Several Saudi Cup Stars Arrive In Dubai For World Cup Night

Panthalassa (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), who defeated Country Grammer (Tonalist) in the $20-million G1 Saudi Cup this past Saturday, has arrived in Dubai alongside his erstwhile rival ahead of the Mar. 25 Dubai World Cup meeting.

Now the third-highest earning Japanese-trained horse of all time, the Yoshito Yahagi-trained Panthalassa has been nominated for both the $12-million G1 Dubai World Cup, as well as the G1 Dubai Turf. Last year’s Dubai World Cup winner for Bob Baffert, Country Grammer was joined on the flight by G3 Riyadh Dirt Sprint second Gunite (Gun Runner), who holds an entry in the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen from the Steve Asmussen barn. Another Golden Shaheen runner is Remake (Jpn) (Lani), third in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint, as well as Justin (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}), fourth in the Dirt Sprint on Saturday.

A baker’s dozen of Japanese horses made the trip from Saudi, including 2022 G2 Godolphin Mile and 2023 G3 1351 Turf Sprint hero Bathrat Leon (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}); G1 Dubai Turf placegetter Vin De Garde (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}); G1 Al Quoz Sprint hopeful Lauda Sion (Jpn) (Real Impact {Jpn}); Saudi Cup third, fourth and seventh Café Pharoah (American Pharoah), Geoglyph (Jpn) (Drefong), and Jun Light Bolt (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}); and 2022 G2 UAE Derby winner Crown Pride (Jpn) (Reach The Crown {Jpn}).

Fresh from a run in the G1 February S. in Japan, Roger Attfield trainee Shirl’s Speight (Speightstown) is aiming for the Dubai Turf and has settled into the International Stables.

“It was gratifying to see our 2022 Dubai World Cup winners do so well in Saudi, with Panthalassa and Bathrat Leon winning and Country Grammer running an honorable second,” said Stephanie Cooley, International Manager for Dubai Racing Club.

“We are delighted that so many top-class horses have travelled on from Saudi and they will now have plenty of settling in time ahead of the big day. The Japanese look likely to have their strongest Dubai World Cup team ever, with several more arriving over the next few weeks.”

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