Breeders' Cup International Horse Profile: Dubawi Legend

December 30th, 2021

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf

Highly regarded as a classic prospect by trainer Hugo Palmer, Dubawi Legend comes out of two particularly strong races, including the Dewhurst (G1), a noted stepping stone to the Juvenile Turf.

By Dubawi, the Rabbah Bloodstock homebred is a half-brother to stablemate Golden Pass, winner of this summer ’s Aphrodite S. and runner-up in the Park Hill (G2). They are out of Lovely Pass, a daughter of 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Raven’s Pass. She likewise scored on the all-weather when taking the 2013 UAE 1000 Guineas and placing in the UAE Oaks (G3) on Meydan’s old Tapeta.

Word was out as Dubawi Legend debuted as the 11-8 favorite in a seven-furlong novice at Doncaster, and he lived up to billing in a five-length rout. Traveling well just off the pace, he was still on the bridle as others came under pressure, and readily stretched clear.

Dubawi Legend was favored at 7-4 in his first stakes test in the Aug. 18 Acomb (G3), over the same trip at York, but he could not get past front-running 25-1 shot Royal Patronage. Tracking the leader’s solid pace throughout, he didn’t find as much as expected and checked in third.

Although Dubawi Legend reportedly turned out to be below his best, the Acomb result nevertheless looked better afterward. Royal Patronage proved there was no fluke when coming back to floor Coroebus in the Sept. 25 Royal Lodge (G2). Acomb runner-up Imperial Fighter has since placed second to a rebounding Coroebus in the Oct. 9 Autumn (G3). Fourth-placer Noble Truth advertised the strength of the Acomb when going on to score the Flying Scotsman S. and finish second in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1) on Arc Day.

Plans called for Dubawi Legend to try the Sept. 11 Champagne (G2), but an unsatisfactory scope ruled him out. He went straight to the Oct. 9 Dewhurst (G1), where in the context of how well the Acomb form held up, he was a 12-1 overlay. After Dubawi Legend tugged early, jockey James Doyle opted to let him take up the running, and he had most of the Dewhurst field beaten. Only Native Trail, the presumptive European champion two-year-old, had the gears to overhaul him. Dubawi Legend held second by a half-length from Champagne winner Bayside Boy, leaving a “what might have been” if he’d lined up at Doncaster.

Interestingly, Palmer sees the 2021 Breeders’ Cup as a study abroad program, so to speak, to boost the colt’s 2022 classic aspirations: “The 2000 Guineas is a proper hustle and bustle race. I think the trip to Del Mar will really make him grow up.”

That prompts the question of whether Dubawi Legend can win in the “hustle and bustle” of the Juvenile Turf, given his current experience level. He’d earn extra credit if solving the equation from post 14, which could undermine his usually tactical style. There’s no doubting his sterling form, though.