Photo courtesy Dubai Racing Club - Andrew Watkins
Since initially sending horses to compete in the Dubai World Cup Carnival’s final night of racing, Coolmore has accumulated a runner-up performance in the Dubai Sheema Classic with St. Nicholas Abbey in 2012, and two exceptional fourth-place performances in the two previous renewals of the Dubai World Cup. On March 30th, Coolmore aspires to take the $6 million winner’s share of the $10 million Dubai World Cup, as well as a hefty payoff with Daddy Long Legs who will likely go off at high odds.
Nominated for four other races on the Dubai World Cup card, Daddy Long Legs was demoted to the occupation of Coolmore’s rabbit following the 2012 Kentucky Derby. In the summer campaign that followed, his last three starts brought a fourth out of ten in Power’s Irish 2,000 Guineas, and a last place in both the Secretariat Stakes and the Irish Champion Stakes.Now as he comes into his four year old season, Daddy Long Legs enters the Dubai World Cup as a possible poster-child for his sire Scat Daddy, who currently stands at Coolmore’s American farm, Ashford Stud. The Michael Tabor colorbearing Daddy Long Legs could propel Scat Daddy to leading sire status by punctuating his impressive first batch of three-year-olds from 2012 as a world-class winner.
Daddy Long Legs was an outstanding representative of the Scat Daddy progeny from the outset; he won at first asking and then finished fourth beaten by 2 ¾ lengths in his stakes debut. He rebounded to win the Group II Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes with a 3 ¼ length score.The red colt closed his juvenile campaign on a sour note with a twelfth out of thirteen in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. He was fractious in the gates positioned before a crowd of 80,000. After a slow break, he fought Ryan Moore’s leaden hand of restraint. Daddy Long Legs eventually settled, but got over the conventional dirt track poorly and was displeased with the kickback.
Daddy Long Legs made his three-year-old debut in spectacular fashion, winning the Dubai World Cup Carnival’s UAE Derby for trainer Aidan O’Brien. He forcefully traveled over the tapeta surface with the grand reach of his front and back legs, making for an efficient trip over the 1 1/8 mile distance.
Daddy Long Legs preparing for 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs
Photo courtesy Tom Ferry
Just over a month following this impressive performance at Meydan, Coolmore shipped the colt to once again face the unkind dirt oval and huge crowds at Churchill Downs for the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Unable to overcome his distaste for the Louisville track, he was pulled up late on the backstretch after getting over the surface poorly. Daddy Long Legs was then sent forth as a rabbit for a group of important races, and now enters 2013 with a lifetime record of nine starts and three wins.
Daddy Long Legs has returned to Dubai, the place where he enjoyed his career’s most glorious win, to prepare for the world’s richest race: the Dubai World Cup. Coolmore wisely sent him into training with the currently U.A.E-based Mike de Kock, giving the colt an optimal opportunity to excel by avoiding the physical consequences of shipping shortly before the race. Training well for his new conditioner, Daddy Long Legs is expected to run on February 21st in the Al Fahdi Fort, though no solid plans have been established. If he is a non-starter in the Al Fahdi Fort, he would probably compete in a race on Super Saturday.
A 2013 Dubai World Cup ending with a victorious Daddy Long Legs could remind racegoers of Vincent O’Brien’s historic empire-building betting successes. The son of Scat Daddy seems likely to go to the post unheeded by the oddsmaker, and may be an astute investment for punters to back in the Dubai World Cup.