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Dubai World Cup 2018: News Of The Day, Monday, March 26, 2018

$1 million Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored by Gulf News

Jordan Sport – Jordan Sport stayed at trainer Fawzi Nass’s barn at Al Quoz having had a visit to Meydan the previous day.

“We brought him over to the dirt track yesterday (Sunday) and he went well enough,” said Nass. “He won really well on his first start on dirt last time. He’s a Dubawi and when we bought him we hoped he might be a dirt horse and it looks like he is.”

Jordan Sport set a new course record when winning the G3 Mahab Al Shimaal over 1200m at Meydan on March 10 when having his first start on dirt. He joined Bahrain-based Nass last year having previously been trained in Britain by David Simcock and Richard Fahey.

Matera Sky – The 2015 Keeneland September Sale graduate, Matera Sky posted a fast work on the dirt track yesterday so he stayed behind in Quarantine this morning to do some light cantering in the trotting ring as he preps for Saturday’s Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News (G1).

“He traveled extremely well despite it being his first time.” assistant trainer Masaki Takano said. “He wasn’t tired at all. He is coming along well.”

Mind Your Biscuits – 2017 Dubai Golden Shaheen victor Mind Your Biscuits came to the Meydan Racecourse main track this morning just after 6 a.m. After jogging backwards, the chestnut son of Posse visited the saddling paddock before returning to the track for a gallop of about 2000m.

Paddock schooling is important to the two-time Grade 1 winner as he has been known to get worked up on race day when in the saddling enclosure and trainer Chad Summers hopes it helps him come race night.

“Race day gives him an edge,” Summers explained. “Everything you can do to help, you help. He schooled great today. Last year he was on his toes, looking around. He’s different this year. More mature,”

Winless in his last four starts, Mind Your Biscuits will be reunited with Joel Rosario who piloted him to victory in 2017.

Reynaldothewizard – The prize for the oldest horse in action on Dubai World Cup night comfortably goes to 12-year-old Reynaldothewizard, who will concede a generation-worthy eight years to his youngest rival, Matera Sky, in the Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News (G1). But according to trainer Satish Seemar, no-one has told the old-stager about the age difference.

Reynaldothewizard wound up his big-race preparation on Monday morning with a 600m workout under big-race jockey Richard Mullen, and Seemar reported, “He was extremely sharp. You wouldn’t think he’s the old man of the party, in fact, he was acting as if he’s having a midlife crisis.”

Winner of the race in 2013, Reynaldothewizard missed out for the following two years before running fourth to Muarrab in 2016 and eighth behind Mind Your Biscuits last year.

Seemar explained, “We pulled him out on a couple of occasions because it wasn’t quite right for him at the time, but that’s not the case this year. I was wondering whether it may be time to consider retirement 300m out in his last race, the Al Shindagha Sprint, but then he went like a rocket and finished third.”

Roy H – American champion sprinter Roy H, winner of his last three races including the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), continued to make a stellar impression in his morning training in Dubai when he took an easy tour of the dirt track under the lights just after 5 a.m.

With exercise rider Amber Chapman up for trainer Peter Miller, Roy H arched his neck and powered off his massive hind end, striding out in a beautifully muscular frame.

“‘Roy’ loves this track,” Chapman said later. “He’s feeling great. I love the way he trained today. The first time he came up here (to the Meydan dirt track), he was a little bit anxious. He relaxed today, walked back great to the barn and cooled out really well.”

A son of international sire More Than Ready, Roy H is set to breeze on Tuesday morning over the dirt track with regular jockey Kent Desormeaux in the irons. Miller is expected to be on hand for the work after a flight from the United States into the United Arab Emirates.

Roy H has banked nearly $1.5 million while winning seven of 18 career starts.

X Y Jet – Already known in Dubai as the runner-up by a neck to Muarrab in the 2016 Dubai Golden Shaheen as well as one of the fastest horses in training anywhere in the world, X Y Jet is purposefully being given an easy week prior to attempting to capture his first career victory in a Group/Grade 1 event.

Trainer Jorge Navarro said Monday after watching the 6-year-old gray gallop leisurely on the Meydan dirt track that, with three consecutive wins under his girth over the past 90 days as well as two workouts this month in Florida, X Y Jet is at a peak and does not need to do any speed training.

In his most recent race, the about 1200m Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on February 17, X Y Jet burst out of the starting gate faster than Navarro had ever seen the gelding run, recording blazing early fractions of 21.81 and 44.41 (for about-400m and -800m) before sauntering to a seven-length win in 1:09.17. That kind of early speed should serve him well in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, although Navarro conceded that X Y Jet will be taking on more accomplished horses including American champion sprinter Roy H.

“If he belongs, he belongs,” Navarro said philosophically when pondering the chances of X Y Jet. “If not, we took a chance. We have nothing to lose.”


$1 million Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments (G1)

Blue Point – Godolphin’s speedster holds the track record over 1200 metres at Ascot following a win there last Ocotber and just lost out by a shorthead to Ertijaal in the Meydan Sprint Sponsored by District One Greenary Stretch on his only Meydan outing.

“A stiff 1000 metres or a flat 1200 metres suits him well,” trainer Charlie Appleby said. “He has come on for his last run and is in good form.”

Holding Gold – Holding Gold represents top-flight North American trainer Mark Casse’s first runner in Dubai but the Live Oak Plantation homebred has experience in his arsenal as he gears up for the Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments.

The 5-year-old gelding is getting put through his paces by the now Dubai-based exercise rider Carlos Rojas, who was formerly employed by Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. Rojas was the regular morning partner for Asmussen’s 2008 Dubai World Cup winner and two-time North American Horse of the Year Curlin.

“He’s just an extraordinary rider,” said Randi Melton, Casse’s assistant, while noting that it is unusual to travel half-way around the world for an event of this magnitude without the stable’s regular exercise rider . “He gets along great with the horse.”

Melton was part of Team Casse when they sent American champion Turf Mare Tepin to Royal Ascot for an enormous win against international competition. Melton said that the personality of Holding Gold makes her job easier.

“He’s a cool dude. Everyone in our barn calls him that,” she said. “I’m impressed with the level of his intelligence, his laid-back demeanor, and his ability to handle shipping. That gives you as much confidence as you can have going into it. It’s almost scary what a nice disposition he has.”

On Monday morning Holding Gold galloped one mile over the main track about 7:15 a.m., and Melton said that going forward in the last few days they will switch him to the smaller training track for easy jogs to keep him fresh for the race.

Faatinah – Had steady canter around main track at 7:20 a.m.

Librisa Breeze – Arrived in early hours of Saturday morning and had a gentle spin around the training track at 8:10 a.m. under Emily Crossman ahead of the arrival of trainer Dean Ivory and big-race jockey Robert Winston.

Music Magnate – Music Magnate, who gave Australian trainer Bjorn Baker his first Grade 1 win, got his first feel for the turf course Monday morning as he prepares to meet a crackerjack international field in the Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments and his connections could not be more pleased.

“He worked on the grass and we went from the 1200. We just went easy the first half and I clicked him up the second half and I was very happy with him,” said Jean Van Overmeire, 23, Australia`s leading apprentice jockey, who was in the irons when the pair went out at 5:00 a.m. “It was a nice blow-out on the turf just to open his lungs and he really enjoyed it, which is the main thing. He took to the course well and had a good look around, which you`d expect as it was his first time being there. I haven`t got any complaints. He did exactly what I wanted him to and he lived up to all my expectations as well.”

Van Overmeire is doubling as the assistant trainer until Baker arrives, most likely on Wednesday morning.

“The rest of the week will probably just be slow canters on the sand (dirt track), but we`ll see how he pulls up after this morning. He should be fine. Then on race morning we`ll probably just have a quiet trot. We`re trying to keep him as happy as possible,” he said.

Meanwhile, the horse has been brilliant even though this is the first time the New Zealand-bred has been sent away from home and had to travel through Hong Kong to get to Dubai.

Stormy Liberal – When Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner Stormy Liberal traveled to Hong Kong last December, he didn’t particularly enjoy the experience, and the now 6-year-old gelding wound up 11th in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint (G1). But so far, the speedy bay seems to be relishing his sojourn to Dubai, according to exercise rider Amber Chapman, who reported that the son of Stormy Atlantic has been “super happy” since arriving at Meydan.

“He’s cool. He’s super chill,” said Chapman, who also accompanied Stormy Liberal to Hong Kong and feels his attitude in Dubai, as well as general similarities in racing at Meydan with the United States, will serve him well in the 1200m Al Quoz Sprint.

Stormy Liberal has been doing easy jogs and gallops in his initial days in Dubai but is tentatively set for a brief breeze on Tuesday morning after trainer Peter Miller arrives from his base in California, Chapman said.




$2 million UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2)

Gold Town – The son of Street Cry was gelded last June and has barely looked back since, winning his last three starts and burning off the opposition to take both the UAE 2000 Guineas trial and the UAE 2000 Guineas itself.

“He has done well for the switch to dirt and he prefers it to grass,” trainer Charlie Appleby said. “Gelding him has made a huge difference. He is stepping up in trip from 1600 metres at the weekend and we will see how he gets on.”

Mendelssohn, Threeandfourpence and Seahenge – Trainer Aidan O’Brien: “We go to the UAE Derby with three horses. They all came out of their race at Dundalk well (the Listed Patton Stakes on March 9 over a mile when Mendelssohn won) and I’m happy with them. We will learn more about Mendelssohn in Dubai, especially how well he stays as he is a strong traveller. Threeandfourpence should improve from the run in Dundalk, as should Seahenge who didn’t help himself by being slowly away.”

Rayya – Rayya is a real player in the UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group.

A filly taking on the boys, Rayya boasts a perfect in-the-money record with two wins and two seconds from four career starts, including a convincing last out score in the Group 3 UAE Oaks Sponsored by Al Naboodah Construction Group.

“Rayya worked today and she’s doing really well,” said trainer Doug Watson of the speedy Tiz Wonderful chestnut. “We’ll see where we draw and play it out. I’m not afraid to let her come from off of it.”

Speculation abound that with a good result on Saturday, the U.S.-bound Rayya could find herself a contender for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, at Churchill Downs.

“She gets on a plane and goes back with Bob Baffert as far as I know,” Watson said. “I don’t know what her plans are from there, but she’s flying to California and it’s going to be a tough schedule from there to fly to Kentucky and go to the Oaks.”

Rayya made her debut a winning one on December 7 at Meydan and has kept a busy dance card since while tussling with Winter Lightning who edged her by a nose in a conditioned event on January 18 and again on February 8 in the UAE One Thousand Guineas Sponsored by Friday.

“It’s going to be a hard race on Saturday and she still needs to mature. The schedule she’s kept from the time she broke her maiden World Cup night, you wouldn’t see many mares going in (to the Oaks) from halfway around the world with that kind of schedule.”

Reride – One year after Gun Runner finished second in the Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline, Winchell Thoroughbreds and Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen will send out the developing 3-year-old Reride in the UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2). On Monday, the Candy Ride colt worked four furlongs shortly after 5:00 a.m.

“His energy level has been good since we got here,” assistant trainer Scott Blasi said. “We just put an easy half mile in him to let him pick his feet up over the racetrack. I got him in :50 4/5. He felt good coming back to the barn.”

Reride enters the UAE Derby off a 2½-length victory over favorite Runaway Ghost in the Mine That Bird Derby Feb. 25. Runaway Ghost returned to win the Sunland Derby (G3) Sunday impressively.

“The Sunland Derby winner was who he beat last time, so if he runs his race, he should stack up well here,” Blasi said. “He was pulled away from a horse (Runaway Ghost) that came back and won at a mile and an eighth. He seemed to get better as the race went on and his stride lengthened late. I would think a mile and three-sixteenths is within his realm.”

Ruggero – Ruggero, one of Japan’s two runners for the UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2), posted an easy canter over Meydan’s dirt course at 5:00 am.

“He has arrived in good order. Travel didn’t bother him at all. Yesterday he had a light breeze over the straight. He will go to school in the paddock tomorrow and will breeze the day after tomorrow.” said the assistant trainer Hisao Shiina.

Taiki Ferveur – The third runner up in the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, Taiki Ferveur has arrived in great condition and lightly cantered around the dirt track this morning under assistant trainer Kohei Kurokawa as they prepare for Saturday’s UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2).

“Being only three we were a little concerned about how he would handle the trip but he didn’t seem bothered at all. He is doing great. We’ll breeze him on Wednesday I think.” said trainer Mitsunori Makiura.

Yulong Warrior – Forty-eight hours after a deal was sealed to take Yulong Warrior back into his original ownership, this month’s runaway Al Bastakiya winner pleased trainer Satish Seemar when completing his serious preparation for the UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2) on Monday morning.

Seemar reported, “He went nice and sharp for Richard Mullen over 800m, and finished strongly. I’m very happy with him.”

Raced originally in Ireland for Chinese businessman Zhang Yieshang, the son of Street Cry was bought by Seemar for £360,000 at a pre-Royal Ascot sale in London last June and his three outings for the Kapoor family resulted in two wins. The second was achieved by 11 and a half lengths, after which Yieshang’s ownership company Yulong Investments stepped in.

Seemar said: “He’s only a Listed-race winner, now he’s competing with Group horses, but he’s never had the opportunity to take on the very best. His experience is limited and really needs a good break from the draw.”

$1 million Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – Disctrict One

Adirato – Making his second start in Dubai, Adirato, who ran in last year’s UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2), hopes to make a better showing this year by scaling back in distance for the Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City - District One (G2).

“He has settled in very well this year,” assistant trainer Shingo Nomiyama said. “I think the experience helps. Since we breezed him yesterday, we just cantered him today in the Quarantine trotting track. We will take him out on the dirt course tomorrow and school him in the paddock tomorrow.”

Akito Crescent – One of the few progeny of War Emblem, Akito Crescent who will start in the Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City-District One (G2), had an easy canter on the dirt track.

The trainer Hisashi Shimizu arrived at Meydan in the morning but was not able to see his trainee work.

“According to my staff, he has not changed a lot since he left Japan. I am happy to hear that. He will gallop tomorrow with jockey Yutaka Take abroad.”

Economic Model – Economic Model, who was sold privately by his American owners to a member of the ruling family of Dubai following the horse’s first graded stakes win in the Hal’s Hope (G3) in Florida in his last start February 24, was sent out for his morning exercise at 7 AM Monday under Gaswell Cruz as he readies for the biggest test of his career in the Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – District One (G2).

Cruz is looking after Economic Model, now owned by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, for Chad Brown while the trainer remains in the United States. Regardless of the outcome of the race, Economic Model will not be returned to Brown and instead will be transferred to Nicholas Bachalard as he is set to soon become the private trainer for the Sheikh’s private Jebal Ali Stable here in Dubai.

“I saw him out on the track this morning and he looked good,” said Bachalard, who was on hand in an unofficial capacity until the transfer is complete.

Bachalard has spent the past eight years training in Saudi Arabia, following a 17-year stint as the assistant to the American-based Christophe Clement.

The one-mile distance of the race has proven to be optimum for the five-year-old Kentucky-bred and on Saturday he will make his first start outside the United States.

Kimbear, Muntazah, Second Summer and Shamaal Nibras – Trainer Doug Watson will be a busy man in the saddling enclosure for the Group 2 $1 million Godolphin Mile as he saddles the talented quartet of Kimbear, Muntazah, Second Summer and Shamaal Nibras. Both Kimbear and Second Summer are owned by Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, while Muntazah races for His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum with Shamaal Nibras competing in the colours of Emirates Entertainment Racing Club (EERC).

The abundance of riches leaves Watson with a number of considerations ahead of the lucrative event as jockey Pat Dobbs piloted all but Muntazah last time out, the outlier having been ridden Jim Crowley.

“I’ve got Dane O’Neill on Shamaal Nibras, Jim Crowley will ride Muntazah, Sam Hitchcott will ride Second Summer and Pat (Dobbs) rides Kimbear,” Watson said.

With four chances, drawing up a race strategy is paramount for the top local conditioner.

“We’ll have to see what the draw looks like,” Watson said. “We’d obviously have to go forward with Kimbear with his speed. Shamaal Nibras comes from off of it. Muntazah has speed but I’m not sure how much dirt speed he’s got. Second Summer will come from off of it, but a lot really depends on the draw.”

Kimbear, a Kentucky-bred son of Temple City, arrives at a loaded edition of the Godolphin Mile from a solid score in the Group 3 Burj Nahaar at Meydan.

“Kimbear went real well. Pat (Dobbs) was real happy with him,” Watson said. “A bit quick being five days out, but our track is a bit quick. He was bouncing off the track and we’re real happy with him.”

A three-time winner from 14 starts, Kimbear has never finished off the board at Meydan where he boasts a record of two wins and two seconds.

Second Summer, a Florida-bred Summer Bird gelding, is the defending champion in the Godolphin Mile which was also the last win for the now six-year-old chestnut.
“Second Summer worked real well today. I was pleased with him,” Watson said. “He galloped out strong and Sam, who gets on him everyday, is over the moon with him and he’s a very good judge. He’s going to have to close and it depends on the pace, and the track, but he’s in good form.”

The tongue tie will come off Saturday for Second Summer, who was a Grade 2 winner in the U.S. when trained by Peter Eurton to a length score in the Californian Stakes over nine furlongs on the Santa Anita main track.

Muntazah sweeps into the Godolphin Mile off a sparkling 1¾-length score in the HH President Cup at Meydan. A veteran of 13 turf starts, the five-year-old Dubawi gelding will make his dirt debut on Saturday night.

Musawaat – Travelled from Fawzi Nass’s stable to work on dirt track at 6:05 a.m. with stablemate Los Barbados.

“He’s going to run in a visor on Saturday and we hope it will make a difference,” said Nass.

Rosa Imperial – Rosa Imperial, ridden by exercise rider Amelie Foulon, came out on to the Meydan Racecourse main track at 7 a.m. Monday morning, accompanied by Dubai Turf raider Trais Fluors, ridden by Claude Scialacqua. Both horses are trained in France by André Fabre whose travelling head lad Joel Pouchin was on hand to watch them work over 1400m.

Like their stable companions earlier on in the morning, both went a good gallop and Joel Pouchin confirmed: “They did a good piece of work and everything is going as planned.”


$1 million Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (G2)

Big Orange – Went out onto training track at 8:20 a.m. but proved a reluctant starter under Gillian Dolman, travelling head lass for trainer Michael Bell. Outrider Dick Fear accompanied the Ascot Gold Cup winner.

“I think he’s gotten more clever as he’s gotten older and he just stopped and looked at everything,” said Dolman. “He was OK afterwards and just cantered. He’s travelled over well, possibly too well!”

Dai Harrald – Did a steady over around 1000m on the turf course just after 7 a.m.

Frontiersman – After a recent second to stablemate Hawkbill in the Dubai City Of Gold Sponsored by Emirates Skycargo, Frontiersman will have an extra 400 metres to cover when he races on Saturday.

“He has tried the trip (3200 metres) once before but it was after a layoff and he was too fresh,” trainer Charlie Appleby said. “Saturday will tell us more about his trip and where we go from there.

Los Barbados - Travelled from Fawzi Nass’s stable to work on dirt track at 6:05 a.m. with stablemate Musawaat

Rare Rhythm – The 6-year-old has been lightly-raced through his career but has won five of his eight career starts and trainer Charlie Appleby was delighted with his latest run when he beat Vazirabad in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy.

“He has been fragile and we have had to take our time with him,” Appleby said. “He won well here last time out beating a good horse and I have been happy with him since. The 3200-metre trip is a question mark as he has never tried it before so I am interested to see how he gets on.”

Sheikhzayedroad – The 9-year-old Sheikhzayedroad is one of the elder statesmen in the stayer division but he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Trained by David Simcock for owner Rabbah Bloodstock Limited, Sheikhzayedroad continues to pick up checks while racing in group company around the world. Last time out, the Dubawi gelding landed third in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy Sponsored by Al Naboodah Civil Engineering, at Meydan Racecourse.

The handsome bay will be making his twelfth start at Meydan when he takes part in the $1 million Dubai Gold Cup, sponsored Al Tayer Motors. Sheikhzayedroad, who took to the track with stablemate Desert Encounter, enjoyed an easy canter over the Tapeta training track just after 8 a.m. under exercise rider Katy Reed.

“It’s a little bit quieter here and we would train on the Polytrack at home a lot more anyway,” Russell said. “I think he looks fantastic.”

The world traveler boasts wins at nine different tracks including scores in England, Dubai and a special victory in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes in Canada, at Woodbine Racetrack.

“He hasn’t done anything wrong in his racing career and he’s won some lovely races including at Woodbine,” Russell said.

Winless through seven starts in 2017, the venerable veteran did manage three thirds while maintaining a six-figure bankroll for the year. Despite Sheikhzayedroad’s advancing age, Russell, and the rest of Simcock team, still believe their barn favorite has a few more wins to come.

“He is getting older but his zest for the racing is still there, which he showed a couple of weeks ago when he was third,” Russell said. “He’s still got it and he loves coming to Dubai. He’s a barn favorite and he has a good little following. He’ll have a home for life once he finishes racing.”

Torcedor – Trainer Jessica Harrington: “He has been in work since January and his training has gone well. He arrived in Dubai on Saturday morning. I will arrive there on Tuesday and we are looking forward to the race.”

Vazirabad – The Alain de Royer Dupré-trained 6-year-old gelding came out to the Meydan Racecourse main track at just after 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning. Ridden by exercise rider Eric Alloix, he followed his stable companion Canndera out on the track where they did a slow canter over 1400m.

Antoine Cretin, travelling head lad to the HH Aga Khan-owned horses, was riding Canndera and afterwards said: “Vazirabad is his usual self. He will continue to do the same routine every day now until the race on Saturday.”

Alain de Royer Dupré, who is hoping that his famous gelding can make it three from three, is arriving in Dubai on Wednesday morning.