The countdown to Dubai’s World Cup meeting continues at Meydan on Saturday night and global sire More Than Ready has two key runners heading in to the feature events.
Thunder Snow (Helmet) is the $2.25 favourite ahead of Boynton (More Than Ready) at $6 in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge (2000m), a dress-rehearsal for the $10 million Dubai World Cup (2000m) on March 31.
Three horses have won both races – Dubai Millennium (2000), Street Cry (2002) and Electrocutionist (2006).
Trainer Charlie Appleby also has the option of running Boynton in the Godolphin Mile Gr.1 in three weeks. He was a brilliant first-up winner of the Mina Rashid (1600m) on February 1.
“He was a Group 2 winner as a juvenile in England, but last year basically did not go to plan,” Appleby said. “We were delighted with his winning reappearance here last month.
“The draw could have been kinder, but this will help us decide which race to target on World Cup night.”
Sheikh Mohammed bought the son of Vinery legend More Than Ready for $750,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September yearling sale. He’s a half-brother to Constitution (Florida Derby Gr.1) and Jacaranda (Tempted Stakes Gr.2).
More Than Ready can also play a hand in Race 1 on Saturday evening with Phoenix Thoroughbreds colt Gotti. He goes into the Al Bastakiya LR after finishing second – albeit 10 lengths behind Gold Town – in the UAE 2000 Guineas Gr.3 last month.
Gotti (3c More Than Ready – Soot Z by Empire Maker) won a Windsor nursery for Jeremy Noseda before transferring to the Gulf. He was a 200,000 pounds (AUD 342,205) buy out of the 2017 Goffs 2YO Sale and is from a daughter of Gulfstream Park Group 2 winner Bella Chiarra (Phone trick).
More Than Ready’s global influence as a sire of sprinters and stayers will be on show with speed-machine Roy H in the Golden Shaheen Gr.1 at the World Cup. The 2017 Breeders’ Cup Sprint Gr.1 winner will travel to Dubai without another prep in California.
Trainer Peter Miller was going to run Roy H in the Triple Bend Hcp Gr.1 at Santa Anita on Saturday but a change of plans will see him start first-up at Meydan. He was last seen winning the Palos Verdes Stakes Gr.2 at Santa Anita on February 3.