03/21/2006 12:00AM

Jory enjoying life as trainer for Saudi prince

Email
Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club
Trainer Ian Jory will start Simpatico Bribon, shown working out Sunday, in the UAE Derby.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Ian Jory disbanded his California stable in January 2005, citing the need for a larger stable than the 16 horses he had at the time. Consider that problem solved.

More than a year later, Jory, 47, oversees a stable of more than 200 horses owned by Prince Sultan Mohammed Saud al Kabeer, a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family. Jory, who trained such popular runners as Best Pal and Continental Red in the United States, relocated to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last spring.

Saturday at Nad Al Sheba racecourse, Jory will have three runners on the seven-race, $21.25 million Dubai World Cup program. In the $6 million World Cup, Jory starts Chiquitin, who has run fourth and second in two prep races here this season. In the $2 million UAE Derby at about 1 1/8 miles, Jory starts Simpatico Bribon and Gold for Sale, both South American-breds who are 4-year-olds in the Northern Hemisphere but are still eligible for the derby since they were born in the second half of 2002.

Jory has had a stable in Dubai for Prince Sultan al Kabeer since late last year, with the bulk of the stable based in Riyadh. Jory splits his time between the two locations, which are a 12-hour van ride, or a short flight, apart.

"I'm really having fun," he said. "I've got 150 older horses and 70 2-year-olds. I've got plenty to keep me busy. It's a big job and there is a lot to do."

Jory said he has two assistant trainers among a staff of 200. "Labor is cheap," he said.

Prince Sultan al Kabeer is a first cousin to the king of Saudi Arabia, Jory said, adding that he is also a weekly visitor to the Riyadh stable and has close ties to the ruling Maktoum family of Dubai.

While there have been stories over the years of trainers being unceremoniously fired by members of the Saudi royal family, Jory insists his arrangement is ideal and that he plans to stay.

"I've got a year's contract, but I can stay as long as I like," he said. "I love it here."

As for Southern California, Jory said, "I miss the girls and the water. I loved the sailing."

Jory said he considers his best chances on Saturday to be in the UAE Derby, which drew 13 entrants. Gold for Sale is unbeaten in six starts, and Simpatico Bribon is on a seven-race winning streak.

Gold for Sale won the Argentine 2000 Guineas in September 2005 and won his season debut here in the UAE 2000 Guineas on Feb. 10.

Simpatico Bribon was a Group 1 winner in Chile last June, won two races in Saudi Arabia in the fall, and won his UAE debut in the Al Bastikiya Stakes on March 2.

Jory's pair will face Discreet Cat, who is Godolphin's hope for the Kentucky Derby, and two South American-breds who have been training in the United States - Dominguin and Invasor.

"We've put all our eggs in one basket," Jory said. "The derby is our best shot. We'll try to get a piece" of the World Cup.

Because of the looming warm weather in this region, the racing season is winding down.

In May, Jory said his stable will be sent to the Saudi mountain town of Taif, near Jeddah. Racing is held there in the summer. "We use it to get horses ready," Jory said.

The Riyadh racing season does not begin again until late September, when the temperatures are more hospitable.

"It's a huge responsibility, and I really enjoy it," he said of the job. "The Saudi horses aren't that great, but our imports are great. There is very little interference. I've got to admit, I'm a big fish in a small pond."

Golden Shaheen among five undercard stakes

There are five Thoroughbred stakes on the undercard of the Dubai World Cup, and post positions for those races were drawn on Tuesday. Each has at least two representatives from the United States.

There are five U.S.-trained runners in the $2 million Golden Shaheen, run at about six furlongs on a straightaway.

The speedy Proud Tower Too, who won the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita in December, drew post 2. Thor's Echo, third in the Malibu, and Captain Squire, who won the Grade 1 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita last October, drew posts 12 and 13.

Gaff, the winner of the Mr. Prospector Handicap at Gulfstream Park in January, drew post 9, one spot to the inside of Jet West, the winner of the California Cup Sprint last November.

Relaxed Gesture, the winner of the Grade 1 Canadian International last October, drew the outside in a field of 14 in the $5 million Sheema Classic, run at about 1 1/2 miles on turf.

Mustanfar, who finished fourth in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap on Feb. 25, starts from post 5. The Sheema Classic is led by Ouija Board, the winner of the 2004 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Lone Star Park. She breaks from post 8.

The largest field on the program is in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free, which is run at about 1 1/8 miles on turf and drew 16 runners.

The Tin Man, the winner of the San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita in January, drew post 2; Host, the winner of the Shadwell Mile at Keeneland last October, drew post 7, and Whilly, a California stakes winner who was second in this race last year, drew post 11.

In the $2 million UAE Derby, Invasor drew post 2, Dominguin drew post 5, and Discreet Cat drew post 9.

The $1 million Godolphin Mile, run on the main track, drew 10 runners. Island Fashion, a winner of $1,965,970, drew post 9, and Shamoan, the winner of the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows last July, drew post 5. Jack Sullivan, 12th in the Breeders' Cup Classic last fall but a stakes winner here in February, drew post 6.

Tuesday, Shamoan worked a half-mile in the fog, finishing the last furlong in 11.40 seconds, according to trainer Eoin Harty.