Morning Line: likely to target Dubai World Cup after Gulfstream ParkPICTURE: Getty Images
Sheikh Rashid buys into Donn hope Morning Line
USA: Sheikh Mohammed's son Sheikh Rashid has stepped in again with a big-money US purchase in the shape of an interest in the Nick Zito-trained Morning Line, among the favourites for the prestigious Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
The biggest race of the year so far in the States, the $500,000 Donn has become the main trial for the Dubai World Cup for American horses.
According to published reports, Sheikh Rashid is looking towards home with the four-year-old, who has never before raced on an artificial surface.
In last year's World Cup, Sheikh Rashid's Zabeel Racing colours were carried by US Grade 1 winner Richard's Kid, who finished seventh behind Gloria De Campeao for trainer Bob Baffert.
The sheikh has acquired an unspecified percentage alongside original owner Thoroughbred Racing Legends Stable.
Zabeel racing manager Omar Trevino spoke to the Daily Racing Form about the acquisition of Morning Line, winner of the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby.
"We're looking for a World Cup horse," said Trevino. "Morning Line was very good at the end of his three-year-old campaign, and from looking at his pedigree, we don't think he's a miler.
"He has speed, which we love, but we're hoping he will go a route of ground, and if he runs well in the Donn we plan to bring him to Dubai for the World Cup."
Morning Line, a son of dual Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow, was narrowly beaten by shock winner Dakota Phone in the Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs in November.
He was beaten into third as evens favourite for the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Handicap on January 8,his prep run for the Donn, where chief rivals include Zito-trained stablemate Fly Down - third behind Blame and Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Classic - and Square Eddie, a Grade 1 winner in the US for former trainer John Best before being moved to Californian handler Doug O'Neill.