2024 Dubai World Cup Contender Profile: Clapton

The $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1) is March 30 at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The race is for 4-year-olds and up at 1 ¼ miles on dirt. usracing.com is publishing profiles of the contenders..



Overlooked. Underrated. Longshot. Outsider.

Chad Summers honestly doesn’t care what people may think of Clapton’s chances in the Dubai World Cup.

“We’re back in the role we like best, we’re the underdog and everyone says we have no shot,” said the trainer of the 5-year-old chestnut. “We like being the one everyone counts out. It’s a comfortable spot and we’re used to it.”

Clapton, purchased last summer by Sheikh Rasid Bin Humaid al Nuaimi’s RRR Racing, has run twice this year at Meydan Racecourse, finishing third as the favorite in the Al Maktoum Classic on March 3, 4 ½ lengths behind Military Law, and third in the Al Maktoum Challenge (G1) on Jan. 26, his first race since an 11th-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

It would have been nice to win one or both, said Summers, a two-time winner on World Cup night, having saddled Mind Your Biscuits to consecutive victories in the Dubai Golden Shaheen in 2017 and 2018.

“As disappointed as we were in the two runs over here, it’s two-thirds; he didn’t finish tenth,” said Summers.

Although Clapton was invited to the Godolphin Mile, Summers opted for the World Cup instead, as he believes the horse is better suited to 1 ¼ miles than 1 1/8 miles.

“Other than the Breeders’ Cup [Classic, 11th], he’s always been right there,” said the trainer.

The Classic and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Saratoga Race Course, in which he has beaten a nose for the show, were the only times Clapton finished worse than third in eight starts in 2023. Among his victories were the Lukas Classic and the Ghostzapper; he also was second in the Suburban and third in the Pimlico Special.

Betting advice: Summers knows his way around Meydan, and with two starts there Clapton might have a bit of an edge. Include him in exotics.



2024 Dubai World Cup Contender: Clapton

Post position: 7

Jockey: Dylan Davis

Trainer: Chad Summers

Owner: RRR Racing (Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi)

Age: 5

Career record: 27-6-4-8

Career earnings: $969,947

Top Equibase speed figure:110

Pedigree: Brethren-Alexandra Rylee, by Afleet Alex

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Closer

Notes: Dylan Davis, son of former jockey Robbie Davis, was named to ride Clapton …  Summers, also a bloodstock agent, is best known as the trainer of Mind Your Biscuits, winner of the 2018 Dubai Golden Sheehan and earner of more than $4.2 million … The horse got his name from Brian Cohen, president of Florida’s Arindel Farm, which bred Clapton. “I like one-word names,” Cohen said. “[And] I’m a fan of (Eric) Clapton.”

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