Christophe Lemaire glad to be back and fancies Rey De Oro to make his mark
Top French jockey Christophe Lemaire plies his trade in Japan so the opportunity to meet old acquaintances in Meydan this week has given him great pleasure.
Lemaire won the Sheema Classic on Heart’s Cry at Nad Al Sheba in 2006 and has four rides on World Cup night on Saturday, including Rey De Oro, general 4-1 joint second favourite in the same race.
So just how much does Lemaire enjoy his trips to Dubai?
He quipped: “I don’t like coming over here. It’s boring . . . I’m only joking!
“It’s always a great pleasure to take part on this big night. As I’m based in Japan now, it’s great that I can come here and meet up with all my old friends from around the world. To be part of the big races is the dream for any rider, so to have four mounts on Saturday is fantastic.”
Lemaire has a “very good feeling” about Rey De Oro, who he believes will come on for his return, and also expects a good run from Adirato, a general 16-1 chance in the opening Godolphin Mile.
He said: “Adirato has got plenty of early speed and that is a big asset on the dirt as you want to get a prominent position on the rail. If he relaxes early on and we get a nice slot in, he will be competitive.”
Lalo a pointer for Mubtaahij World Cup bid
Eduardo ‘Lalo’ Luna has to be the luckiest groom in the world.
Luna works for Bob Baffert and has looked after Triple Crown hero American Pharoah and two-time Longines World’s Best Racehorse award winner Arrogate in recent years. Exciting three-year-old Justify is among his horses these days.
Luna arrived in Dubai on Thursday ready to perform leading up duties in the Dubai World Cup. But not for hot favourite West Coast, instead he will entrusted with the lead rope for stablemate Mubtaahij. Maybe it’s a sign.
Plan of attack
Superstar Enable was inevitably the focus of attention and dominated the questions when Teddy Grimthorpe arrived at the track on Thursday.
Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, is out in Dubai to see the John Gosden-trained Monarchs Glen contest the Dubai Turf.
He said: “Enable makes the heart rush in every way. The Prix Ganay may come a bit too soon for her but the main plan of attack is to try and defend the Arc if we can, and if we’re being greedy the King George as well, and even greedier the Juddmonte too.
“The possibility of her taking on Cracksman is a spectacle that a lot of people would love to see. There’s a bit to do before we get there . . . but we won’t be ducking any confrontation.”
Staying in the sun
Economic Model will be having his final start for US trainer Chad Brown in the Godolphin Mile. The recent Grade 3 winner will be staying in the UAE, with Nicholas Bachalard set to train the five-year-old.
Head-Maarek scoops award
Recently retired trainer Criquette Head-Maarek was among the award winners at the His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Horseracing Excellence Awards on Thursday night.
Head-Maarek, a three-time Arc-winning trainer whose stars included Treve, Hatoof and American Post, was flown in first class after being told last week she had won the lifetime achievement award.
Aidan O’Brien won the best trainer gong, with Christophe Soumillon, Gun Runner, Godolphin and Lady Eli – voted the People’s Choice – the other award winners.
Read exclusive previews of the action on Dubai World Cup night from 6pm on Friday on racingpost.com