Thursday, March 24, 2011
O’Callaghan Hopes to Dance to Dubai Golden Shaheen Repeat
Dubai, UAE, March 24, 2011 - One of the most lasting images of the 2010 Dubai World Cup card was trainer Carl O'Callaghan's “Irish Jig” in the parade ring as his charge Kinsale King reported home victorious in the US$2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News, and the affable Irish-born but California-based trainer is back with his star sprinter in a repeat bid in the 1200m dash on the Meydan Racecourse All-Weather surface.
The victory by the son of Yankee Victor as well as the dance from the gelding's trainer put both horse and conditioner on the international stage.
O'Callaghan elected to keep his stable star in England for the Group I July Cup at Newmarket but Kinsale King turned in an unusually dull performance, finishing 12th of 14.
“I think I may have run him back too quickly,” O'Callaghan said. “After that, I took him back to the States to regroup and get ready for the Breeders' Cup.”
Running the Group One Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs without the benefit of a prep, Kinsale King never really fired and finished seventh.
Nevertheless, O'Callaghan kept his sights on a return trip to Dubai for the now six year old gelding. However a change in surface at Santa Anita Park forced the trainer to slightly change the road from California to Dubai.
Last year, he ran in the Group Two Palos Verde, winning over the Pro Ride surface at Santa Anita before sending Kinsale King up to Golden Gate Fields in Northern California for a workout between races over that track's All-Weather surface, the same surface he'd be racing on in Dubai.
This year, with a dirt surface newly installed Santa Anita, O'Callaghan, who is based at Hollywood Park which has a synthetic surface called Cushion Track, skipped the stakes race and instead went up to Golden Gate for a race rather than a workout.
“I was just going to take him up there to work like I did last year,” O'Callaghan said, “but they hung up an open allowance race so went in there and it worked out.”
As Saturday’s Dubai Golden Shaheen approaches, O'Callaghan looked back fondly on the last year.
“I'm amazed at how much I've accomplished in the last 12 months,” he said. “I came to Dubai and won the [Dubai] Golden Shaheen; sent this horse to race at Royal Ascot and then run in the Breeders' Cup. I'd never been to a [Dubai] World Cup (card) or Breeders' Cup before.
“Kinsale King has taken me far,” he continued. “No telling how far he'll take me this year.”
Read more articles in the Meydan category.