V is For Victory And Vazirabad

The field of 16 runners for the G2 Dubai Gold Cup boats strength in depth, with the Aga Khan’s classy treble Group 1 winner Vazirabad (Fr) (Manduro {Ger}) a strong fancy to complete this hat-trick in this contest.

He was given a sound beating in his last start in Meydan by Rare Rhythm (Ire)—one of six in the race by Dubawi (Ire)—over two furlongs shorter but staying is very much his game and we can expect him to arrive with another withering late run under the cool-headed Christophe Soumillon.

Bill and Tim Gredley’s Big Orange (GB) (Duke Of Marmalade {Ire}) has been beset with a muscle enzyme problem since arriving in Dubai, but his strong canter on Thursday morning under the watchful gaze of the father-and-son team along with trainer Michael Bell met with approval and he will again be given the chance to make all on ground which is likely to be ideal for him.

“He likes to hear his hooves rattle,” said Bell on Monday.

The long-striding Dal Harraild (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}) looks every bit a stayer on the upgrade and is an interesting runner for William Haggas in the colours of his breeder Andrew Stone of St Albans Bloodstock, whose breeding operation has already enjoyed success at the meeting via the 2016 Dubai Sheema Classic winner Postponed (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}).

Another to have taken the eye on the Meydan track this week while partnered by his race-rider Colm O’Donoghue is Torcedor (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), representing the New Zealand-based Te Akau syndicate and classy dual-purpose trainer Jessica Harrington. His last two starts have seen him finish second to Order Of St George (Ire) in Group 1 company and he is surely due a top-level win of his own this year.