Dubai World Cup eight-horse team for champion trainer-elect Bhupat Seemar
Bhupat Seemar is all bar confirmed as a UAE champion coach in his debut season, but one thing that would top even that feat would be a winner on the biggest night of them all.
Seemar, who took over the license from his uncle Satish in November after years as an assistant, has an enviable squad for the big night, including Remorse, who will try his luck in the 12million Dubai World Cup dollars, after finishing second in the G1 Maktoum Challenge R3, the main local preparation.
“I’m very lucky to be in this position and in my first season it’s great that we have a rider in the World Cup itself,” Seemar said. “We have a great team and we have great customers and I’m happy that some of those great customers who trusted us are getting rewards for their investments.
” We have to be realistic. You participate in the biggest race in the world with some of the best dirt horses in the world. Yes, we went from 80 to 111, but strange things happen in racing; the rhythm could break down or something could happen. Remorse is such an honest horse and so far all he has done is improve so hopefully we can keep him healthy for the race and get a good draw. Hopefully if he is in the first four corners to get home we know he will finish the race well.
Remorse is one of two chances of the night for Kuwaiti owners Al Rashid Racing, who will also be represented by exciting stablemate Al Nafud in the G2 Godolphin Mile. The four-year-old was originally destined for the World Cup after chasing Hot Rod Charlie in round two of the G2 Maktoum Challenge.
“We talked about it and looking back I think it was a good decision to run the Mile rather than the big race because this race is so strong and I think mentally, more than anything, he couldn’t have -be not ready for that,” Seemar said. “He just broke his young daughter about two months ago and he’s already racing on World Cup day. A month ago I was like ‘why are we running the Godolphin Mile’ but now I think it’s the right choice.
Al Nefud’s toughest opponent in the race could be defending champion and team-mate Secret Ambition, last seen leading the Saudi Cup field before finishing seventh. Now nine years old, he aims to become the third double winner of this race.
“I can’t divide them,” says Seemar of Secret Ambition and Al Nafud. “Secret Ambition is that old warrior and now he’s ready. Today he was thrashing and kicking and it’s good to see a nine-year-old doing that. I think with a good run and a good draw, he’s going to run really well because he’s so tough and genuine. Al Nafud is this new kid in town that’s coming in and has a world of talent, so it’ll be like Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Seemar also runs Tuz, winner of a Listed in December, on the Godolphin Mile and the former gelding trained in Russia is not only there to make up the numbers.
“What I see from him right now is that he’s improved from his last two races and I think he’s probably going to run a really big race,” his trainer said.
Seemar, who trains at Zabeel Stables in the heart of Dubai’s financial district, has also raced three in the G2 UAE Derby. Bendoog, third in Listed Al Bastikiya last time out, is the choice of stable jockey Tadhg O’Shea, while filly Arabian Gazelles will be paired with former stable jockey Richie Mullen.
“The great thing about Arabian Gazelles is that she will be carrying 53 kilos,” Seemar said of the G3 finalist UAE Oaks. “She’s tough, she’s genuine, she can take bribes. If there is a lot of rhythm, she will finish, but a few others too. At least we know she can go the distance and only had two points so she continues to improve.
“Bendoog got a bit legless (in the Al Bastikiya) but they also went far, they didn’t really come towards him and he could have gotten closer if they had come towards him. against him – there was so much pace and he was up to it and he was the only one of those who hooked up and won a play race. the pace was strong I think there is a big improvement coming from him and we will put on some blinders because Tadhg said he was looking around a bit.
Speaking of fast horses, Seemar’s contender in the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen is Switzerland, the devastating winner of the Listed Garhoud Sprint over course and distance in January, before an unsuccessful trip to Arabia.
“Everything went wrong for him; he was drawn 14, couldn’t take cover,” says Seemar of the Riyadh race. “The winner and second went fast, then they slowed down a bit. He likes a good fast race and then he finishes well. His goggle was dirty afterwards too, so I think it will suit him here.
So, with eight runners and no outsiders, according to Seemar, what is his best chance of winning the big night? He offers a wry smile and the most diplomatic of responses: “They all have a good chance.”