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Posted 2022-03-26 01:08:16  
Brotherly Love at the World Cup

Sibling rivalries are no new aspect of the Dubai World Cup meeting, but this year could see history being made in two of the premier features – the Dubai World Cup and the Dubai Sheema Classic.

The first Dubai World Cup meeting saw two sets of brothers in the Nad Al Sheba Mile (now the Godolphin Mile), with Pat and Paul Eddery joined by Michael and Richard Hills. The Hills twins in particular were regular fixtures at Nad Al Sheba and then Meydan, their best joint performance second and fourth in the 2011 Dubai Sheema Classic.

In fact, that is the best performance from any set of siblings, but that may be eclipsed in 2022.

The main race, the USD$12 million Dubai World Cup, will see Puerto Rican brothers Irad and Jose Ortiz go toe-to-toe aboard Life Is Good and Midnight Bourbon respectively. However, seeing them clash is a regular occurrence with the pair filling the quinella in six American stakes races over the past 12 months.

A race earlier, the Dubai Sheema Classic may feature the most intriguing sibling rivalry of them all when Cristian Demuro, who partners Shahryar, takes on his older sibling Mirco, riding Stella Veloce.

Mirco has been based in Japan full-time since 2015, while Cristian – primarily based in France – spent his first winter in Asia since 2018 in recent months, racking up 26 winners. The Italian brothers, though, have not finished one-two in a stakes race since December, 2017.

While the elder Demuro is a permanent Japanese resident, perhaps it is fair to say that it is Cristian who has the upper hand a day out from this year’s meeting with five rides to Mirco's two.

"I've enjoyed heading to Japan for many years and thankfully they gave me the chance to ride there again this winter," said the younger Demuro. "I've been lucky enough to ride a lot of winners there in my short stay and I'm very happy to have the opportunity to ride some of their best horses at such a big meeting as this."

Japanese Derby winner Shahryar becomes just the fourth Tokyo Yushun victor to contest the Sheema Classic as a four-year-old, joining One And Only (third), Duramente (second) and Rey De Oro (fourth).

"He's one of the favourites, so we have to cross our fingers that he can run up to that form," he said. "His third in the Japan Cup was a good run and the team says that he has travelled over well. I’m very hopeful that he can return a winner and that we may see more of him later in the year.”

Another of his highly touted rides is UAE Derby contender Sekifu, who he rode into second behind the reopposing Pinehurst in the Saudi Derby last time out.

"He made a really nice late run there, he just couldn't make up the margin on Pinehurst," he said. "The draw is not good on him or my other dirt ride (Soliste Thunder in the Godolphin Mile) but I will do what I can to give them the best rides possible.

"I think they are hoping to make it into the Kentucky Derby so we will need a bit of luck but I hope he can prove how good he is."

 Image DRC 

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