Karaka graduates take on world’s best in Dubai

Karaka graduates So You Think (NZ), Ambitious Dragon (NZ) and Joy and Fun (NZ) will take on the world’s best at the Dubai World Cup meeting this Saturday night.

The US$10 million G1 Dubai World Cup (2000m) is the pinnacle race of the meeting and is headed by the New Zealand bred champion So You Think (High Chaparral).

A clear $3 favourite, So You Think goes into the world’s richest race first-up following a winter spell.  In 2011, he won the G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, G1 Eclipse Stakes and G1 Irish Champion Stakes.

So You Think boasts a strong record fresh after a G2 Memsie Stakes victory in August 2010 and the G3 Mooresbridge Stakes by 10 lengths in May last year.

A $110,000 purchase by DGR Thoroughbreds from Windsor Park Stud at NZ Bloodstock’s 2008 Karaka Premier Sale, So You Think will be out to become the first New Zealand bred winner of the Group 1 Dubai World Cup.  He has drawn well in barrier four and trainer Aidan O’Brien will leg up his son Joseph in the Meydan feature.

The US$5 million G1 Dubai Duty Free (1800m) will see Hong Kong  Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon (Pins) head into new territory as he races counter-clockwise for the first time.  He became just the second horse in history to win the G1 Hong Kong Derby – G1 QE II Cup double last season following Karaka graduate Vengeance of Rain (Zabeel) in 2005.

The Tony Millard trained gelding has claimed the first two legs of Hong Kong’s 2012 Triple Crown winning the G1 Stewards Cup (1600m) and G1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m).  He has drawn well in barrier four and will be ridden by champion jockey Douglas Whyte.

Vengeance of Rain (NZ) ran fifth in the Stewards Cup and won the Hong Kong Gold Cup before travelling to Dubai to win the US$5 million Group 1 Sheema Classic (2410m) in 2007.

Joy and Fun (Cullen) is no stranger to the Dubai World Cup meeting having won the G3 Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) in 2010.  The Derek Cruz trained gelding carries solid form into the G1 Al Quoz Sprint having won the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize at his last start in February.

Purchased by NZB as agent as a weanling from Java Lodge at the 2004 National Weanling and Broodmare Sale, Joy and Fun has also drawn well in barrier 6 and will be ridden by Brett Doyle.