Key breeding angles to watch out for on Dubai World Cup night
Illustrious Lad to fly the flag for Aussie superstar I Am Invincible
Dubai World Cup night at Meydan promises to be an enthralling spectacle of racing with a host of superstars from Britain, France, Ireland, America, Australia and the UAE out to claim top honours.
The world of bloodstock is sure to be glued to the action as a host of runners by leading sires look to gain more black type performers and breeders chase the glory of breeding a Group 1 winner.
With so many angles to keep an eye on, here are three that could dominate the evening at Meydan.
Frontiersman to be the runner-up no more
It can be tough to follow in the footsteps of an illustrious sibling and when that sibling turns out to be dual Derby hero Australia, the expectation is cranked up to another level.
Frontiersman, Australia's Dubawi half-brother, has been the bridesmaid on a number of occasions including in last year's Coronation Cup and the Princess of Wales's Stakes before landing the Listed Godolphin Stakes.
Already shipped out to Dubai ahead of the carnival, he produced a resilient effort to finish second behind Hawkbill in the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold - a horse he had finished runner-up to in the Princess of Wales's last year. That run suggests that he couldn't be far off from securing a Group victory and while it would take a career best to turn the form around, he has the bloodlines to do so.
International Group 1 for I Am Invincible?
A plethora of horses have been assembled to take part across the meeting and in Illustrious Lad, Yarraman Park Stud's I Am Invincible has an international stage on which to advertise his talents to the wider world. The son of Invincible Spirit is blazing a trail in Australasia, having produced multiple Group 1 winners Brazen Beau, I Am A Star and Viddora.
Of course I Am Invincible is not completely foreign to British shores as Diamond Jubilee runner-up Brazen Beau has reverse shuttled to Darley's Dalham Hall Stud for the past three seasons. Only last week his newest top-level performer came in the shape of the Darren Weir-trained Hellbent, who landed the William Reid Stakes and will now join his sire at stud.
Bred by Yarraman, Illustrious Lad is the second foal out of the Zeditave mare Industrious and was purchased by his owner Anthony Panozzo for A$40,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. He has rewarded connections with victory in a Group 2 in 2016 and while he would need to be back to somewhere near his best to strike in the Al Quoz Sprint on Saturday, victory would see him become the first Group 1 winner outside of Australia for his sire.
Poet's Word to deliver for late Voice
It is only weeks since Darley announced the death of Dalham Hall Stud resident Poet's Voice at the age of 11 after the son of Dubawi suffered a fatal heart attack. The best performer to emerge from his time at stud, Poet's Word, makes his seasonal reappearance in the Dubai Sheema Classic.
Sir Michael Stoute has handled his career with aplomb and last year Poet's Word progressed from handicap company to land a Group 3 at Goodwood in August 2017. Perhaps his most eye-catching run of last season came when he finished second behind Cracksman in the Champion Stakes. While the winner blew away the field to become a first European Group 1 scorer for Frankel, Poet's Word's performance suggested he is likely to improve as a five-year-old.
That will be tested when he lines up in the Group 1 on Saturday and if he were to go on to score it'd be a timely first top-level performer for his late sire.
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