Horsemen And Chinese Media Meet Ahead Of Fifth Chengdu Dubai International Cup

Chengdu Dubai International Cup will be held on Saturday, April 7th, 2018

(Chengdu, China – April 4, 2018) – The landmark fifth Chengdu Dubai International Cup will be held on Saturday, April 7th. Leading up to the event, members of the Chinese media met Dubai Racing Club horsemen at Jinma lake Racecourse early on Thursday morning. Results from Saturday’s card will be available on the Emirates Racing Authority app, which is free to download via the app stores for Android and iPhone. Said app also features a live stream of the action from Jinma Lake Racecourse.

Final preparations are being made for the five-race all-turf Chengdu Dubai International Cup, which represents a joint venture between Meydan Group, the Chengdu Municipal Government, the Chengdu Sports Bureau, the Wenjiang District Government and China Guangsha Group. The venue is the Jinma Lake Racecourse in Wenjiang District of Chengdu, and the annual event features horses, jockeys and trainers from Dubai Racing Club, as well as local jockeys from China.

This year will also mark the second running of the Chengdu Dubai International Jockeys’ Challenge, where a group of five Chinese jockeys will battle against eight jockeys who competed in the 2017-18 Dubai Racing Club season. Ma Liankai Li Jiafei, He Xianfei, Wang Wenxun and Chen Yi comprise the Chinese contingent, while Fernando Jara, Richard Mullen, Patrick Dobbs, Samuel Hitchcott, Antonio Fresu, Tadhg O'Shea, Adam Mclean, and Jesus Rosales represent the international riders.

The jockey’s challenge will be conducted across two races: The Wenjiang Sprint (Race 1) and The Guangsha Handicap (Race 3).

“I hope the Chinese jockeys will be able to win the jockey’s challenge,” said Liankai Ma , who had an impressive 2017, including victories in four Group 1 races, two Group 2s and six Listed events. “This is a very special event for the Chinese jockeys, and it has provided a great boost for the local racing industry as well. I had the opportunity to train in Dubai last year and witness the scale of operations at Meydan and I feel that will help me to perform better this year.”

Top Dubai-based conditioners, all of whom have held the title of champion trainer of the UAE, will be represented, including reigning three-time titleholder Doug Watson, Erwan Charpy, Satish Seemar, Musabbeh Al Mheiri and Ali Rashid Al Rayhi. Al Mheiri currently leads the tally as most successful Chengdu Dubai International Cup trainer with six wins.

“We have brought Fa’iz here for a fifth time, and he has always been placed,” said Remi Passelande, assistant to Erwan Charpy. “He likes the turf and is very happy here. The other horse we have brought is Natural Law and we expect a good performance from him, as well. Every year we come here, we see improvements in the event and a growing interest in racing among locals.”

“We have three good horses that we expect top results from, including Good Trip, who runs in the (Chengdu Dubai International Cup presented by Longines),” added Jilani Siddiqui, assistant to trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi. “Portamento will run in the Wejiang-Meydan Classic (sponsored by Azizi), and Quartier Francais will run in the Meydan Handicap. The horses are happy to travel here and are doing well. This is my fourth trip here and the change of pace is something I enjoy.”

Bhupat Seemar, assistant trainer to Satish Seemar, said: “We have brought six horses and at least four should be competitive. I would think Moonlight Bar and Ejbaar would be our best chances. It just keeps getting better here. The facilities, the track and the infrastructure, have all improved.”

The aforementioned sentiments were echosed by Al Mheiri assistant Maria Ritchie and Watson assistant Noel Connolly.

“I enjoy coming back here and the horses really thrive here,” Ritchie said. “I have three horses being ridden by Chinese jockeys. We brought 11 horses and our three best chances are in the (Wenjiang-Meydan Classic) with Billingsgate, Muhtaram and Special Boy.”

“We have brought 15 horses,” Connolly added. “They are all eating well and training well, so we are pleased. In the first race, we have three local jockeys riding for us and that is exciting for us. We are focused on making sure the horses are well and hopefully we will get a couple of winners, as well.”

Multiple meet-winning jockey Jesus Rosales and 2007 Dubai World Cup and 2006 Belmont Stakes-winning jockey Fernando Jara are each be back for a series of mounts.

“This is my fifth time here,” Rosales said. “Even though the race track is different, we are riding horses we know, so it is comfortable. This track is similar to the Abu Dhabi track and I really like it. I feel very fortunate to have been able to come here every season. “

“This is my second visit here,” Jara added. “It is a great race track and I will be riding four horses. I think it is great for the Chinese jockeys to get the experience of competing in this competition with us. It is also good for us. Even though I have been riding for 15 years, I continue to learn something new every day.