We were delighted to learn on Tuesday, December 2nd, that our eight Dubai aspirants have been accepted and we are thoroughly looking forward to returning to the Gulf to try and emulate the successes of last season.

Having never trained on dirt, nor run any horses on the surface, it will be a new experience for us all but we look forward to the challenge ahead and are very happy with our string.

We will be represented yet again by Robbie Gallagher, Mark Morrissey, and Jamie Heavey, all of whom played an integral part of the successful travelling and caring for all of our horses in Dubai last season.

The care and hospitality we receive in Dubai is top class. It is a fantastic environment to run your horses in and there is no stone left unturned to ensure that both ourselves and the horses are totally spoiled throughout the duration of our stay. The attention to detail is exemplary.

Our owners, who have already enjoyed the Dubai experience, are counting down the days to return again, and I’m sure that our new owners travelling to Dubai – Carol Roper, Jonathan Clague, Evan Newell and Michael Enright – will enjoy the experience.

Our Dubai team is as follows:

Certerach

He will go back and try and defend his Dubai Gold Cup crown and we are really looking forward to the challenge. He seems to be very well in himself and he likes the sun on his back. The plan with him at the moment is to have two runs prior to the Dubai Gold Cup on the 28th of March. The first of those will be on the 1st of February while the second will be the 28th of February. We appreciate that it won’t be easy to land back-to-back victories in the race but we are looking forward to the challenge.

Eastern Rules

He met with a little setback earlier this year but he is back in full work now and he is pleasing us. There are lots of options with him in races between seven furlongs and a mile. We may also try him on the dirt when we see how he trains on it. He did very well for us in Dubai last year and we would be delighted if he could show a similar vein of form this term. He’s another that likes the conditions out there.

Russian Soul

Russian Soul will be back for more sprinting honours in Dubai and it is possible that he could mix it between grass and dirt. He did us very proud last year winning a Group 3 and there are plenty of options with him again. He likes his travelling and he is fresh and well.

Kernoff

He is a progressive sprinter who looks to have the right type of profile for Dubai. There looks to be a nice race for him on the 5th of February run over six furlongs on grass and that looks like a good target for him at this moment in time.

Castle Guest

He has had a good break and is training well. He will mix it between surfaces and we feel that he may be best suited to the dirt. He may have his first run on the 22nd of January.

Slipper Orchid

She will be the first filly that we have brought to Dubai. She may start off on the 15th of January in a handicap. She will love the sun on her back and will appreciate the good ground as well. She has done us very proud at Dundalk this winter and is thoroughly deserving of her place in our Dubai team. We are especially delighted to have a filly as good as she is for her owner, Carol Roper, who has been a longstanding supporter of ours.

Wychwood Warrior

He will be the first three-year-old we have brought to Dubai. He won his maiden in impressive fashion at Dundalk and we feel that he could be the type of horse to do well in Dubai. He may have his first run in the UAE 2,000 Guineas Trial on the 15th of January. After that we will aim him for the Meydan Classic on the 5th of February. We think he is good enough to contest those types of races.

Rummaging

Rummaging will be travelling to Dubai for the first time. A six time winner at Dundalk, he should thrive in the surroundings. He has been running in races up to a mile recently and there should be plenty of options for him out there.