In the days leading up to the $12 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on March 27, usracing.com will profile the contenders for the 2,000-meter (about 1 ¼ miles) race. The profiles will be updated with odds, post positions and jockeys following the post-position draw scheduled for Wednesday (March 24).
By Lynne Snierson
The top level winning Capezzano was so well regarded and is so at home at Meydan that he was dispatched as the favorite in the 2019 edition of the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1). He is highly unlikely to enjoy that status this time around.
Capezzano was a disappointing 12th two years ago and he has hardly set the international racing world on fire since. His resume indicates that he just isn’t the same horse he once was.
This year, he’s raced twice, finishing seventh behind winner and expected Dubai World Cup runner Military Law in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1, and then last time out was fourth in Round 2 of the Challenge, which is a Grade 2 race at 1 3/16 miles won by Salute the Soldier, who is also expected in the starting gate.
“Certainly, we have been disappointed with his two runs so far, but he is getting older,’’ trainer Salem bin Ghadayer told At The Races before his last race. “Maybe he doesn’t have the sharpness he used to, but I am confident he still has the ability and that as the season goes on, he will show it. Maybe it is because of his training, he is a tricky horse, so we have to do what he wants to do, which means working him on his own terms and in his own.’’
Capezzano, who has exhibited a concerning layoff pattern these last few seasons, was bred by Godolphin in Kentucky so a big effort would be a boon for the home team of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Perhaps the horse may benefit from that home field advantage. Eighteen of his 20 career efforts and all six of his wins have been on the all-weather surface at Meydan in the United Arab Emirates and the other two starts were in England.
Dubai World Cup Contenders 2021: Capezzano
Post position: TBD
Trainer: Salem bin Ghadayer
Jockey: Mikael Barzalona
Owner: Sultan Ali
Career record: 20-6-1-3
Career earnings: $776,011
Top Equibase speed figure: N/A
Pedigree: Bernardini-Cable Knit, by Unbridled’s Song
Running style: Front-runner
Notes: Salem bin Ghadayer, 42, is one of the leading trainers in the UAE, where his yard is called Fazza Stables. Fazza Racing Stables is owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the crown prince of Dubai and the son of the country’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum … The trainer will also run Hypothetical in the World Cup field and Panadol in the 2021 UAE Derby (G2) for the Crown Prince … Salem bin Ghadayer had his first starters on the UAE thoroughbred and Arabian circuit during the 2014-15 season following time as a rider and trainer of endurance horses … In March 2018, during a breakout season, he was suspended for one year by the Emirates Racing Authority for a positive drug test. The horse in question was owned by the Dubai Crown Prince … Owner Sultan Ali lives in Dubai, where his stable is based, and is said to be a close friend of Sheikh Maktoum … Capezzano Pianore is a coastal village in the Tuscany region of Italy.
Dubai World Cup 2021 Contenders
MYSTIC GUIDE (USA) USA Michael Stidham
CHUWA WIZARD (JPN) Japan Ryuji Okubo
MAGNY COURS (USA) France Andre Fabre
SALUTE THE SOLDIER (GER) Bahrain Fawzi Nass
JESUS’ TEAM (USA) USA Jose Francisco D’Angelo
SLEEPY EYES TODD (USA) USA Miguel Angel Silva
GIFTS OF GOLD (IRE) UAE Saeed bin Suroor
HYPOTHETICAL (IRE) UAE Salem bin Ghadayer
MILITARY LAW (IRE) UAE Musabbeh Al Mheiri
GREAT SCOT (GB) Saudi Arabia Abdullah Moshrif
THEGREATCOLLECTION (USA) UAE Douglas Watson
TITLE READY (USA) USA Dallas Stewart
AJUSTE FISCAL (URU) Uruguay Antonio Cintra
CAPEZZANO(USA) UAE Salem bin Ghadayer
Lynne Snierson, a former director of communications at Arlington Park and Rockingham Park, currently is a freelance writer and racing publicist. She covered thoroughbred racing as an award-winning sportswriter for newspapers In Boston, Miami, and St. Louis. She lives in New Hampshire. Secretariat remains her all-time favorite horse.