Larrocha set for raid on QEII Cup
BRILLIANT filly Larrocha, who spread-eagled a field in Dubai on Sunday, will bid to keep the $4.5 million Queen Elizabeth II Cup in the desert sheikdom.
Larrocha, who was ridden by British champion jockey Frankie Dettori to her latest win, is the pick of the overseas challengers for the QEII Cup at Sha Tin on April 14 which was won in commanding style last year by Red Bishop, representing the United Arab Emirates.
The race this year is restricted to member countries of the Asian Racing Conference and there is a undeniable strength in depth to the invited horses, whose names were released yesterday by the Jockey Club.
Larrocha is a superbly-bred half-sister to the magnificent Ardross and was a close-up third in the Group One Prix Vermeille at Longchamp over 2,400 metres before moving to Dubai where she is one of the bright lights of the massively successful Godolphin operation.
She favours ease in the ground but is a top-rate competitor and has clearly come right back to her best form judging by Sunday's success in the first of the lead-up races for the Dubai World Cup at the end of next month.
She was trained in Britain by Luca Cumani and was a wide-margin winner of Listed races at York and Newbury. Sunday's win was on the sand.
As expected, International Cup winner Fujiyama Kenzan gives real credence to Japan's challenge for the Cup. He won December's race convincingly and will be at home over the 2,200 metres of April's renewal.
RUNNERS Australia: Juggler (Mrs Gai Waterhouse) and Peep On The Sly (R. Maxwell). Japan: Fujiyama Kenzan and Northern Polaris (both H. Mori). Malaysia and Singapore (MRA): Glide Away (D. W. Baertschiger) and Lanntara (Malcolm Thwaites). New Zealand: King Performer (P. M. Busuttin) and Sapio (Mrs S. L. Kay). United Arab Emirates: Larrocha (Saaed Bin Suroor).