Country Grammer Returns For Dubai World Cup Defense
US-trained thoroughbred Country Grammer caused an upset in 2022 when he landed the Dubai World Cup, beating the favorite Life Is Good at Meydan Racecourse. Under the hands of Frankie Dettori, they prevailed in one of the richest races in the world.
The six-year-old has won just once since his triumph at Meydan in 2022. He scored in the Grade Two San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita during the festive period. His appearance in the Dubai World Cup could be one of the last of his career.
Baffert’s Star Tops The Betting This Year
This year, Country Grammer goes into the latest renewal of the Dubai World Cup as the +250 favorite in the racing betting to come out on top for trainer Bob Baffert. He showed in 2022, that he enjoys the course at Meydan and the distance for the race is arguably his optimal trip.
The legendary US trainer has won the Dubai World Cup four times, with his first victory in the race coming as early as 1998. Country Grammer is one of two horses that Baffert has entered this year as bids for victory number five in the UAE. He finished second in the recent Saudi Cup at Riyadh. That run could work out as perfect preparation for his bid to defend his crown in the 2,000-meter contest.
Dettori Has Been Based in The USA Over the Winter
Country Grammer wins the Dubai World Cup! 🥇
A fourth win in the race for Frankie Dettori 🏆🏆🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/LfFfjIpvXS
— Racing Post (@RacingPost) March 26, 2022
With over 500 Grade/Group One victories in his career, Dettori is considered one of the greatest jockeys of all time. This is set to be the final year of his career so he will be desperate to prevail on board Country Grammer for a fifth win in the race, which would ensure he holds the record outright as a jockey.
The UK-based jockey has been riding in the USA during the winter months. It meant he was able to partner Country Grammer for his success in the San Antonio Stakes. He will also have ridden the horse on the gallops at Baffert’s operation many times during his stint in North America.
Dettori is a jockey who will not be fazed by the big occasions at Meydan Racecourse. He has won almost all the leading Flat races around the world in horse racing, including the Derby, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Challengers To Defending Champion
The biggest challenger to Country Grammer this year is set to be Algiers, who is trained in the UK by Simon and Ed Crisford. The six-year-old has been out in the UAE since January and he has already appeared twice at the Dubai World Cup Carnival.
On his opening appearance of 2023, Crisford’s gelding won the Grade Two Al Maktoum Challenge R1. He then stepped up in distance to prevail by six lengths in the Grade Two Al Maktoum Challenge R2, a race run over 1m1½f.
🇯🇵 A Japanese winner of the Saudi Cup as Panthalassa clings on for Yutaka Yoshida and Yoshito Yahagi! #競馬 @netkeiba pic.twitter.com/tdEPkxHmB6
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) February 25, 2023
Only once has a Japanese-trained horse been successful in the Dubai World Cup, but that number will be doubled this year if Panthalassa can come out on top for trainer Yoshito Yahagi. The six-year-old defeated Country Grammer in the Saudi Cup. He will be bidding to become the first horse to complete the major double of races in the Middle East.
This year’s Dubai World Cup will be the 27th running of the lucrative dirt contest. There is a purse of $12 million, with $7.2 million going to the winning connections.