Cruz breathes easier as raiders arrive in Dubai

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 March, 2010, 12:00am

Good Ba Ba and Joy And Fun have arrived safe and sound in Dubai as they prepare for an assault on the World Cup meeting this Saturday.

Trainer Derek Cruz was relieved to find there were no problems and admitted last week's Sacred Kingdom scare reminded everyone of the risks associated with travelling horses overseas.

Sacred Kingdom was struck down and almost killed by a serious bout of colic when he was boarding a plane to Japan last Thursday.

'Things like that make you think about how easily something like that could happen to any horse, especially when travelling,' Cruz said. 'Thankfully everything is fine with my two horses, and that's the main thing.'

Cruz has champion miler Good Ba Ba targeting the US$5 million Group One Dubai Duty Free (1,800m), while stablemate Joy And Fun will tackle the US$1 million Group Three Al Quoz Sprint (1,200m) at the brand new Meydan racecourse this weekend.

'They both travelled very well. I am very pleased they are still happy horses and were eating up as soon as they touched down,' Cruz said.

'They each lost a little weight, maybe three to five pounds during the flight, but they have put that back on and are looking well.'

Cruz will give the pair a trot around the training tracks this morning before fine-tuning his world-class gallopers with some light pace work on Thursday or Friday.

'They are both race-fit already and the work is just to keep them happy and get their legs moving,' Cruz said. 'Other than that we just have to wait for the barrier draw [tomorrow] and hope everything continues to go to plan.'

Hong Kong-based jockey Weichong Marwing will partner Good Ba Ba for the first time in the Dubai Duty Free, while Brett Doyle will be guiding Joy And Fun.

'Good Ba Ba is the best in the world on his day, and if he gets the 1,800 metres like we think he will, then he will be right in with a chance,' Cruz said. 'But I think Joy And Fun will line up pretty well in his race, too. He will be suited down the straight and I think he'll be more than competitive.'

The Hong Kong representation at the Dubai World Cup meeting is rounded out by the John Moore-trained One World in the US$2 million Golden Shaheen (1,200m), which will be held on the artificial Tapeta surface.

One World will be ridden by regular jockey Darren Beadman and Moore also confirmed his horse handled the nine-hour flight well.