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Sakhee favored in Dubai World Cup

  |   March 22, 2002 at 11:26 AM
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 22 (UPI) -- Sakhee, one of four horses from Godolphin Racing, leads a field of 11 entered for Saturday's $6 million Dubai World Cup, the world's richest horse race, at the Nad Al Sheba track.

It will be a return to the international stage for Sakhee, though he will barely leave home. Godolphin racing is owned by the Maktoum family of Dubai and the winter stable is just two miles from Nad Al Sheba.

The last time Sakhee competed in a race of international magnitude, he was defeated by Tiznow in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Belmont Park in New York last October. Sakhee surged to the lead at the furlong pole but faded and lost by a nose.

Sakhee, the winner of the Arc de Triomphe last fall, has raced just once since the Breeders' Cup, winning a prep by nine lengths. The 5-year-old is expected to race in Europe this year with a return to the Breeders' Cup in the fall. With Tiznow retired, Sakhee will compete for the title of the world's best

racehorse.

Sakhee drew the No. 4 post with Frankie Dettori aboard for the 1 1/4-mile race, which is worth a whopping $3.5 million to the winner.

The biggest rival for Sakhee is expected to be 2001 Japanese champion Agnes Digital.

The race will not feature any American-owned horses. Western Pride, the winner of nine of 21 starts, was sold this week to a Saudi Arabian prince.

The World Cup is in its seventh year and has had three American winners -- Cigar in 1996, Silver Charm in 1998 and Captain Steve in 2001.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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