By Nicholas Godfrey
UAE: Tacitus has become the latest leading contender to be ruled out of the Dubai World Cup after a minor training setback.
The $12 million event at Meydan on March 27 has been hit by a succession of withdrawals, among them Saudi Cup winner Mishriff, who runs instead in the Dubai Sheema Classic, and February Stakes winner Cafe Pharoah, who is staying at home in Japan.
US stars Charlatan and Knicks Go went home after running in the Saudi Cup, in which the Bill Mott-trained Tacitus was seventh. The horse then shipped to Dubai for the second time, having also missed out on the Dubai World Cup in 2020 when the race was abandoned owing to COVID-19.
News that Breeders’ Cup Classic fourth Tacitus will not run at Meydan was revealed in a tweet by Tamarkuz Media, who quoted Juddmonte’s US manager Garrett O’Rourke.
“He had an issue behind from a minor stall injury that has caused Bill to decide to walk him for a few weeks, so he couldn’t be back in time,” he said. “It’s frustrating, as it’s his second attempt at running that has been thwarted.”
In other US news, Preakness Stakes winner Swiss Skydiver is set to make her seasonal debut in the G1 Beholder Mile at Santa Anita on Saturday.
Shedaresthedevil who beat her in the Kentucky Oaks, also returns on Saturday in the G2 Azeri at Oaklawn Park, where Breeders’ Cup Sprint hero Whitmore bids to complete a five-timer in the Hot Springs Stakes at the start of his eight-year-old campaign.
On the same card, the $1m Rebel Stakes features a clash between leading Kentucky Derby hopes Concert Tour and Caddo River.
Dubai World Cup betting (Ladbrokes): 5-2 Mystic Guide, 4 Military Law, 5 Jesus’ Team, Salute The Soldier, 10 Hypothetical, Magny Cours, 12 Chuwa Wizard, Sleepy Eyes Todd, 20 Military March, Roman Rosso, Thegreatcollection, 25 Ajuste Fiscal, Title Ready, 33 Capezzano, Gronkowski.