CIGAR, the American-trained favourite for this week's Dubai World Cup, has his first full workout on the Nad Al Sheba racecourse tonight, just days before Wednesday evening's $4m desert showpiece. The five-year- old's trainer, Bill Mott, arrived on Friday in time to conduct his first session with the horse yesterday morning, but unseasonal weather in the Gulf put a halt to any serious action on the rain-soaked track.
Mott said: "The horse is well, but obviously with the rain I was only able to canter him steadily. But he is a very relaxed horse who has taken the travelling in his stride and everything with him is fine. He was very pleasing in his last bit of work before being shipped to Dubai and I hope to breeze him under the floodlights tomorrow."
Cigar, who arrived in Dubai last Monday after a 21-hour flight, has won his last 13 races and was voted US horse of the year in 1995, and is the horse who gives credibility to the race's grandiose title. Britain's first- string challenger Pentire continued his build-up in good style, working with his stablemate Young Buster, who will run in one of the supporting races. Pentire, trained by Geoff Wragg, is perceived as one of the principal dangers to Cigar.
Brett Doyle, poised to clinch the United Arab Emirates jockeys' title at the end of his first spell in the Middle East, received recognition for his local knowledge yesterday when he was handed the mount on Clive Brittain's Needle Gun. The young jockey rode four for Brittain at Doncaster yesterday and will fly to Dubai tomorrow.
The 10-furlong race, the richest ever to be run, has attracted runners from Britain, the States and Australia, as well as four trained locally under its instigator Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin banner.
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