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Longines Dubai Sheema Classic & Dubai Turf Sponsored By DP World Notes, Monday, March 26, 2018

$6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1)

Cloth of Stars – The André Fabre trained French raider worked over 1400m with stable companion Talismanic and travelling head lad Joel Pouchin watched the pair in action.

“Both horses worked well,” Pouchin said. “We are very pleased with them.”

Desert Encounter – Trainer David Simcock’s wife Jennie put the 5-year-old son of Halling through a steady canter on the Meydan training track just after 8:00 a.m. Desert Encounter was joined in his morning effort by stablemate Sheikhzayedroad, who will take part in the Dubai Gold Cup sponsored Al Tayer Motors.

“Desert Encounter is quite a nice little horse,” travelling head lad Ian Russell said. “For a European horse coming over at this time of year, I think he looks fantastic. He’s quite a short, compact horse but physically he’s very athletic. He’s short, but there’s plenty of power there.”

Desert Encounter demonstrated his Group 1 credentials when third to Ulysses in the Coral Eclipse at Sandown Park last July. The honest gelding is travelling to Dubai for the first time as he looks to break through in the top flight.

Hawkbill – The European Group 1 winner was last seen landing the Dubai City of Gold (G2), and his trainer Charlie Appleby is looking forward to backing him up on Saturday.

“He has become a stable star for us and has represented us all over the world,” Appleby said. “People say he is a soft-ground horse but you have to look at his form and he was second in a Group 1 in Canada when it was on the quick side.”

Idaho – Aidan O’Brien’s contender has not yet arrived in Dubai.

“Our horses won’t ship out for a couple of days yet, but they are all in good form and we are looking forward to the trip,” O’Brien said. “It has been the plan to run Idaho since he ran a good fifth in the Japan Cup and he came out of that race well.”

Mozu Katchan – Last term’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) winner stayed in the quarantine stable on Monday morning.

“She is getting used to the new surroundings and has handled it well,” assistant trainer Takayuki Nagi said. “When she comes on to the track at home, she is always fresh and a bit excited. She has done the same here, and I think it is a good sign that she feels comfortable. Once she got going, she was more relaxed. She went fast yesterday and will do another piece of work on Wednesday on turf.”

The high-class Japanese galloper Satono Crown and his stablemate Neorealism worked on the turf course and were supervised by trainer Noriyuki Hori.

“The two horses had an easy piece of work on the turf course for the past two days,” Hori said. “Since they have arrived here last week, they have come out great and have familiarised with their new environment. I will continue tweaking their training schedule based on their condition day by day.”

Poet’s Word – Sir Michael Stoute’s fifth contender for the race made a leisurely first acquaintance with Meydan racecourse, having completed his obligatory 48 hours in quarantine after landing from Newmarket.

The 5-year-old, runner-up in two Champion Stakes last year before disappointing in Hong Kong in December, walked and trotted over 1200m of the turf course under regular work rider Charles Robertson.

He finished his most serious homework pre-departure last Thursday under Frankie Dettori, who will be in the saddle in public for the first time on Saturday. Owner Saeed Suhail’s racing manager Bruce Raymond reported to the UK media: “He’s going great guns and sprinted clear of his lead horse.”


$6 million Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World (G1)

Benbatl – Godolphin’s homebred 4-year-old son of Dubawi galloped 1400m at Al Quoz on Sunday morning ahead of Saturday’s assignment.

“We were very pleased with his work on Sunday and he is in great shape ahead of a tough race on Saturday,” trainer Saeed bin Suroor said. “He had a bad draw on Super Saturday, but won his first two Meydan starts in style. We will be hoping for a good draw this time.”


Deirdre – High-class Japanese 4-year-old filly Deirdre, who scored the first Group 1 title in last year’s Shuka Sho, worked easily on the dirt track for one lap before she went to school at the saddling area under the work rider Sho Takenotshita.

“She was a bit tired after the trip to Dubai but has already recovered and is getting fit and relaxed,” Takenotshita said. “She will go fast on Wednesday.”

Lancaster Bomber and War Decree – Trainer Aidan O’Brien is confident about the prospects of the pair when speaking from Ireland.

“Lancaster Bomber has progressed well from three to four,” O’Brien said. “He ran at this meeting last year when a good fourth in the UAE Derby. Nine furlongs (1800m) might be as far as he wants to go but we will see how he goes at the weekend. War Decree got a late invite and we were very happy about that. He is in good form.”

Monarchs Glen – Moved well when partnered by Tony Proctor around the Meydan training track at 8:15 a.m.

Real Steel – The 2016 Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World winner Real Steel cantered around the quarantine trotting track after having posted a fast work on Sunday.

“Being his third trip to Dubai, he arrived in good condition. We hope we can make up for last year’s unfortunate scratching.” assistant trainer Shin Kakizaki said. “He is back to his 2016 form I think. We’ll take him out for a spin tomorrow.”

Vivlos – The Japanese mare cantered a lap around the Meydan turf course after posting a quicker work on Sunday.

“She feels like she really wants to run,” assistant trainer Shingo Yasuda said. “She has reached her peak, I think. She was a little worn down from her travels upon arrival to Dubai last week. She rebounded from her trip well and, being her second year, she showed a lot less stress than last year. She is at least as good as she was last year.”