Potential Derby Contender Fore Left Makes History For O’Neill In Dubai

Overcoming a wide draw in a field of 16, 3-year-old Twirling Candy colt Fore Left came away victorious at Meydan Thursday, winning the Group 3, $250,000 UAE 2000 Guineas for trainer Doug O’Neill. It was the earliest victory for an American-based trainer at the Dubai World Cup Carnival. Jockey William Buick rode the Reddam Racing-owned colt to a win in 1:38.43 for the mile.

Fore Left was considered a potential Kentucky Derby contender last year and won three of eight starts as a juvenile, but his best finish in four graded stakes races was a third in the Grade 2 Best Pal. Still, his connections are pointing him for a start in the UAE Derby on the Dubai World Cup card, a 100-point qualifier for the first Saturday in May. Even a second-place finish would virtually guarantee a spot in the Derby starting gate. Last year, the UAE Derby produced two Derby starters.

In Thursday’s race, Fore Left broke well and captured an early lead that he would never relinquish. The margin of victory was 1 3/4 lengths.

“He set good fractions, got a little bit of a breather on the turn and then kicked again. He’s just a very game, honest horse who stuck on very well,” said jockey Buick. 

“That was so cool. I was absolutely going nuts and I’m so happy for Mr. Reddam and for my whole team,” said O’Neill. “I am so proud to be part of a great team with Leandro (Mora, assistant) and Tony Romero and the entire team there and back home in California. What an awesome experience.” 

In other action Thursday in Dubai, Saudi Cup contender Benbatl, owned by Godolphin and trained by Saeed bin Suroor, captured the G2, $450,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2. Gronkowski finished third.

The post Potential Derby Contender Fore Left Makes History For O’Neill In Dubai appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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