The 2016 Dubai World Cup Carnival gets underway at Meydan on Thursday and on on the very first day, Cheongu will become the first ever Korea-trained horse to take part in one of world racing’s biggest annual meetings.
Cheongu (Old Fashioned) will race over 1200M on the dirt in an event for horses rated 95-108, the Longines Conquest Classic Gents Moon Phases Handicap, which will go to post at 7.35pm Dubai time.
He is one of two Korea-trained horses to travel to the carnival along with Success Story (Peace Rules), who is being pointed towards a race over mile later this month.
The two horses arrived in Dubai on Christmas Eve and both the already experienced traveler Cheongu and first-time flyer Success Story have reportedly settled well.
Having already concluded quarantine protocols with Singapore and Japan, the protocol with the UAE was finalized in autumn last year and should also enable Dubai based horses to come and race in Korea with the inaugural US$1Million Korea Cup and the Korea Sprint – the new incarnation of the Asia Challenge Cup – both potential attractions in early September.
Unlike in previous forays overseas, jockeys already in Dubai will be booked to ride the Korean horses and the services of a very good one have been secured on Thursday. Originally Christophe Soumillon was scheduled to ride, however, with Cheongu only set to carry 54.5kg, Britain’s Royston Ffrench will take the mount.
Hopes are realistic with creditable performances the goal. Cheongu led the KRA Trophy in Kranji in July, the Asia Challenge Cup in Seoul in August and the Interaction Cup at Ohi in October but each time didn’t take kindly to being challenged and weakened late on. He was 3rd and 4th respectively in the latter two races.
Cheongu returned to the winner’s circle at Seoul in November, making all over 1200M to record a smart win. On Thursday, he will face just seven rivals but he is rated the lowest but one of them. Here is the racecard from the Emirates Racing Authority.