Climate change: Dubai Carnival beckons for Scandinavian champion Square De Luynes

Horse Racing Square De Luynes
Team Square De Luynes: Scandinavian star could be running in Dubai over the winter. Photo: Elina Björklund/Svensk Galopp

By Jon Lees

Norway: Scandinavia’s outstanding horse Square De Luynes could finally be tested on an international stage with plans being made to ship him to Dubai for the winter.

The six-year-old dubbed the ‘Frankel of the Fjords’ has proved almost invincible on home territory and underlined his continuing dominance by recording his third victory in a row in the G3 Stockholm Cup [September 19].

His trainer Niels Petersen has unfulfilled ambitions to compete elsewhere and is hoping to assemble a small team of horses to take to Dubai headed by Square De Luynes, if he can secure stable accommodation.

“Our plan is to go out to Dubai and go out there early this year,” said Petersen. “We have to be out of here sooner rather than later before the weather changes. The end of October would be ideal.

“We want to try and race Square De Luynes there. He is too good not to try. In the cold climate he loses form very quickly, so I am trying to get a string of horses and get out to Dubai early.”

Square De Luynes, a son of Manduro owned by the Stall Power Girls, has won eight of his 12 starts but has never raced outside Norway or Sweden. On his latest run under regular rider Pat Cosgrave he defeated British challenger Outbox by three lengths at Bro Park.

He travelled to Dubai to spend part of the 2019-20 winter in the Middle East but never got to the track. COVID-19 restrictions have thwarted plans to travel since.

Horse Racing Square De Luynes
Square De Luynes (Pat Cosgrave): three time Stockholm Cup winner has yet to race outside Norway and Sweden. Photo: Elina Björklund/Svensk Galopp

Pietersen believes there could be opportunities at the 2022 Dubai World Cup Carnival and the Saudi World Cup meeting which staged a valuable handicap for horses trained in lower tier nations, like Norway, for the first time this year.

“Last time we went to Dubai we got there late in the year and it just takes time to get Square De Luynes fit,” he said. “So in the form he is in now, and his health is great, I would love to take him and run him in the Carnival and maybe Saudi Cup day and World Cup night, if he is good enough.”

Pietersen is a perennial champion in Norway and is looking forward to the new challenge Dubai could present.

“It would be fun to try,” he said. “We have a nice string of horses with Kick On, Could Be King, Square, and a few others, and we will be looking to buy one or two more. We want to bring as many as we can.

“We have good, fresh horses that haven’t raced too much because COVID-19 delayed the season in Norway to the end of June. I do think we have good enough horses but we have to get there early.”

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