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Wigmore almost certain to tackle Dubai Duty Free

Although he still has the option of running in the feature Dubai World Cup on March 26, it looks all but certain that recent Meydan scorer Wigmore Hall will run in the nine-furlong Dubai Duty Free on the undercard on the world's richest night of horse racing, writes Elliot Slater.

Michael Bell's first runner in Dubai couldn't have done more than produce a power-packed finish under a finely judged ride from Jamie Spencer, coming widest of all having been held up at the rear of the field to nab Frankie Dettori and Poet's Voice in the shadow of the post to score by a neck. The gelded son of High Chaparal appeared ideally suited by the trip and bounced off the Meydan turf, so with a far from trifling $5 million up for grabs in the Dubai Duty Free his handler sees very little reason to change the game plan unless a number of the main contenders fail to show up for the World Cup itself and the horse racing betting suggests he can land that huge prize.


Wigmore Hall made tremendous progress last term under Bell's expert guidance, winning a Newmarket handicap of a mark of just 88 on his seasonal bow in April, finishing third in the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot, before going on to short-head King's Gambit in a memorable renewal of the John Smith's Magnet Cup at York in July. After winning a conditions race at HQ on his next start, Bell chose to send the four-year-old to the US where he ran a fine second to Paddy O'Prado in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington, eventually ending his season finishing a fine fifth behind Twice Over in the Group 1 Emirates Airlines Champion Stakes.

A much improved performer who still seems to be getting better and better, Wigmore Hall looks certain to make his presence felt in the Dubai Duty Free on World Cup night.

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