Mick Kinane, the former Irish champion who concluded his domestic season with a winner at Leopardstown earlier this week, is preparing for a stint of globetrotting that will take him to four internationally renowned racecourses on two continents in search of big prize money over the next eight weeks.
Kinane rode the well-regarded Stage Affair to victory in the Natural Gas Energy Rated Homes Trigo Stakes at the Dublin track for his retaining trainer Dermot Weld, who supplies the first of the star Irish rider's four important overseas rides on the West Coast of the US this weekend.
Weld sends the hardy filly Dance Design to Santa Anita for the Yellow Ribbon Stakes tomorrow. The much-travelled four-year-old has proven able to cope with the trans-Atlantic hopping, with her recent third in the Beverly D at Arlington Park in August being more than ample proof.
'We're very hopeful that she'll run well,' Kinane said.
'There was a minor scare with a hoof not that long ago -it was almost like a stone bruise - but she seems to have shrugged it off and we think she'll give a good account of herself. She has run some fine races for her owner,' he added. Dance Design, by Sadler's Wells, is owned by the Moyglare Stud Farm.
Kinane plans to remain in Los Angeles after riding at Santa Anita and will switch his attention to the important Breeders' Cup meeting, at Hollywood Park, a week today. The Irishman has been booked to partner Desert King, the Irish Derby and 2,000 Guineas winner, in the Turf, in which the colt will clash with the all-conquering Singspiel.
It is a chance for Kinane to continue his successful association with owners Michael Tabor and Mrs John Magnier, as well as Ballydoyle trainer Aidan O'Brien.
He won the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last Saturday for the same combination aboard Saratoga Springs, while two weeks earlier he had partnered their Second Empire to victory in the Grand Criterium at Longchamp.
Kinane's other international dates in November and December are also potentially lucrative.
He is to partner Pilsudski, already a triple Group One winner this year, in the Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse, Fuchu, on November 23, while he also has an early booking for the Saeed Manana-owned Luso in the Hong Kong International Vase at Sha Tin on December 14.
'If I can land one or two of those races I will consider it a successful conclusion to the season,' Kinane said last night.
'I have finished with 55 winners in Ireland this year, which is a little down on other years but there have been several highlights.
'I'm just a little disappointed that I didn't find a Melbourne Cup ride this year. It will be the first Cup I've missed in four years - and you can't beat it for getting a buzz,' he added.
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