PHILIPPART DE FOY TAKES AIM AT MAIDEN DUBAI WORLD CUP NIGHT WIN WITH EL HABEEB
Newmarket-based trainer Kevin Philippart de Foy will take aim at a maiden win on Dubai World Cup night on Saturday with EL HABEEB, who will take his chance in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup.
El Habeeb, who is owned by Mohamed Khalid Abdulrahim of Bahrain, joined Philippart de Foy’s stable midway through last summer, after running a creditable race to finish midfield in the Group 1 Derby at Epsom Downs Racecourse at huge odds of 250/1.
Since then, El Habeeb has won two races from four starts. Most recently, he dug deep to win the Listed Noel Murless Stakes at Ascot Racecourse, successfully repelling a persistent challenge from the Marco Botti-trained GIAVELLOTTO, who will line up alongside El Habeeb in Saturday’s race over 3200 meters at Meydan Racecourse.
Speaking with Great British Racing International in a video feature released on Monday, Philippart de Foy issued a positive report on El Habeeb’s preparation for Dubai:
“He had a tough three-year-old season and we started again in December, and we just started to build him back up in view to run in Dubai, and that was always the plan to come here. He’s been in great shape, he’s probably stronger than he was last year. [He] didn’t grow a huge amount but just kept getting stronger, and his preparation has been ideal.
“I think the horse will enjoy the trip, will enjoy the ground out there and obviously it’s tough competition, it’s one of the big staying races of the calendar and we have a decent chance. We won’t be favourite, but I think the horse has the right profile, competitive, and he’s very laid back which should help with the travelling side of things.
“Obviously, winning our first Listed race and going for the first time travelling abroad, quite far away, it’s very exciting, and I’m very honoured and privileged to be training him.”
Reflecting on the trajectory of his training career thus far and this next step with El Habeeb, Philippart de Foy continues:
“It’s great to take part, and that kind of meeting that was always the ambition. We started obviously to build up a team and now we are getting where we want to be. Obviously we want to be competitive and we want to win those kind of races, but that’s what it’s all about, being on the big stage and winning big races.”