, who at 32 must be one of the youngest with a World Cup night runner.
He was infectious when talking about Mind Your Biscuits, who he described as the “best closer” on the planet. As for the horse’s name, it is apparently a line from the Kacey Musgraves hit Biscuits. No, me neither, so check out the video below to learn more.
Mullen just magic
There has been no looking back for Richard Mullen since he swapped blighty for the UAE in 2012. The rider, who won good races on Temple Meads and Electric Waves when riding in Britain, has hit the big time in Dubai and was crowned UAE champion jockey for the second time this season.
It was victory on Reynaldothewizard on World Cup night in 2012 which was the springboard to him making the move full time and remarkably he rides the same horse on Saturday.
A legend in Dubai, Reynaldothewizard shades it by six days over Medicean Man as the oldest horse competing on World Cup night when taking his chance in the Golden Shaheen.
Mullen said: “He doesn’t realise he’s 11. The thing is he’s only ever run 21 times at Meydan and 26 times in all. Most sprinters run that many times in a season so he’s been very well looked after and there’s no sign of him slowing up.”
However, the rider does not think his old friend is his best chance of a winner on Saturday, rating the highly-touted North America in the Godolphin Mile as his number one.
Mullen added: “He’s the pick of my rides. He’s very relaxed and every time we’ve asked he’s answered. He’s got gate speed, travels well and can quicken. He’s the perfect dirt horse.”
Strong Ballydoyle team
While they may never be best buddies, the relationship between breeding superpowers Darley and Coolmore seems to be in a stable place right now and there is certainly nothing wrong with Ballydoyle’s entries for World Cup night.
For six years no horses from Ballydoyle ran at Dubai’s signature event as tensions in the sale ring mounted but that policy is long gone and their stable of nine this year is as strong as I can remember.
Front of the line are Highland Reel and Seventh Heaven, who take on Postponed, Jack Hobbs and Prize Money in a fascinating Sheema Classic.
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