John Sadler does not ship from California often, but when he does, he can be a force to reckon with. Fresh off a brilliant 2018 in which his Accelerate capped a magnificent campaign with victory in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, Sadler looks to add some gloss to his 2019 season when returning to Dubai for the first time in a decade.
“It’s been a while, but I think this horse will run well,” he said. “It was Nad Al Sheba the last time I was there and this will be my first runner at Meydan.”
This horse is Platinum Warrior, who has quickly taken to Sadler’s program, including a smart victory last out in the G2 San Marcos over 2000m on Santa Anita’s turf course. The effort was his fourth for Sadler, 12th overall and fifth since transferring to the U.S. Previously, he was based in Ireland with Mick Halford. He runs in the two-mile Dubai Gold Cup, which will be a major step up in trip.
“We got him in the summer and he looks like a real stayer,” Sadler said. “He won at a mile and a quarter in the Grade 2 the other day and I think he has a lot more there. He’s already won well in Europe as a 3-year-old and just took a bit of time once he got here.
“He ran off the plane when fourth in the Secretariat at Arlington and was unlucky not to be third that day,” Sadler continued. “He shipped to California and was unlucky again in a couple races and then ran really well. We saw that he’s a very good horse.”
The grey son of Galileo and Group 2-winning miler Laugh Out Loud will try to overcome this big step up in trip, but in his favour he does have a barn behind him with success in the region. Sadler has only had two starters in Dubai, but won with his first when landing the 2004 Dubai Golden Shaheen with Our New Recruit. He was also eighth in the 2009 edition with Machismo.
Topping those expected to take on Platinum Warrior is the daunting Godolphin-Charlie Appleby duo of Melbourne Cup hero Cross Counter and G2 winner Ispolini, as well as G1 Prix du Cadran winner Call The Wind. Other probables are Melbourne Cup-placed Prince Of Arran, South African G1 winner Marinaresco, Hong Kong-based Gold Mount and locally based trio Team Talk, Sharpalo and Red Galileo.