Viva Macau has Singapore in his sights
Alan Aitken in Dubai
Trainer John Moore will earmark the International Airlines Cup in Singapore for Viva Macau should he force his way into the Dubai Duty Free at Nad Al Sheba's Super Thursday tonight.
Viva Macau lines up in the US$250,000 Jebel Hatta (1,777m) needing to win or run well to join Bullish Luck and Floral Pegasus as Hong Kong's representatives in the US$ 5million Dubai Duty Free on March 29.
Moore is thrilled with the way that Viva Macau has travelled and is now considering the Singapore race as a real option for the five-year-old post-Dubai.
'We'll get this race over with first. Of course, I'm hoping he'll run well in Dubai - he has the best of the draw in gate five, we don't really know the opposition yet but we'll be doing some research before race time,' Moore (pictured) said.
'But my son George has travelled over with Viva Macau and says he has really done well in the warmer weather, put on weight, worked nicely. It's beautiful here at the moment and hard to imagine a horse not doing well, but if Viva Macau is a good traveller, and that is how it looks, then the Singapore race could be a nice option with him later.'
Darren Beadman took the night off from Happy Valley yesterday to be sure to have his background work done for tonight's event in his first ride in Dubai.
'I said to John a couple of weeks ago that, since the stable doesn't usually have a lot happening on the Wednesday nights, our job might be better helped by coming over early so we can look at the form in the race and the likely pace,' Beadman said yesterday.
'I'm looking forward to riding Viva Macau and also to seeing some of the opposition Viva Pataca will face on World Cup night, too, with Quijano, Oracle West and some others running in the Dubai City Of Gold on Thursday night.' With a fairly crowded team of hopefuls for the Duty Free, Viva Macau really has to perform tonight to earn a place in the race, but the Sean Woods-trained Watch What Happens might only have to run respectably in the US$200,000 Burj Nahar (1,600m) on the dirt to find a place in the US$1 million Godolphin Mile on World Cup night.
Watch What Happens (Douglas Whyte) has some important hurdles to get over, not the least of them the different texture of the Nad Al Sheba dirt surface, which is much deeper than the all-weather at Sha Tin.
But he also lines up against the Mike de Kock-trained Asiatic Boy, a star on the dirt who won the UAE Derby last year by a huge margin and is shaping as one of the horses to beat in the World Cup. At yesterday's Super Thursday press conference, champion jockey Frankie Dettori was forecasting a sweep of the night's racing by De Kock, who has 12 top chances on the night, and the trainer is very enthusiastic about the condition of Asiatic Boy.