Kent Confident Dubai Trip Isn’t Suspect

By: Ryan Clark
December 20th, 2011

As we reported a couple of weeks ago Mick Kent was planning an audacious mission to race Unusual Suspect in Dubai at the start of 2012.

With the date of departure now drawing close the trainer is having no second thoughts about jetting his recent acquisition halfway around the world.

Unusual Suspect originally raced in the United States before being sent across to Melbourne this spring.

After just one start he was put up for sale and purchased quickly by owners thrilled to have a guaranteed Melbourne Cup runner.

While he crossed the line in 9th spot in the race that stops the nation his run was probably worth more than that.

It’s this kind of potential that led the owners to look abroad as they try and maximise the fun while he’s still racing well.

They got the backing of Kent who says Dubai will suit him more than staying put.

“I looked at the program there and on several fronts it was a more sensible way to go,” Kent said.

“There are Group 3 and Group 2 races each week over all sorts of distances and they are worth $200,000. He’s won on the turf and also on the synthetic track so there are a myriad of options for him.

“Also they are higher rated races where he will get 55 or 56 kilos whereas if I start him off here he would be getting 62 kilos in a handicap.”

Another crucial aspect was despite being a veteran he’s never raced right handed and doesn’t appear to get around it well at all.

In addition to that he struggles on wet ground and the autumn of this year was plagued by heavy tracks.

There’s also a major carrot on offer in Dubai if he’s good enough, the $5 million Sheema Classic over 2400m on World Cup night (March 31).

Kent says the horse has learned plenty during his time in Australia and should now have a more comfortable transit in running which will hopefully mean an even bigger finish.

“In America they don’t stop in their races where over here he found it hard to adjust when the pace slackened in the races but he’s now learnt to do so,” he said.

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