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Mar 30, 2007

Invasor and Discreet Cat meet again in Dubai World Cup

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Sports Network) - Horse of the Year Invasor and the only horse to defeat him, Discreet Cat, head a field of seven for Saturday's $6 million Dubai World Cup. The richest horse race in the world will be contested over a distance of 1 1/4 miles.

Invasor is owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the Dubai ruling family and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin. The five-year-old horse is on a five race win streak since losing here last year.

"I tell my brother (and assistant trainer) Neal and (sister-in-law and assistant trainer) Trish," said McLaughlin, "that we've got to soak this up every day as much as we can because this horse is once in a lifetime."

Fernando Jara is again set to ride the winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Classic and the pair will start from the far outside post.

"It's a good position for us, it's outside and hopefully out of trouble," McLaughlin commented. "We're happy there are only seven in there. We would have liked to have had more in there to have a faster pace, but then we've only got six to beat."

Invasor has won 10 of 11 career starts for $3.79 million. He began 2007 with a solid win at Gulfstream Park in the Donn Handicap.

The undefeated Discreet Cat returns to Nad Al Sheba racetrack where last year he became the only horse to win a race that included Invasor. As a three-year- old Discreet Cat won the UAE Derby where Invasor finished fourth.

Owned by Godolphin Stable and trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Discreet Cat will break from the inside post with Frankie Dettori riding. Dettori was aboard the colt for both wins here last year. The 2006 World Cup winner Electrocutionist had the same connections.

"I am not at all worried about the inside draw," said Suroor, "we were there last year and it's a smaller field. He has tactical speed and I will be looking for him to take a position and settle into the race."

Discreet Cat has more than $1.5 million in his bankroll while being perfect in six starts. Last year he recorded wins in the Jerome and Cigar Handicaps, both at a flat mile. This is his first start of 2007.

"He's now facing the biggest race of his life," said Godolphin Racing Manager Simon Crisford. "He has all the hallmarks of a great champion, and we're very hopeful he can maintain his unbeaten record."

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz & Sons' Premium Tap is back to take on Invasor, a horse he has yet to beat. Premium Tap was fifth to Invasor last year in the Whitney Handicap and third in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

The five-year-old is trained by John Kimmel and will be ridden by regular rider Kent Desormeaux from post 5.

"I am pleased with the position and it's going to be a rider's race," Kimmel said. "Depending on what the pace of the race is, the horse that is in the best place at the right time will win. That's what it's all about, and that's the best thing about Premium Tap, he can make multiple moves."

Premium Tap opened 2007 with a victory in Saudi Arabia after closing last year by capturing the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. He has won seven of 18 career starts for more than $1.3 million.

Completing the field for the Dubai World Cup in post position order are Vermilion, Bullish Luck, Kandidate and Forty Licks.

The Dubai World Cup has a post-time of 1:30 p.m. (et) and will be shown by delayed tape at 2:30 p.m. (et) on ABC.



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