Midnight Serenade by Malhub winning the Storm Bird Stakes for trainer Dianne Stenger
Midnight Serenade by Malhub winning the Storm Bird Stakes for trainer Dianne Stenger

Click above to watch Snow Fairy winning the Hong Kong Cup (Gr1)

(Photo : Guardian - Footage : YouTube)


With South African horses leading the charge at the Dubai Carnival, it’s very easy to become “blinkered” in our expectations for the outcomes on the big night itself, the Dubai World Cup. We tend to forget a little that the world is a big place, and that there are other countries famed for the quality of their horses, and who are bound to be lured by the magic of the biggest purses in the world.

Let’s not forget then, that there will be plenty of quality runners in attendance this year, and that English Champion Stakes hero, Twice Over’s victory over Mike de Kock’s Musir last Thursday, was a reminder of how tough things are going to get for our South African-breds.

That’s not a reason to be deterred, as our horses have shown over the years that they can stand their ground with the best, but yesterday’s news that the oustanding filly in Europe, Snow Fairy, hot off two Grade One wins in Japan’s Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup and the Hong Kong Cup in her last two starts, is going to be aimed at the Sheema Classic (over 2400 m) on her preferred surface, turf, is an ominous warning to would-be candidates for that event.

Her trainer, Ed Dunlop, told PA Sport “putting everything together, we’ve decided to stick to what we know best. We know she goes well on fast turf, and we were not totally certain about running her on the tapeta for her first race of the season. It’s something we’ve all agreed on”.

From Hong Kong comes the news that the Grade One Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile ace, Beauty Flash, is poised for an attempt at the $5 million Dubai Duty Free, a race for which Mike de Kock has among his arrows, River Jetez, in the form of her life.

It’s going to be some night.