Dubai World Cup runner-up Gronkowski's return race set

Dubai Racing Club
October 23, 2019 09:08am
Having run in Group/Grade 1 company on four continents, the growing empire of Phoenix Thoroughbreds and its subsidiary, the Phoenix Ladies Syndicate, are ready to run this season at their home Dubai base starting on opening Thursday night of the 2019-2010 UAE season at Meydan Racecourse.

“This year we have 45 horses in training in Dubai and more will be coming for the Carnival,” said Amer Abdulaziz, founder and CEO of Phoenix Thoroughbreds. “We are looking forward to promoting racing in Dubai and the region, which has always been our goal. We feel like it’s part of our job to attract horses and owners from all over the world to experience the racing here. The prize money is great and the big events here, in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are great for racing.”

Over the same racecourse that Phoenix Thoroughbreds experienced a bittersweet nose loss with Gronkowski in the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1) last March, the two-fold operation will kick the action off in the first race of the season with well-regarded, unraced 2-year-old Mambo Mischief, a son of Into Mischief purchased for $150,000 at the OBS April sale in Florida. The fun will not stop there for the team, as a few more exciting juveniles are preparing to run, including blueblood Crseven.

As for the operation's star, Gronkowski is pointing toward a December return along with 
Salem bin Ghadayer stablemate Axelrod, another who has run at the top level in America.

“Gronkowski will probably run in (The Entisar) over a mile and a quarter and Axelrod will point to the (Dubai Creek Mile) over a mile," Abdulaziz said. "...They’ve been training lightly and are in great condition. Both have put weight on and keeping them in Dubai has helped them acclimatize to get ready for the season. The trainer is really impressed with them, especially with Gronkowski, and it’s very positive.”

Both the Dec. 5 The Entisar and Dec. 19 Dubai Creek Mile are listed events carrying approximately $72,000 in prize money.

Looking forward even more, 4-year-old to be Walking Thunder, Phoenix Ladies’ UAE 2000 Guineas Trial winner, will have big goals in 2020. The son of Violence was a dominant winner of that event as well as the same opening day maiden Mambo Mischief will contest one year later on Thursday.

“We will point to the (Group 2 $350,000 Al) Maktoum Challenge Round 1 in January with him,” Abdulaziz said. “We hope to get him to the (Group 2 $1.5 million) Godolphin Mile and run at Meydan during the Carnival.

"You’ll see a different horse this season. He looks awesome and is working really well right now. We aren’t rushing him and he won’t race until January, but we are excited.”

As for the operation's newcomers, 
“I had a chat with (trainer Ahmad bin Harmash) and he really likes how Mambo Mischief is training,” Abdulaziz said. “He’s by Into Mischief, so we have high expectations. He breezed really well, in nine seconds, and he’s one of a few 2-year-olds we brought here, but we really think they’re quality horses.

“Crseven (pronounced ‘C.R. Seven’) is named after Cristiano Ronaldo and is an American Pharoah out of a full-sister to Quality Road,” he continued. “We really like him and obviously his pedigree is world-class. We have another by First Samurai and another by Tiznow. We also brought a Group 3 winner from Argentina, so the Phoenix Ladies will have a good year, with 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds to watch race in Dubai.”


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