Dubai World Cup Notes and canters of the contenders
Awardee – Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline contender Awardee cantered once around the main track on Tuesday and is scheduled to work on Wednesday.
Forever Unbridled – Charles Fipke’s champion Forever Unbridled had her stiffest bit of work since arriving in Dubai, galloping 2600m under exercise rider Pedro Velez, who has worked for trainer Dallas Stewart for 17 years.
“She’s doing fantastic,” Stewart said. “She had an awesome morning.”
The 6-year-old Unbridled’s Song mare, who is seeking to become the first female winner of the Dubai World Cup, will be reunited with jockey Mike Smith, who won the event last year with Arrogate. Smith was aboard Forever Unbridled when she finished 11th in the 2015 Kentucky Oaks (G1).
“She was a tired horse in the Oaks. It wasn’t a jockey thing,” Stewart said. “Mike likes her, he’s been watching her and has been wanting to ride her. There’s no need to give him any instructions Saturday. He’ll have his head in the game. His style will fit her well and he knows this track.”
Furia Cruzada – Erwan Charpy kept his contender away from the crowds and closer to his stable to maintain a quieter environment for a 6-year-old mare who can be flighty on occasion.
“She cantered for about 2000m out the back today,” Charpy said. “She’s in good shape and seems very happy. With her, it’s always a day-by-day thing, so I’m not sure what we’ll do on Wednesday. The owners are coming for the post position draw and everyone seems very excited.”
Gunnevera – With trainer Antonio Sano and owner Solomon Del-Valle standing at the Meydan rail, Gunnevera rolled through a gallop of about 2400m on Tuesday morning just after 7:00 a.m. as exercise rider Victor O’Farell held the 4-year-old to a steady pace.
“He looks very good,” Sano said. “He maybe lost a little weight after the long flight over here, but he is in very good condition.”
There are no plans for Gunnevera to do any speed work while in Dubai. Sano noted that the chestnut son of Dialed In drilled three times in March at Gulfstream Park West prior to shipping to the United Arab Emirates, including a 1400m workout in a brisk 1:24 on March 10.
Although Gunnevera is not an easy horse to be around in the barn, with Sano noting that he is known for biting his caretakers, the trainer described him as the “best horse of my life,” and if there is a solid pace in the Dubai World Cup, Sano said he expects Gunnevera to be charging forward at the end.
“He’s got a big chance to win,” added Del-Valle.
North America – Trainer Satish Seemar’s best-ever hope for glory in the Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1), North America, was back to routine work at his private Zabeel Stables on Tuesday, after his final hit-out over 800m under big-race jockey Richard Mullen 24 hours earlier.
Seemar reported, “Like our other four runners on Saturday, North America just walked around the training area and all’s fine. Let’s hope we get lucky with the draw tomorrow.”
North America disappointed when the ground turned sloppy for the Godolphin Mile a year ago, but he has made great strides this year, topping off a three-race campaign by winning the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 over Saturday’s distance of 2000m by more than five lengths in a course record time on Super Saturday, March 10.
Pavel – Californian raider Pavel continued to impress on Tuesday morning with an effortless gallop over the Meydan dirt track under exercise rider Amir Cedeno.
Trained by Doug O’Neill for owner Reddam Racing LLC, the 4-year-old Pavel is considered a longshot with a big chance.
“It was just a regular canter, a normal gallop,” assistant trainer Leandro Mora said. “Today is just about maintenance going into the race.”
What impressed Mora, however, was how easily the Creative Cause grey completed the task.
“He was holding it really well,” Mora said. “A lot of horses, towards the end of their work, will start to make noise. When he passed by me (on the gallop out), you can hardly hear him puffing. He’s a good-feeling horse right now.”
Pavel proved his class last September with a breakaway score in the Grade 3 Smarty Jones at Parx when six lengths the best. A subsequent third in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park cemented his credentials.
The slight colt has shown the ability to travel his talents and Mora is hopeful that Pavel will again show up with a big effort.
“I know he’s not a big-sized horse, but he’s got a big heart. He’s ready,” Mora said.
Talismanic – The Andre Fabre trained quartet of Talismanic, Cloth of Stars, Rosa Imperial and Trais Fluors did not leave the international stables on Tuesday morning, as they had all worked on Monday morning on the dirt track.
”This morning, all four horses remained in the international stables,” Fabres representative Amelie Foulon said. ” We took them out at 7:00 a.m. to walk them in hand for half an hour. They are well. Tomorrow we will return to the dirt track.”
Thunder Snow – Saeed bin Suroor, who has won the race seven times, is relying this year on Thunder Snow, winner of both the UAE 2000 Guineas and UAE Derby last year. Equally effective on turf, he is clearly a very smart performer.
“He looks very well indeed and we are very happy with him,” Bin Suroor said. “Physically, he is as good as we have had him and he has come through all three rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge, winning the middle one and finishing second in the other two. The third round, on Super Saturday, was run at a very fast pace, which could well happen again on Saturday.
“It is not going to be a big field, but we will still be hoping for a good draw, so Christophe Soumillon can ride the race he wants to in a very good renewal,” he continued. “He has two Group 1 wins on turf in Europe and it would be great for the whole team if we could take one on dirt. He showed in the UAE Guineas and Derby last year, as well as three races this year, he handles it well.”
West Coast/Mubtaahij – Bob Baffert thrives on competition at the highest levels of the sport and on the world stage and that’s what has brought the him halfway around the globe to run Mubtaahij and West Coast.
“I bring good horses,” Baffert said. “It’s a privilege to be here. The two brothers (His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum) had a vision to have this in the Middle East, so you bring your good horses here. We need this in our game.
“It’s good for our sport and for the breeding in America,” he continued. “It’s very important to bring your good horses here. That’s what makes the history of the Dubai World Cup. You’ve got the (American) Classics, the Breeders’ Cup and Dubai World Cup. Those are the three we dream of winning. It’s an honour and a privilege to come here and to run a horse here.”
Baffert kept both of his charges in the stable area on Tuesday morning as they adhered to a light schedule limited to walking following their impressive breezes on the dirt track at Meydan the previous day.
“They’re happy. They look great. It was a nice cool morning, so they feel great,” Baffert said. “The whole key is that they’re eating and drinking water to keep hydrated. They’ve been eating and drinking really well.”
Baffert said he feels significantly less stressed this year than last, when he came to Dubai with Arrogate. The Juddmonte Farms colour-bearer won the race with a stunning and powerful come-from-behind victory after completely missing the break.
“Everything this year is so smooth. The vibe is good. I felt so much pressure last year,” he said. “Competing on the world stage is really exciting. But they have to break well and they have to fight for it and earn it. You have to know your horse really well. Arrogate got light last year, but these horses are holding their weight. I don’t want to jinx myself, but I feel confident.”
The pair will walk again tomorrow and Thursday and they will both be brought to stand in the gate before Saturday’s race.
$6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) Cloth of Stars – The Andre Fabre-trained quartet of Talismanic, Cloth of Stars, Rosa Imperial and…
$6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1)
Cloth of Stars – The Andre Fabre-trained quartet of Talismanic, Cloth of Stars, Rosa Imperial and Trais Fluors did not leave the international stables on Tuesday morning, as they had all worked on Monday morning on the dirt track at the Meydan Racecourse.
“This morning, all four horses remained in the international stables,” Fabre’s representative A.m.elie Foulon said. “We took them out at 7:00 a.m. to walk them in hand for half an hour. They are all well. Tomorrow we will return to the dirt track.”
Hawkbill – The Dubai City of Gold (G2) winner routinely cantered and will have a final blow out on the grass on Wednesday morning at Godolphin’s private Marmoom training facility.
The 5-year-old was a European Group 1 winner in his younger days and has turned into a reliable international campaigner with his recent Meydan success and the likes of his second in the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (G1) last September.
“He did nothing strenuous this morning and tomorrow will be his final serious piece before the weekend,” Appleby said. “I couldn’t be happier with him and he’s in good condition.”
Idaho – “His best run for us came in his last start when he finished fifth in the Japan Cup,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said. “It took a while to get his travelling routine right and that came at the same time he went well in Japan Cup, which is always such a strong race. He is entitled to run well as he is bit more experienced.”
Idaho is a full-brother to Highland Reel, a multiple Group 1-winning global superstar who won ‘Best Horse’ at 2017’s inaugural His Highness Sheikh Moha.m.med bin Rashid Al Maktoum Horseracing Excellence Awards.
Khalidi – Formerly trained by John Gosden, Khalidi is now in the care of Clive Cox and has had just one run for his current connections when seventh in the Winter Derby (G3) at Lingfield last month.
The 4-year-old was highly tried last year, finishing 14th in the Investec Derby (G1) before placings behind Permian at Royal Ascot and Crystal Ocean at Glorious Goodwood. He has looked excellent in his skin since arriving into Dubai and cantered around the training track at 7:50 a.m.
“He’s an outsider, but he’s quite talented,” Cox said. “We’ve been trying to find decent ground for him but since the second half of the summer back home it has just been wet, wet, wet. He’s loving it here. He’s really thrived since he arrived. I took him to the main track yesterday and he’ll go back there tomorrow.”
Mozu Katchan – The Group 1 winner had an easy canter for a lap on the dirt course under the work rider of Ippo Sameshima stable.
“She has travelled well. The long travel has not bothered her,” assistant trainer Takayuki Nagi said. “She has adapted to the new surroundings, she eats up well, she stretches her legs so nice and her concentration has been getting better.
“As you know, fillies sometimes are so nervous with everything in the spring time of the season, but she has really settled in here and when she walked in the paddock and the saddling area, she has been relaxed. I am very happy with what she has been doing so far.”
Poet’s Word – Tuesday morning provided Poet’s Word with his second experience of the Meydan turf course before he took his first look at the post-race unsaddling area.
Partnered by regular work rider Chas Robertson, last year’s dual Champion Stakes runner-up completed a routine 1200m canter under the watchful eye of Sarah Denniff, trainer Sir Michael Stoute’s travelling head groom. He then completed one lap of the paddock before being ushered off the premises to meet the 7:35a.m. deadline set for turf management staff to move in.
Poet’s Word’s work was a repeat of Monday’s debut breeze and he will do the sa.m.e on Wednesday, having completed his serious preparation at Newmarket last week under big-race jockey Frankie Dettori.
The 5-year-old, a typical Stoute-trained, late-maturing type, stepped up to Group company last year, winning at Goodwood in August on his only previous run at Saturday’s 2400m trip, and running second in the Irish Champion Stakes and the Ascot equivalent on his last three starts in Britain. He completed his year in December with a below-par sixth behind Time Warp in the Hong Kong Cup.
Rey de Oro – Last year’s Japanese Derby (G1) winner contender Rey de Oro arrived in Dubai in good condition and has acclimatised to his surroundings, cantering one lap effortlessly around the turf course this morning.
“He was a bit nervous when he first arrived, but he is a smart horse and figured out what was going on fairly quickly,” assistant trainer Daisuke Tsumagari said. “He has been eating well. Christophe Lemaire will ride him tomorrow for his final breeze.”
Santono Crown – Noriyuki Hori sent his two stablemates, Neorealism who runs in the Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World (G1) and Satono Crown, out together. They galloped on the turf course under their respective exercise riders, both of whom clocked the 800m in 55-56 seconds.
“All has gone as planned. Their gallops and times were what I had wanted,” Hori said. “At 3:00 a.m. the turf had been classified as good, but working on that turf here feels quite similar to a yielding course in Japan. So, the training affects the horses differently than it would on the sa.m.e ground classification in Japan. Every morning I check the track conditions before deciding which course I will train them on that day.”
$6 million Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World (G1)
Benbatl – Seen by many as Saeed bin Suroor’s best opportunity on the card, Benbatl will need a better draw than when second on Super Saturday in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta.
“He is a horse we have always really liked and he won on his debut at Doncaster in April and improved all year,” Bin Suroor said. “He was actually a very good fifth in the Derby at Epsom before winning at Royal Ascot. He has thrived in Dubai, winning his first two races in style.
“He was then badly drawn in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday, when Oisin Murphy could not get any cover on him so had to race wide throughout but was only denied close home. Hopefully the draw, on Wednesday, will be kinder.”
Crocosmia – Stayed in the quarantine area and used the trotting ring for about an hour under exercise rider Hiroya Kitazoe.
“We breezed her a bit yesterday, so are taking it easy this morning. We are very happy with the way she has travelled. Tomorrow she’ll post her final breeze on the dirt track.” assistant Hiroshi Ando said.
Deirdre – Japan’s 4-year-old filly Deirdre worked for one and a half laps over the dirt track under his assistant rider Yuta Komiyama.
“She is getting familiarised with the track, but she is still shying away from various things and the press as she goes around the dirt course on the first lap,” Komiya.m.a said.
“On the second lap, when the other horses passed her, she was trying to follow the horse and getting woken up in a good way. Tomorrow she will gallop with Vivlos, who is her work mate since arriving in Dubai.”
Monarchs Glen – As on previous day, he had a spin around the training track under Tony Proctor just before 8a.m..
Neorealism – Noriyuki Hori sent his two stablemates, Neorealism and Satono Crown, out together. They galloped on the turf course under their respective exercise riders, both of whom clocked the 800m in 55-56 seconds.
“All has gone as planned, their gallops and times were what I have had wanted,” Hori said.
“At 3a.m. the turf had been classified as good, but working on that turf here feels quite similar to a yielding course in Japan. So the training affects the horses differently than it would on the sa.m.e ground classification in Japan. Every morning I check the track conditions before deciding which course I will train them on that day.”
Lancaster Bomber/War Decree – “Lancaster Bomber ran very well in many high class races last season without winning,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said.
“He was second in three Group 1 races and it was very good form. So with that in mind we would be hopeful of another big run. He loves the fast ground we hope he will get at Meydan also. War Bomber is a horse we still like a lot. He won very well at Dundalk before things didn’t really go his way in the Breeders’ Cup and in Hong Kong but we are glad he will take his chance in Dubai. He is in good form.”
Real Steel – The Dubai Turf winner of 2016 was out on the dirt track, cantering one lap, practicing a bit at the gate and schooling in the paddock. Trainer Yoshito Yahagi was at the track this morning to oversee his charge.
“He is doing really well, improving day by day. We practiced saddling him over in the paddock today, since it is so different from how we do it in Japan, we want him to be as relaxed as possible during the race.” Yahagi said.
Vivlos – Went two laps around the dirt track, hacking one and cantering the other.
“She has relaxed into her surroundings quite well and is her normal happy self,” assistant trainer and exercise rider Shinji Yasuda said. “She is in great shape I think. She has been eating well this year too which shows how well she is doing. We’ll breeze her on the turf tomorrow.”
Blue Point – A prolific winning juvenile, the 4-year-old was third in the Commonwealth Cup (G1) over 1200m at Royal Ascot last summer and broke the track record there with a win in October.
The son of Shamardal has had only one run at Meydan and encouragingly took second behind Ertijaalin the Meydan Sprint (G2).
“He did a routine canter here at Marmoom this morning and will work on the grass tomorrow,” his trainer Charlie Appleby said. “He has come on for his last run and is in good form.”
Conquest Tsunami – Carrying jockey Victor Espinoza, who is best known in Dubai as the rider of 2016 Dubai World Cup winner California Chrome, Conquest Tsunami breezed about 600m before dawn on Tuesday morning on the dirt track in his last serious workout.
Trainer Peter Miller oversaw the move down the stretch while standing near the parade ring.
“‘Tsunami’ might be my best chance in that race,” said Miller, who also will send out Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner Stormy Liberal and Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint runner-up Richard’s Boy in the Al Quoz Sprint. “He’s sharp as a razor.”
While Miller said he was hoping that the drill would be a bit more leisurely, he was satisfied by each of the works turned in by his runners during the morning.
“They each went three-eighths (about 600m) to gallop out a half (-mile, about 800m), nothing fancy, just kind of stretched their legs and got a little blow. Basically, that will be the end of their training, for the most part.”
Miller said his quartet could just jog in the quarantine barn area for the rest of the week.
Ertijaal – Led a procession of Ali Rashid Al Rayhi’s Dubai World Cup-day runners in a steady 2400m canter on the dirt track on Tuesday morning.
“He’s doing very well,” Jilani Siddiqui, assistant to Al Rayhi, said. “We are very pleased with him. He will do some work on the training track turf on Thursday morning over about 800m, nice and steady and just breezing over the last 200m.”
Hit The Bid – “Just a routine canter on the turf course this morning,” trainer Darren Bunyan said. “He will breeze on it tomorrow. His preparation has gone perfectly.”
Holding Gold – Commitments with his widespread North American operation will keep trainer Mark Casse from saddling Holding Gold, so he has entrusted the horse’s care to his able assistant, Randi Melton.
On Tuesday morning while astride a pony, she accompanied Holding Gold to the main track for a routine 1600m gallop rather than his customary 2400m exercise.
Melton explained that the long walk from the stable area to the track and back again coupled with the shorter distance of the gallop is enough to keep the horse affectionately called ‘Goldie’ fresh and on his toes.
“He seems to be going better and better each day,” Melton said. “We have not galloped on the turf course, and I’m not sure if we’re going to. He really likes the main track surface, so it does not seem like he would need to. “
Holding Gold, who is owned and was bred by Mrs. Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation in Florida, will make his first start since a seventh-place finish and troubled trip in the 2017 Breeders’ cup Turf Sprint (G1).
Live Oak is one of North America’s leading racing and breeding operations and Mrs. Weber’s famed red polka dots on white silks have graced the winner’s circle at foremost tracks across the continent for nearly 50 years. She is the granddaughter of John T. Dorrance, the inventor of the formula for condensed soup and the founder the Campbell Soup Company.
Illustrious Lad – Trainer Peter Gelagotis and his assistant brother Manny are relishing their first trip to Dubai from their country base at Moe, two hours out of Melbourne, and Illustrious Lad, their 6-year-old contender, appears to be following suit.
Illustrious Lad, a cheaply-bought yearling who came within a whisker of breaking into Group 2-winning company when going down to Super Cash in the Schillaci Stakes over 1100m at Caulfield four starts ago, had his final serious work-out over the turf course under big-race jockey Anthony Darmanin.
“He breezed 1000m in even time and finished on the bridle, clocking 11 seconds for the final 220m,” Peter Gelagotis said. “He had his last proper gallop before leaving Australia at Cranbourne almost a fortnight ago, clocking the best time of the morning, and that told me he was back to form after he ran poorly at Caulfield last month. He drew a wide gate that day and didn’t like being crowded, so we put a line through it.
“I can’t fault him since he arrived in Dubai. He’s travelled well and his action is good. His best form puts him about a length behind our top-line sprinters, and he loves a straight track, where he can get clean air and plenty of galloping room. “
Music Magnate – Bjorn Baker, who trains Music Magnate for Bjorn Baker Racing and Cobbity Lodge Stud and Stables, is a master of social media and credits the communication method as a key to the successful acceleration of his operation. Within five minutes of boarding a flight with his wife en route from Australia to Dubai he posted a photo on Facebook with the following message:
“As we sit here on board our Emirates Dubai-bound aircraft, Andrea and I would just like to thank you all for the hundreds of well wishes sent our way. It means a lot. This trip-of-a-lifetime, courtesy of Dubai World Cup Carnival, already feels like winning for us and for Music Magnate’s owners. Anything else is the cream on top! Here we go.”
Richard’s Boy – Streaking through the darkness of the 5am training period, the gray Richard’s Boyturned in his final speed work by going about 600m in approximately :36 under jockey Kent Desormeaux.
The fact that Richard’s Boy, along with stablemate Conquest Tsunami, is here in Dubai and ready to run is something of a miracle, as trainer Peter Miller recalled that both were temporarily lost during the chaos and devastation of the fire that killed 43 horses at the San Luis Rey Downs training centre in California in December.
“We found Richard’s Boy on a backyard farm about ten miles (16km) away. We couldn’t find Conquest Tsunami for a few days,” said Miller, who suffered the loss of five horses under his care due to the blaze. “It was a nightmare.”
However, both horses have recovered well from the ordeal, and Miller said Richard’s Boy is particularly well-suited to international racing in the sense that he handles the stress of shipping and racing well.
“He’s a remarkable horse. I’ve never had a horse with as much energy as that horse. He travels and runs and travels and runs. He never seems to get tired, so he’s a pretty neat horse,” Miller said.
A 6-year-old gelding by Idiot Proof, Richard’s Boy finished fifth in last year’s Al Quoz Sprint after getting a bad start.
“We were supposed to have assistant starters with our horses. Somehow or another that didn’t happen. Hopefully, this year we can get assistant starters with my four horses and we can get a clean break,” Miller said.
Richard’s Boy recorded a career-best performance by finishing second to stablemate Stormy Liberal in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) last November.
Stormy Liberal – Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), Stormy Liberal flashed down the dirt track under Victor Espinoza, finishing an about 600m blowout a bit quicker than trainer Peter Miller had hoped for but looking like he was enjoying the experience.
“He was moving a little faster than I probably would have liked, but my horses are in good shape,” Miller said.
Miller has some question marks in his mind about Stormy Liberal since the 6-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding did not travel well to Hong Kong last December and finished a disappointing 11th in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint (G1). The trainer is hoping for a different experience in Dubai.
“He didn’t ship well over there (to Hong Kong), didn’t eat, didn’t have his energy. We’re hoping we see the real Stormy Liberal in Dubai, and if we do, I think he can be right there at the finish of the Al Quoz Sprint,” Miller said.
With four horses at Meydan to run at the meeting, Miller is looking forward to Saturday.
“It’s great. It’s a lot of work and it’s a lot of anxiety, with managing the help and figuring out who’s going to do everything,” noted the trainer, who also has to continue to oversee his stable based in California. “But it will be all worth it if we win.”
Washington DC – “I think he has come forward from last season,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said. “If you go through his form there are some very smart runs there, running second in a couple of Group 1 races. His training has been very good at home. I think he could run well. He has the ability and we are happy with him.”
$2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News (G1)
Jordan Sport – Again stayed at trainer Fawzi Nass’s barn at Al Quoz having had a visit to Meydan on Monday.
“He had a steady, slow 1000m canter at my place in Al Quoz and we’ll do the same each morning until the race day. He doesn’t to do a lot more and we look forward to Saturday,” Nass said.
Matera Sky – Japan’s hope in the 1200m sprint was out on the dirt track cantering a lap and a half before schooling in the paddock with other Japanese trainees.
“We trained him a little hard when we first arrived, so we have been taking it easy up through today,” groom and exercise rider Masaki Takano said. “Jockey Yutaka Take will ride him tomorrow for his final breeze over the dirt track.”
Mind Your Biscuits – Accompanied by his groom on the shank, the leggy chestnut picked up his gallop before breaking into an easy 400m breeze around the dirt track and galloped out strongly past the line for another 200m and leaving both trainer and rider grinning ear to ear.
Trainer and co-owner Chad Summers was on hand to watch and was pleased with the ease in which he powered down the track.
“Look at him, ears up,” Summers said. “He’s a different horse and if that’s good or bad remains to be seen. Last year I think he got overshadowed by Arrogate, but what he did from the 14 hole was phenomenal. This year’s race is tougher but I couldn’t be happier.”
Mind Your Biscuits will take advantage of schooling on Tuesday evening, riding in the horsebox from his barn to the receiving barn, walking through the tunnel and taking a few laps around the saddling area and the parade ring before heading home.
Muarrab – The Ali Rashid Al Rayhi trainee did not visit the track on Tuesday morning, instead remaining inside Grandstand Stables to complete some trot work. “He’s well,” assistant trainer, Gilani Siddiqui said. “He was on the track yesterday (Monday) and will be back out tomorrow.”
Reynaldothewizard – Regular work rider Paul Chandelier was back on board his old favourite Reynaldothewizard on Tuesday morning, as the 12-year-old wound down from his final sharp work-out. Big-race rider Richard Mullen took to the saddle when Reynaldothewizard breezed like a youngster over 600m on Monday.
Trainer Satish Seemar, who has guided Reynaldothewizard through nine, carefully managed seasons since he arrived in Dubai as a mid-season 3-year-old, said: “Like the rest of Saturday’s team, he did no more than a steady walk. He’s fine.”
Looking ahead to the gelding’s inevitable retirement, Seemar said: “He’s still running because he wants to do it. He’ll tell me when he’s ready to retire.”
Roy H – As jockey Kent Desormeaux shouted out “whoa, whoa, whoa,” American champion sprinter Roy H bounded powerfully around the turn on the dirt track after breezing eagerly through about 600m in approximately :37 in his final piece of serious work.
“That’s him—he’s full of vim and vigor. He kind of dragged Kent around there,” trainer Peter Miller said. “He’s coming into the race well and he handled the surface well. I think we brought the right horse to Dubai.”
“The horse is very aggressive and gets in the bridle,” Desormeaux said. “It’s my job to slow him down, and it’s my job to slow him down in (the early part of) the race. I spend more time trying to slow him down than pushing him forward. He’s an amazing horse.”
The jockey has ridden Roy H, a 6-year-old gelded son of More Than Ready, to three consecutive victories, including the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).
X Y Jet – Trainer Jorge Navarro changed his game plan with Dubai Golden Shaheen contender X Y Jeton Tuesday morning, sending the grey speedster to the dirt track in the 5am time slot rather than the 7am shift he had been utilising.
“I wanted to get him under the lights, like he will be for the race, “ Navarro said. “And I wanted to get that out of the way. “
X Y Jet, who can be difficult to ride, handled the assignment perfectly and did not test exercise rider Anthony Cruz, who steered him through about 2400m under the track spotlights.
“He’s ready, “Navarro said after watching X Y Jet stroll back after the work with his ears up and his expression bright. “I can’t wait for the race.”
$2 million UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2)
Gold Town – The son of Street Cry has been a brilliant winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas trial and the UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) itself on his two Meydan starts and will be bidding to go one place better than his sire, who was second in this race before winning the Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline, when he starts on Saturday.
“I am happy with how he has come through his last two races and he will have a final blowout tomorrow morning,” trainer Charlie Appleby said. “He couldn’t have done more than he has in his two races so far an hopefully he can put in another good performance at the weekend. He’s an improving horse.”
Mendelssohn, Threeandfourpence and Seahenge – “The three of them finished 1-2-3 at Dundalk earlier in the month with Mendelssohn winning from Threeandfourpence and Seahenge.,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said.
“Mendelssohn continues to improve and we think he can run a big race. He is by Scat Daddy and is quite a strong traveller so we will learn more about him at Meydan, in terms of maybe the Kentucky Derby. Threeandfourpence went forward in his last run at Dundalk and that might be what we do with him again. He is in good order and Seahenge, going up in distance will suit him, and we’re hoping he can get out of the stalls a bit sharper than last time.”
Rayya – Doug Watson will saddle Rayya for the final time on Saturday. The filly is set to join the Bob Baffert barn following Saturday’s test with an eye towards the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, at Churchill Downs.
Keen to send the talented chestnut off on a high note, Watson admits he’ll continue to keep close watch.
“I’m excited to see her go on to a career in America and it will be fun to watch her over the summer,” Watson said.
Rayya, who took the Group 3 UAE Oaks sponsored by Al Naboodah Construction Group last time out, enjoyed an easy Tuesday morning.
“She just hand walked this morning. She’ll be back to the track to gallop Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and walk Saturday,” Watson said. “She came out of the work yesterday really nicely, ate up, and we’re really happy with her.”
As the filly looks to take on the boys for the first time, Watson notes that her inside draw could be a huge advantage.
“I think it’s pretty important. We’re really hopeful with that one draw. I hope she runs a big race.” Watson said. “I don’t know how much speed the other horses have. It could work as a disadvantage if she breaks slow and gets stuck down in there with all the kickback. She usually breaks pretty well and has enough early speed to hold a position with whoever is going from the outside.”
Ruggero – Cantered for one and a half lap on the dirt track and schooled at the saddling area and the paddock under the work rider Daisuke Mizuide.
“He has good mood and looks happy. “assistant trainer Hisao Shiina said.
Taiki Ferveur – Taiki Ferveur was out on the dirt track galloping a lap and a half before schooling in the paddock with a group of other Japanese trainees.
“He worked really well this morning, “ trainer Mitsunori Makiura said. “He seems unfazed by the trip and looks just as I’d expect him to before a race in Japan. He is eating well We’ll post his final work out tomorrow on the dirt, but we couldn’t be happier with his progress. “
Yulong Warrior – Shrugging off the disappointment of a less than favourable draw, trainer Satish Seemar on Tuesday reported “all’s fine” for recent runaway winner Yulong Warrior.
Seemar watched Yulong Warrior work “nice and sharp” over 800m for Richard Mullen on his final piece of serious work on Monday morning, but within a few hours he learned that the former Irish-trained son of the 2002 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry had been allocated stall seven, with only two outside him.
“It’s not the perfect draw, because his experience is limited and I would have preferred a lower number, but we will live with it, ” Seemar said.
That apart, Yulong Warrior continues to please connections, including Chinese businessman Zhang Yie Shang, for whom he ran three times placed in Ireland last year before being sold to Seemar for £360,000. A weekend deal means he will revert to his original colours on Saturday.
$1 million Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – Disctrict One (G2)
Akito Crescent – The 6-year-old Japanese contender had a gallop on the dirt track for 1200m under his jockey Yutaka Take.
“He usually is not an easy horse, but he looks very settled in here, “Take said. “He is really fit and in good order. As this will be his final gallop before Saturday’s big event, I was told to work him for 1200m and drive him for the last 200m by the trainer. He picked it up nicely the last 200m. I think it was a good work today. This is my second time to ride him. Last time he was kind of a bad boy and was not easy to ride, but he has shown a big improvement today. He was waiting for my directions.”
When asked about the condition, Take said: “With the good weather lately, the dirt track looks good. He has some potent speed and should handle the surface. The front runners will have more advantages but hopefully tactically he can sit handily or close to the pace. The race will be the first one on the card, so I will be the one to make a good start for the rest of the Team Japan. “
Economic Model – When the plane carrying the American contingent of horses competing in Saturday’s races heads back overseas, the manifest will be missing Economic Model, who will remain in Dubai to carry the colours of his new connections. Meanwhile, Chad Brown remains the trainer of record and from his base in South Florida and is overseeing preparations for the biggest test of Economic Model’s career.
“Everything is fine and he’s doing very well ever since we got here. I don’t see any change in him at all,” assistant trainer Guezel Cruz said. “It’s amazing how well he’s handled all of the travel and what we are asking from him. He’s digging into the feed tub every day. “
Economic Model was purchased privately by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum following the horse’s victory in the Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park in Florida in his last start.
“I think he’s sitting on a big race,” Cruz said. “Everybody expects that and I hope he runs well.”
On Tuesday morning Economic model was hand-walked by Cruz in the stable area as the horse had worked 800m on the dirt track the day before.
Kimbear, Muntazah, Second Summer and Shamaal Nibras – It was a case of good news, bad news for trainer Doug Watson on Tuesday as he assessed the chances of his top contenders.
While Second Summer, Muntazah and Shamaal Nibras all drew favourable post positions, top chance Kimbear was stranded in gate 12 in the 14-horse field.
“Kimbear is doing super, but it’s a horrible draw,” Watson said. “He has enough early pace to get position, but I don’t know how the track will set up on the night.”
Despite the difficult draw, Watson is reticent to simply send the Kentucky-bred son of Temple City.
“We won’t push him to get the lead. There’s plenty of other pace in there that’s for sure,” Watson said. “We’ll probably just try to get him settled into a nice position and get a clean trip around there.”
Watson will entrust Pat Dobbs, who engineered a winning trip last time out in the Group 3 Burj Nahaar at Meydan, with finding a winning path.
“He’s doing well, but there’s a bit of luck involved now. He’ll need a good break to get position and then hope for the best,” Watson said.
Second Summer will need a revitalised performance to find the board on Saturday. A neck winner over a muddy track last year in this event, Second Summer has finished no better than fourth in four starts since.
“It’s been a lost season with him as he’s had a couple of niggling problems which has kept him from his best,” Watson said. “He’s very healthy and happy now. He’s bouncing off the track and we like that part of him, he just hasn’t finished off a race yet this year.”
The 6-year-old Summer Bird gelding may reap the benefits of his more forwardly placed stablemates as rider Sam Hitchcock takes over from Dobbs.
“The pace will be strong in front of him and he’ll be coming from off the pace,” Watson said. “Hopefully, Sam can find his way around there and, if he’s finishing, find the gaps to get the best possible placing
“It’s been a little speed favouring this year but there have been some horses that have come from off the pace. If it rained over Friday and Saturday it would probably improve our odds a little bit, but that’s not going to happen. I think he really liked that sloppy track last year.”
Rosa Imperial – The Andre Fabre runner did not leave the international stables, along with three stable companions, as they had all worked on Monday morning on the dirt track.
“This morning, all four horses remained in the international stables,” rider Amelie Foulon’ said, “We took them out at 7a.m. to walk them in hand for half an hour. They are all well. Tomorrow we will return to the dirt track.”
$1 million Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (G2)
Big Orange – Suffered a bout of setfast after cantering on training track yesterday morning. Walked around quarantine barn this morning, but did not go on to the track.
Dai Harrald – Worked over 1200m on the turf course around 7.15a.m. before being paddock schooled.
“He travelled over great and looks well,” Chris Durham, travelling head lad to trainer William Haggas, said. “He’s eating and drinking well and has really thrived off the heat here. It’s all systems go for Saturday.
“We did six furlongs (1200m) yesterday, did one lap on grass today and he’ll go over the six tomorrow, when he might have a blow in the last two furlongs (400m). We paddock schooled him today to get him used to his surroundings.”
Frontiersman – Frontiersman, second to stablemate Hawkbill in the Dubai City Of Gold Sponsored by Emirates Skycargo (G2) on his last start, will be trying the trip for only the second time, having finished third over the 3200m at Wolverhampton in January.
A winner at Newmarket in September, the 5-year-old was also second to Hawkbill in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (G2) in July and ran second to Highland Reel in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes on Derby weekend at Epsom.
“He has some good form to his name,” trainer Charlie Appleby said. “His last run was solid and I have been happy with him since. He just did routine work this morning and I will ask him to do a little more on the grass tomorrow to get him spot on for Saturday.”
Janszoon – Completed a steady canter over 2400m of the turf track on Tuesday morning.
“We are really very happy with him,” Gilani Siddiqui assistant to trainer, Ali Rashid Al Rayhi, said. “He’s going very well and we will do some faster work with him on Thursday morning on the turf training track. “
Rare Rhythm – The 6-year-old beat the talented Vazirabad in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy (G2) on his only Meydan outing and also won on both of his two racecourse appearances in the England last summer.
They were both handicap wins but he successfully graduated into Group company last time and will be trying his hand at the top level this weekend over the 3200m.
“He had light exercise here at Marmoom this morning and will have a final blowout tomorrow morning on the grass,” trainer Charlie Appleby said. “He hasn’t stood a lot of racing through his career but we have been happy with him since his last run, when he did beat a good horse.”
Sheikhzayedroad – Took to the dirt track under work rider Katy Reed.
“We went on the main track for a routine canter round today and tomorrow we are galloping on the grass on the main track,” Reed said.
The senior competitor continues to turn heads including that of his familiar training partner who feels Sheikhzayedroad can improve on his good third last out in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy.
“’Sheikhy’ seems in really good form and is now starting to come in his coat,” Reed said. “He has done well from his prep run here about a month ago.”
Torcedor –“He cantered a couple of laps of the dirt track,” jockey Colm O’Donoghue said. “He feels great; very happy in himself. I’m delighted with him.”
Vazirabad – Arrived on the dirt track at 7a.m. with his leader, the filly Canndera. Ridden by Eric Alloix, the grey gelding jogged very slowly once round the track, before cantering over 1600m.
Led by Canndera for the first 800m he then joined her in the final straight and Antoine Cretin, travelling head lad, said: “Vazirabad does not show much in the morning. He is always the same. So far, everything is OK.”
$1 million Dubai Kahayla Classic sponsored by Mubadala (G1)
Al Zahir and Barnamaj – The Purebred Arabian pair, trained by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi, joined their thoroughbred stablemates in a 2400m steady canter on the turf track on Tuesday morning.
“The two Arabians are going very well,” Al Rayhi’s assistant, Gilani Siddiqui, said. “They are both looking very strong and are exactly where we want them to be going into the Dubai Kahayla Classic.”
Dubai World Cup Press Conference Today, March 28, to feature Bob Baffert, Leandro Mora, Dean Ivory and Bjorn Baker.
Dubai World Cup Press Conference – WEDNESDAY March 27
Interview Room, Meydan Grandstand
Trainer Bob Baffert does not need a lot of introduction. He has won the Dubai World Cup three times, including last year with Arrogate. He trained the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 in American Pharoah and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009. A four-time Eclipse Award winner, he has won 12 Triple Crown events and placed in 11 others. He has a 22.4% career strike rate and has trained a whopping 15 horses to earn more than US $3 million. Baffert’s newest star on the rise is champion 3-year-old of 2017, West Coast, who is the favourite for the Dubai World Cup.
An accomplished horseman and the lead assistant for one of the most successful big-race operations in the United States, Leandro Mora has been the go-to guy for trainer Doug O’Neill. This year, he comes to the Dubai World Cup with highly regarded and lightly raced Pavel, a Grade 3 winner who has faced the best dirt horses in the world in a brief career. Pavel has continued to impress onlookers since arriving in Dubai.
Trainer Dean Ivory has become one of the most talented trainers of sprinters in Europe and proof of such comes in the form of Librisa Breeze, the top-rated horse going into Saturday’s Al Quoz Sprint, who is owned by Brighton FC chairman Tony Bloom. A lover of soft ground, Librisa Breeze will have to prove he can win on the expected fast ground of Meydan, but has given his trainer confidence that he can do so. Winner of the British Champions Day Sprint last October, Librisa Breeze defeated Caravaggio and Harry Angel, two of the top-rated sprinters in the world in 2017, in the process.
The son of top New Zealand trainer Murray Baker, Warwick Farm-based Bjorn Baker is one of the rising stars of thoroughbred conditioning in the world. A former assistant to Christophe Clement in America and John Oxx in Ireland, he has put his formidable preparation to use, winning multiple stakes at a variety of trips since starting his own yard. His top horse is also his first Group 1 winner, Music Magnate, who is one of the favourites in the Al Quoz Sprint.
fonte : DRC