Country Grammer, Switzerland shine on Dubai World Cup card
March 27, 2022Back to Our News Page
Kentucky-breds shined on Dubai World Cup day at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday, March 26, with Country Grammer taking down the marquee event’s top prize in the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1) and Switzerland winning the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1).
Zedan Racing Stables, WinStar Farm, and Commonwealth Thoroughbreds’ Country Grammer, runner-up in the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) in his previous start, captured the 26th running of the Dubai World Cup in dramatic fashion. After chasing the early pace of longtime leader and race favorite Life Is Good through the early stages of the race, Country Grammer ran down the pacesetter in the final furlong of the about 1 ¼-mile event to prevail by 1 ¾ lengths under Frankie Dettori. A rallying Hot Rod Charlie, also a Kentucky-bred, claimed second for trainer Doug O’Neill, providing the Bluegrass State a sweep of the top two placings. Country Grammer covered the distance in 2:04.97. It was his second Grade 1 victory after capturing last year’s Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) at Santa Anita.
Amr Zedan, co-owner of Country Grammar, said “I mean, I don’t have any voice left after that. It was a project—we picked the horse, and he has some here in the care of the best trainer in the world in Bob Baffert. I am just very thankful to the entire team and Frankie, who gave him a perfect ride. He is one of the best.”
Jimmy Barnes, Baffert’s assistant trainer, added, “It’s been a long trip. Frankie just rode him awesome. He couldn’t have done any better. The speed worked out just as we thought it would; he put him in a close enough spot that when he called upon him, he’s a true mile-and-a-quarter horse and it kicked in.”
With his Dubai World Cup score, Country Grammer now boasts career earnings of $10,837,320 and improved his record to 10-4-2-1. Bred in Kentucky by Scott and Debbie Pierce, Country Grammer is by Tonalist and is out of the Forestry mare Arabian Song.
Switzerland charged through the Meydan stretch to post an impressive 1 ¾-length win in the Dubai Golden Shaheen for owner RRR Racing (Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi). The 8-year-old son of Speightstown was piloted by Tadhg O’Shea and is trained by Bhupat Seemar.
“It’s such a fantastic result,” Seemar said. “We’ve always really liked the horse. Tadgh and I spoke this morning and made a plan. We knew there’d by plenty of pace in the race, so we wanted to pick up the pieces. We’ll look to bring him back next year, and you never, know, even at eight there could be some more improvement in him.”
Now an eight-time winner during his lengthy career, Switzerland has banked $1,869,052 and the ultra-consistent runner has hit the board in 15 of 27 lifetime starts. He was bred in Kentucky by Branch Family Trust and is produced from the Graded stakes-placed Indian Charlie mare Czechers.