June 24, 2024

Tower of London blitzes home in Dubai Gold Cup

Tower of London wins the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan racecourse (Photo by Horsephotos)

After handling a challenging assignment in the Red Sea Turf H. (G3) on Saudi Cup Day, Tower of London was backed into 2-1 favoritism in a presumably better scenario in Saturday’s $1 million Dubai Gold Cup (G2).

Aidan O’Brien’s young stayer had a level playing field at the weights, and a smoother passage at Meydan, but he still had to find a serious turn of foot to close off a leisurely pace. The Galileo colt summoned a blistering final quarter in :22.01 – quite a feat at the end of two metric miles – to sweep past French veteran Al Nayyir. Confidently handled by Ryan Moore, Tower of London surged two lengths clear in a final time of 3:17.29.

The 36-1 Al Nayyir worked out a perfect stalking trip courtesy of Christophe Soumillon, only to be swamped by the superior speed of Tower of London. But his effort was rewarded with a solid second, with 1 1/2 lengths to spare over pace factor Trawlerman.

Siskany, just denied by another Ballydoyle runner (Broome) here a year ago, reported home a close fourth from Giavellotto. One of the prime contenders, Eldar Eldarov, was scratched on veterinary advice at the gate.

“The horse next door kicked the stalls, and Eldar Eldarov anticipated the start,” KHK Racing representative Chris Wall said. “He jumped up and banged his head and is a bit concussed. He’s gone to the hospital and we’ll wait and see how it unwinds for him.”

Tower of London, a full brother to dual classic winner Capri, will return to Europe with a resume of 10-5-1-0 for the Coolmore partners and Westerberg.

“You would have to be very impressed with that,” O’Brien commented after the Dubai Gold Cup. “He has become a very classy horse. He is very pacey. He quickens so well. Ryan said there wasn’t much pace on, but he was happy to wait with him like he did in Saudi last month. He settles well, then quickens. And he loves that fast ground on a flat track.

“I am not sure what the plan will be for him. I don’t know if he would get the trip in an Ascot Gold Cup (G1). He might, though. Ryan said he could drop back to a mile and a half, too, so we have options with him. Races like the Coronation Cup (G1) or the Hardwicke S. (G2) we could think about. Ryan was very confident beforehand. We felt him and Auguste Rodin were our best chances of the day, and it is great to start with a win.”

Ballydoyle was out of luck the rest of the day, including a flop by Auguste Rodin in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1).