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West Coast Set for Trip to Dubai World Cup

Bob Baffert will be hoping to win the Dubai World Cup for the fourth time in his career next month with West Coast, who was third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar last November, in the world championship meeting in California.

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The exciting colt went into the race at Del Mar at the back end of 2017 as a three-year-old, therefore he was taking on the older generation in the biggest race of the two-day meeting, where he ran very respectfully. Under the hands of jockey Javier Castellano, the pair tracked the leaders in the early stages of the 2000m contest and looked in contention going around the final bend. Sadly for connections, he weakened inside the closing 400m as Gun Runner took the first prize ahead of Collected.

West Coast had another shot at Gun Runner in the recent Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park where he got within two-and-a-half-lengths this time. Baffert’s runner took second place in a strong field which also included Sharp Azteca and Collected. The Breeders’ Cup Classic winner retired to stud after the richest race in the world but before doing so he was able to repeat the feat of Arrogate who also landed the two valuable races in the space of three months in 2017.

Baffert is likely to fly out to Dubai with his runners for the carnival meeting at Meydan over the next couple of weeks to allow the horses to acclimatise to the conditions before they hit the racecourse. West Coast has never travelled outside the USA so it will be a new experience for the son of Flatter. He has been installed in the ante-post market for the Dubai World Cup at +175 by William Hill, who already have betting available on a number of the leading races at the meeting this year.

Forever Unbridled Expected to Lead Challenge Against West Coast

Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Forever Unbridled will lead the charge against West Coast at Meydan as the Del Mar winner is having her first shot at the Dubai World Cup this year. The six-year-old mare has not run since her success at the Breeders’ Cup meeting in November, therefore has had a little rest ahead of her international trip.

Credit: Breeders' Cup via Twitter

Dallas Stewart’s runner will be bidding for her fourth straight win when she lines up in Dubai. Her successful run started last July when she landed a Grade Two handicap at Churchill Downs. The American mare then stepped up in class at Saratoga where she got the better of Songbird by a neck in the Grade One Personal Ensign Stakes.

Forever Unbridled went into the Distaff at Del Mar as the second favourite in the behind Elate. She was held up by jockey John Velazquez in the opening half of the race but with 400m to go, he made his move and his horse responded with a fantastic turn of pace to get on top of the field when it mattered.

No mare in history has won the Dubai World Cup, therefore Stewart will be hoping his runner can be the first to do so when she lines up in what is one of the most prestigious races anywhere in the world on March 31.