Mendelssohn scores big in Dubai 2018 Emirates Derby
Quality Road colt Cairo, who will represent Aidan O’Brien in this Saturday’s $1 million Emirates Derby (G2) at Meydan Racecourse, has won the Patton Stakes composite on March 3 and is currently on the road to Kentucky Derby Europe leader.
The Emirates Derby gives the winner 100 points on the main road to the Kentucky Derby and a chance to test the ponies’ dirt skills before heading to the United States. O’Brien followed the same path in 2018 with Mendelsohn, who also won the Button title and won the Emirates derby that year.
Broome (Dubai Gold Cup) and Order of Australia (Dubai Turf) are both seasoned globetrotters, while Cairo, a newcomer to Aidan O’Brien’s traveling party, has been on three Group of people tail jogging.
Pat Keating, O’Brien’s head of travel, said: “He was traveling here in good health following his win at Dundalk a few weeks ago. [Patton Stakes]. Two older horses were showing him the ropes, but he was happy. The plan is that every morning at 7 o’clock, they will come here on the main track. “
Cairo is bred from Galileo mare Cuff, a full sister to Group 2 winner and classic winner Gustav Klimt. He also has qualifications for the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (G1) and the Irish Derby (G1), and three of his four youth games have been played on turf.
In the UAE derby, Cairo is expected to face a trio of American-trained horses: the Doug O’Neill-trained duo of High Boys and Ajiz, both of whom have won this Meydan, and Bob Baffert-trained Worcester , finishing third in the G3 Bob Lewis Stakes. Other UAE derby players are a strong team from Japan and South American shipper Es Unico.