03/26/2010 12:00AM

Vision d'Etat's World Cup status up in air


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Vision d'Etat, a leading contender for Saturday's $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse, will undergo a veterinary inspection early on raceday that will determine whether the four-time Group 1 winner starts in the world's richest race.

Further information on Vision d'Etat's condition and the reason for the inspection was not available on Friday afternoon in Dubai.

A two-paragraph statement released midday Friday by the Dubai Racing Club stated that Vision d'Etat "will be examined tomorrow morning when a final decision will be made regarding the horse's fitness to race."

Trained in France by Eric Libaud, Vision d'Etat, 5, has won 9 of 13 starts and $3,881,813. He won half of his six starts in 2009, with all the wins coming in Group 1 races - the Prix Ganay in France, the Prince of Wales's Stakes in England, and the Hong Kong Cup in Hong Kong in December, his most recent start.

If Vision d'Etat is withdrawn, the Dubai World Cup would feature 13 runners, including three American-based runners - Gio Ponti, the champion older male and turf male of 2009; Richard's Kid, the winner of the San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita last month; and Furthest Land, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita last fall.

British bookmakers have ranked Vision d'Etat as the favorite for the Dubai World Cup, but American bettors are expected to favor Gio Ponti or Richard's Kid.