Racing: Sangster lured by Dubai

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ROBERT SANGSTER is to break new ground by sending horses to be trained in Dubai this winter. He is dispatching three two-year-old colts, Barossa Valley, Cult Hero and Kalkabrino, the former 2,000 Guineas favourite, to experience the expanding racing operation established there by the Maktoum family.

Sangster decided to follow the initiative of Sheikh Mohammed, who sent Classic hopes Dayflower and Blush Rambler to Dubai last year, after a visit there recently.

'I was tremendously impressed by the development since I was last there two years ago,' he said. 'The facilities are exceptional, the climate is like the English summer, and the horses are likely to race there at the end of March before returning for the European campaign in April.

'Dayflower ran really well in the 1,000 Guineas and won at York afterwards. I think many other owners will take advantage of the sunshine in Dubai. Out there each stable has its own swimming pool and there are two lads to each horse as opposed to one lad to two or three in England.

'The standard of horses is very high and I believe it is going to be even more popular than Hong Kong for European racing people to visit.'

The Sangster trio will join their former stable-mates Balanchine, State Performer, Shepton Mallet and Escarpment, sold to Sheikh Mohammed in the autumn, all of whom are expected to return to trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam for the summer.

There are now 500 horses in Dubai under the care of 24 trainers and 48 jockeys. British-based riders Ray Cochrane, Willie Ryan and Richard Hills, plus Ireland's John Murtagh, have already been in action. Despite there being no betting, the race meetings - scheduled to continue every week until April - are drawing crowds of over 10,000.