Jockey Patrick Husbands guides Cazadero to victory in the G2 Nearctic at Woodbine
No trainer running on March 25th boasts a better Dubai World Cup meeting record than Brendan Walsh.
Irish-born, USA-based, Walsh is two from two at Meydan Racecourse. The perfect record is thanks to Plus Que Parfait, winner of the G2 UAE Derby in 2019, and Extravagant Kid, successful in the 2021 G1 Al Quoz Sprint. He heads to that race again, with Grade 2 winner Cazadero the latest to take up the challenge. It’s a venture which will bring back good memories for Walsh, who worked in Dubai with Godolphin before starting his own training career.
“Everything about the year we won the Derby with Plus Que Parfait was a fond memory,” he says of his breakthrough Dubai win four years ago. “To go out there after spending so much time there previously and to win was magical, the type of stuff you dream about. Unfortunately, due to Covid, I didn’t make the trip with Extravagant Kid but that again was brilliant, unbelievable really.”
There are some similarities between Cazadero and Extravagant Kid, says their trainer, although the former has a few less miles on the clock than his erstwhile stablemate, who won the Al Quoz at the age of eight. Owned by Qatar Racing in partnership with Marc Detampel, Fergus Galvin and Barry Clohessy, five-year-old Cazadero has won four of his 11 starts, including the G2 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine, Canada.
“Of course he fits the bill, he loves the extra distance from the normal five or five and a half that we get in the US, similar to Extravagant Kid,” says Walsh. “I think he will like the straight six furlongs [1200metres] too.
“He’s an easy enough horse to train; very straightforward.”
Cazadero will be partnered by multiple Grade 1-winning jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who will make his UAE debut.
“Tyler rides a lot for me in the US even though he hasn’t ridden Cazadero before,” adds Walsh, who won’t be making the trip to Dubai himself this time.
“It falls on a very busy weekend here,” he explains. “I have Pretty Mischievous the same day at Fair Grounds in the Fair Grounds Oaks as well as [Grade 1 winner] Santin and Reckoning Force in big stakes at Turfway, so between works and races I can’t manage to get away.
“Roger Horgan has travelled over. When Kiaran McLaughlin retired we were lucky enough to get him on our team from Kiaran’s.”
Watching from afar won’t make victory any less sweet if Cazadero keeps the Walsh Dubai record intact.