Ballydoyle may be about to have their first runners in Dubai for six years, as the organisation entered four horses for World Cup night, at yesterdays finals entry stage.
Cape Blanco, winner of the Irish Derby and Irish Champion Stakes, looks et to be the star turn when entries are announced for the $10 million Dubai World Cup. The race is the highlight of a meeting that Ballydoyle has ignored over the last six years since Sheikh Mohammed and Coolmore boss John Magnier fell out in 2005.
The prospect of any Ballydoyle runners at Meydan had seemed unlikely again this year as the sports two superpowers have yet to reconcile over what Sheikh Mohammed described as a “private matter”.
As late as 2010, Michael Collins, the Dubai Racing Club’s Irish representative, said: “Until the row is fixed between the two of them, I honestly do not think that there will be horses from Ballydoyle running in Dubai.
“We had Powerscourt running in the Sheema Classic, but then the thing between them started, and I don’t think there’s much chance of getting their horses out there until it’s fixed.”
While no announcement has been made about the ending of this very public feud between the two groups, the presence of Ballydoyle horses in the World Cup line-up must surely be seen as Magnier offering an olive branch to Dubai’s most powerful family. Apart from superstar, Cape Blanco, Ballydoyle have also entered Joshua tree, Alexander Pope and Master Of Hounds for the carnival. Perhaps in the irony of all ironies, Cape Blanco can take the spoils on the big night next March…