Co-owners Phoenix Thoroughbreds and Khalid bin Mishref have confirmed riding plans for Dubai World Cup night with Ryan Moore getting the call for Gronkowski in the feature while Oisin Murphy will be onboard on Axelrod in the Godolphin Mile.
Moore is no stranger when it comes to riding the son on Lonhro having piloted the five-year-old in the first two starts of his career. As for current British Champion rider Muprhy, he has a long and fruitful association with the Dubai-based Phoenix. He was on board the group’s first Royal Ascot winner, Signora Cabello and more recently guided Gronkowski to his near-miss in last year’s Dubai World Cup.
“I’m delighted to get the ride on Axelrod,” Said Murphy. “He has some great form in America and ran a cracker last time. In probably a wide-open race, he’s going to have a big chance.”
That last run was Axelrod’s first of the year and saw him come from way off the pace to finish runner-up in the Burj Nahaar. Trainer Salem bin Ghadayer was quick to highlight the five-year-old wasn’t fully wound-up and Murphy fully expects five-year-old to come on for the run.
“Salem get’s them spot on for the day and has a terrific record on World Cup night, so I’m pleased to be getting the leg-up on him.” Said the Jockey.
True to form the rider is already thinking about how he’ll approach the race, especially taking into consideration Axelrod’s propensity for coming from back in the pack.
“I suppose he got back, but he ran on last time,” said Murphy. “He faces kickback and got loads of experience, so I’m sure he’ll go well.
“Depending on his draw, I like to sit him handier than he has been ridden recently. Get him out and get him going forward and hopefully, he’ll finish off. He does stay further than a mile and I think that’s important to remember, so I like to put him in the best possible place.”
Dubai World Cup night is scheduled to take place on March 28 at Meydan.