Southern Legend Straight To Dubai Turf

Southern Legend (Aus) (Not A Single Doubt {Aus}) will train up to the US$6-million G1 Dubai Turf Mar. 30 and will not make an appearance on the Mar. 9 Super Saturday program, trainer Caspar Fownes confirmed Friday morning.

The sturdy 6-year-old, winner of last year’s Kranji Mile in his first overseas venture, has been admirably consistent in his seven runs this season, including placings behind reigning Horse of the Year Beauty Generation (NZ) (Road to Rock {Aus}) in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile and G1 Champions Mile, and most recently ran out a strong 2000 metres when runner-up to Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) in the G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup Feb. 17.

“We decided to go straight to the race at the World Cup meeting, fly him in for that one run like we did when he won the race in Singapore last year,” Fownes told the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s David Morgan during Friday morning barrier trials at Sha Tin.

The first heat of the day included, among others, Hong Kong’s current dirt standout Elusive State (Aus) (All American {Aus}), unbeaten in his last four starts on the surface and eyeing off a start in either the World Cup or, perhaps more likely, the US$2-million G2 Godolphin Mile. With Silvestre de Sousa at the controls Friday morning, Elusive State moved nicely and was not asked for much in finishing eighth (video). He will try to punch his Dubai ticket in a Class 2 over 1650m of the dirt track on Sunday week.

Trainer Richard Gibson has made no secret that he is looking for an invite to the G1 Al Quoz Sprint for his progressive Wishful Thinker (Aus) (I Am Invincible {Aus}), who was extremely impressive in winning the Class 1 Happy Valley H. (1200m) with a big weight at the city circuit Feb. 13 (video). He could try to improve his current rating of 112–also Sunday week–in a 1200m Class 1 that is a stakes-quality affair year in and year out.

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