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Dubai World Cup 2018: News Of The Day (Thursday, March 29, 2018)

Photo: Mind Your Biscuits (USA) (Chad Summers) Dubai Golden Shaheen (DRC & Andrew Watkins)

$2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News (G1)

Jordan Sport – Continued his build up to Saturday’s big race with a gentle workout at Al Quoz.

Matera Sky – Stayed in the quarantine area today after having had his fast work yesterday. He will likely be out on the track tomorrow.

Mind Your Biscuits – Like clockwork, Mind Your Biscuits made his way into the Meydan dirt track at just after 6am accompanied by trainer Chad Summers, who made the 3200m walk alongside his horse.

Minimally equipped today- without his usual shadow roll and drop noseband, the chestnut took an easy 2400m jog going the right way. As he finished up, Hit The Bid galloped up his inside and Mind Your Biscuits grabbed the bit to try to fight past. Summers was happy with the jog and pleased at his reaction to the horse trying to pass.

Regarding the draw of post one, Summers was initially not pleased with his late runner being saddled with the rail. “After contemplating, reviewing and tossing and turning thinking of the race, you watch him today and all your worries float away,” he said.

Mind Your Biscuits will walk both Friday and race day morning.

Reynaldothewizard – Running in the race for the fifth time, Reynaldothewizard is approaching the end of his distinguished career but, according to trainer Satish Seemar, he retains all his ability.

“He was extremely sharp when he worked over 600m on Monday,” Seemar reported. “You wouldn’t think he’s the old man of the party, and now it’s just a case of keeping him happy until Saturday.”

As a 12-year-old, Reynaldothewizard is a year away from the compulsory retirement age set by the Emirates Racing Authority, although he may be allowed to race to the end of the 2018-19 season if he remains in suitable form.

On Saturday, he will end his eighth season in Dubai, facing 7-year-old My Catch as his nearest age rival and 4-year-old Matera Sky his youngest. “We’ll bring out the zimmer frame for Reynaldo,” Richard Mullen, his regular rider, quipped.

Mullen still remembers Reynaldothewizard’s 3-year-old debut for Seemar’s Zabeel Stables in November 2010, as he preferred to ride Captain Rio, who finished fourth while Harry Bentley, then claiming a 7lb allowance as an apprentice, guided him to the first of his ten Dubai victories.
Mullen has not made the same mistake twice and will be aboard Reynaldothewizard for the 23rd consecutive time on Saturday. “I know him so well, he’s a special horse,” he said.

Roy H – Avoiding the traffic at the Meydan track during Breakfast With the Stars, American champion sprinter Roy H spent Thursday morning in the calm serenity of the quarantine barn area.

The 6-year-old More Than Ready gelding and the trio of horses trainer Peter Miller also has brought to Dubai for the Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Azizi Developments (Stormy Liberal, Richard’s Boy and Conquest Tsunami) all jogged following their final pieces of speed work on Tuesday.

“They all looked good and we’re ready to run,” Miller said.

Roy H has adjusted well to daily life in Dubai and is unperturbed by the change in the routine he is accustomed to at his California base.

“He seems to be happy,” Miller said. “He’s basically just a calm, settled guy.”


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

Blue Point – The Commonwealth Cup (G1) third from Royal Ascot was second behind Ertijaal in the Meydan Sprint Sponsored by District One Greenery Stretch (G2) only his only start at Meydan this year.

The 4-year-old had a gentle trot around Godolphin’s private dirt training facility at Marmoom this morning, and his trainer Charlie Appleby is looking forward to Saturday when the powerful sprinter steps back up in distance to 1200 metres.

“The trip on the flat track at Meydan will suit him and his last race really took the fizz out of him,” Appleby said. “I have been happy with what he has done this week and he is in really good condition.

“He has developed into a really nice horse and has the physique of a sprinter.”

Hit the Bid – Trainer Darren Bunyan said: “He was out early this morning to stretch his legs. He’s grand. He has been here three months now. Stay any longer and he’ll be speaking Arabic.”

Holding Gold – Continues to look as good as gold as he advances toward his date with the top turf sprinters.

“We went to the jogging track and all went great, although he was a little disappointed he didn`t gallop,” Randi Melton, who is looking after the gelding for trainer Mark Casse, said with a laugh. “We went out about 6.30 this morning, then he was just cooled out and he grazed some.”

Holding Gold is one of four American-based horses, along with Conquest Tsunami, Richard`s Boy and Stormy Liberal, in the international field and he will break from post six under Javier Castellano.

“It`s up to Javier to do what needs to be done,” said Melton, while noting that Holding Gold prefers to come from off the pace. “It`s always helpful when you have a rider like Javier Castellano, who can adjust when he needs to.”

Librisa Breeze – Worked on the turf training track just after 8am, having visited the main grass track on Wednesday. Emily Crossman was in the saddle.

“I’m confident he’ll go well on Saturday and I’m happy with what I’ve seen since I’ve been over here,” said trainer Dean Ivory. “He probably ideally would like good-to-soft but we can’t do anything about that.

Music Magnate – Following his final blow-out on the turf the day before, the New Zealand-bred, Australian-based, Group 1-winning Music Magnate was not sent back out on Thursday morning by trainer Bjorn Baker.

“We just took it easy with him today and tomorrow he`ll go back to the track for a canter,” said Baker, who was also born in New Zealand and now resides in Australia.

Blake Shinn, who is a top Australian jockey, has arrived in Dubai to ride Music Magnate and stopped by the barn today.

“He`s a genuine Group 1 horse and he`s set for the race. I wouldn`t have travelled over all this way if I didn`t think that he was up to winning,” Shinn said. “He is a lovely horse to ride. He`s got a beautiful nature. He`s a push-button horse. He jumps. He`s got good gate speed. He puts his head on his chest. You can put him virtually anywhere you need to be. If they go too fast, you can hold him back. If they`re going slow, he can put himself on speed. He`s just like driving a car. You can put your foot on or off the accelerator whenever you need to.”

Shinn likened Music Magnate, who breaks from post 12, more to a Lexus than a Lamborghini.

“He`s more like a big, powerful sedan. He likes to get into his stride and then he keeps going,” Shinn said.

There are two other Australian-based runners, Faatinah and Illustrious Lad, in the 14-horse international field. When asked if Australia`s reputation for having the best turf sprinters in the world is justified, Baker replied, “I hope so. We`ll find out Saturday.”

Stormy Liberal – Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner Stormy Liberal is not the world’s best traveller, as trainer Peter Miller and his staff discovered in December when the now 6-year-old fretted after journeying to Hong Kong and subsequently finished 11th in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint (G1).

However, Miller said on Thursday that Stormy Liberal has done “much better” during and after his trip to Dubai and seems to be ready to perform to his true ability.

Following the same regimen as his three stablemates in Dubai, including Roy H, Stormy Liberal jogged in the tranquil quarantine barn area on Thursday.

Miller has indicated all four of his horses may remain in the barn area on Friday to complete their pre-race preparations.


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

Gold Town – The Charlie Appleby-trained 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.

He has won by wide margins on his last two outings and completed his preparation with a blowout on the grass at Godolphin`s Marmoom stables on Wednesday, and had a gentle spin around the dirt track there this morning.

“What he has done here has been impressive but Saturday is a step up for him,” Appleby said. “He improved moving up in distance from the trial to the Guineas I hope he can do the same again into the Derby.

“He is taking on better horses this time and this race is far tougher than his last two but hopefully he can rise to the challenge. We have been thinking about the Kentucky Derby but let’s get to Saturday first and see how he gets on there.

“He does like running on dirt and the switch to dirt along with him being gelded have made a huge difference to him.”

Mendelssohn – Trainer Aidan O’Brien said: “He has drawn well in the Derby. Things have gone to plan with him.”

Rayya – Doug Watson was in good spirits on Thursday on the heels of accepting honours as Champion Trainer at Wednesday’s Dubai World Cup post position draw.

A native of New York who made stops in New Jersey, Chicago and Ohio before finding his way to Dubai, Watson spent ten years as assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Watson, based out of Red Stables, admits he never expected to top the charts in Dubai.

“Not at all. It wasn`t on the radar until after I finished college. I`ve had some fortunate steps along the way, including being associated with Kiaran McLaughlin and the Maktoum family,” Watson said.

Watson is appreciative of life in his adopted homeland.

“It`s been 24 years now, almost half my life but I really like it here. I get home for a month every year, but it`s a nice way of life over here,” Watson said.

Rayya enjoyed an easy workload on Thursday morning.

“She cantered 2000m and is in great shape. She’s nice and relaxed. We’re very happy with her,” Watson said.

Jockey Pat Dobbs will look to make Rayya’s Meydan swansong a winning one with a prominent trip.

“She’ll go forward. If something really wants to go in front of her then we’ll probably let them go and let Pat decide after that,” Watson said.

Taiki Ferveur – Stayed in the quarantine area today after having had his fast work yesterday. He will likely be out on the track tomorrow.

Yulong Warrior – Former UAE champion jockey Richard Mullen rates Yulong Warrior as “the dark horse” in the race.

Yulong Warrior, who was purchased for £360,000 at a boutique sale in London last June to race in Dubai, has improved race-by-race in three outings over the Meydan dirt course. The latest, on Super Saturday, was the most remarkable, as quickly raced clear from his number one stall in the Listed Al Bastakiya and won by 11 and a half lengths.

The Emirates Racing Authority handicapper gave Yulong Warrior an official mark of 101 for the effort, placing him bottom of the ratings for the nine-strong field, and Mullen admitted: “He’s got to improve again on Saturday to be in with a chance.”

However, Mullen quickly added: “His work on Monday was very good. He wasn’t ready to run before the new year, but he’s really grown up mentally and this week’s work tells me he’s come on again.”

Trainer Satish Seemar unleashes what he describes as “the best-ever team I have fielded” across the US$30 million spectacular on Saturday.

Reporting on Thursday morning’s exercise, he said, “All’s well, and they are all in good shape.
They did a nice hack canter separately. The only difference from when they did their last work on Monday was that we went out earlier, because of the heat of the day.”


$1 million Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
City – Disctrict One (G2)

Adirato – Stayed in the quarantine area today after having had his fast work yesterday. He will likely be out on the track tomorrow.

Akito Crescent –Walked at the quarantine stable area on Wednesday, cantered for one lap on the dirt track and visited the paddock ring under the Japanese jockey Yu Kuroiwa, who is not his jockey on Saturday.

“He keeps good form and has good mood,” trainer Hisashi Shimizu said. “I will make a decision what he will do for tomorrow morning depending on his condition, and if he will work on dirt, I won’t do too much with him.”

Economic Model – Economic Model will be the first representative to run in Dubai from the powerhouse stable of Chad Brown, who recently won honours as America’s most outstanding trainer for the second consecutive year, when the 5-year-old horse takes on a dozen others in the Godolphin Mile.

In 2016, Economic Model was one of the most talented and promising 3-year-olds in the stable of Brown but problems with his feet sidetracked the horse’s career so that he only made it to the races four times, with one win in allowance company, in 2017.

Brown exercised patience with Economic Model. Following a four-month lay-off after his allowance victory, a finally healthy Economic Model took the Hal’s Hope (G3) in Florida in February in his last start. He was subsequently sold to His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Regardless of the outcome of the Godolphin Mile, the horse will remain in Dubai to be transferred to the care of trainer Nicholas Bachalard.

On Thursday, Economic Model looked extremely sharp as he galloped once around the dirt track at 7.10am under Guezal Cruz, who is here with the horse while Brown remains in the United States.

Heavy Metal/Capezzano – Sandeep Jadhav is saddling his first ever runners and has both Heavy Metal and Capezzano in the Godolphin Mile.

Both have completed all their serious work and Jadhav said: “It is both very exciting and nerve wracking. Both are genuine dirt horses with Heavy Metal obviously, on paper at least, our best chance.”

Kimbear/Second Summer – Kimbear and Second Summer, trained by Doug Watson, will both try to swoop for a score.

Kimbear cantered an easy 2000m on Thursday morning under rider Pat Dobbs. The 4-year-old Temple City colt will leave from post 12 of 14.

“I`m just keeping him fresh and happy. He seems really well in himself. We`ll just slot in behind the speed and hopefully he comes home,” Watson said. “It`s not a great post, but we`ll try to do our best from out there.”

A pace meltdown would suit defending race champion Second Summer, who will be piloted by Sam Hitchcott.

“There`s tons of pace and if he`s going to finish a race off it will be this one,” Watson said. “He`s in good shape. It`s probably the best he`s been all year.”

Rosa Imperial – Ridden by Claude Scialacqua, the 5-year-old mare Rosa Imperial joined stable mate Talismanic for a routine canter at 7am on the dirt track. The André Fabre trained mare cantered over 1600m and Lisa-Jane Graffard, the Godolphin representative, said: “She looks well again this morning.”

The mare never raced at two or three and only ran four times as a 4-year-old. Lisa-Jane Graffard explained: “She took a long time to mature. She was ready to run at three and she had little setback, which meant that she couldn’t run and last year she was very progressive. And then she just got a little jarred up at Deauville.”


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

Al Sahem – Trainer Mike de Kock is relatively optimistic about Al Sahem’s chances despite three straight losses this season at Meydan as the 4-year-old Silvano entire stretches out to 3200m for the first time on Saturday.

“He won the 2400m South African Derby and that’s an uphill course,” De Kock said. “In theory, he should get the distance, but there’s no guarantees because it’s something he’s never done. He’s another that I’m not sure if he’s good enough, but he’s in a good place right now.”

Big Orange – Owners Bill and Tim Gredley were on hand with trainer Michael Bell to watch the top stayer have a strong workout on the Meydan training track at 8am.

Big Orange suffered from setfast after working on Monday morning, he stayed at the barn on Tuesday and had had a steady canter on Wednesday. This was his first proper workout since.

“That was a heartening sight,” said Bell, immediately after the work and later added: “The hour after the work was when we worry that the setfast might return but he came back to the barn very, very well. That’s a relief. It’s stressful enough having runners in big races without this added stress.

“I’m very lucky that Gillian (Dolman), who travelled the horse, is very experienced. But in terms of condition, the horse is the best he has ever looked. We might do very little with him tomorrow. Last year he only had a lead out the day before the race.

“He seems fine this morning and we just hope the setfast doesn’t reoccur, it happens after exercise. He didn’t do too much today but as long as he is OK later then he’ll have a nice breeze tomorrow. He’s great in his skin and has eaten everything. He loves the sun on his back and fast ground.”

Frontiersman – Trainer Charlie Appleby is hoping Frontiersman will see out the 3200m trip on just his second try at the distance after chasing home stablemate Hawkbill on his only Meydan start.

The 5-year-old was out a little after 7am on the dirt track at Marmoom and covered a circuit after his blowout on the turf yesterday.

“I hope he is still improving and has a good chance,” Appleby said. “We are kind of only back to where were at the end of his European campaign last year and his run over this distance at Wolverhampton was messy, but it was a good effort here last time out and he has been training well.”

Janszoon - The Ali Rashid Al Rayhi-trained galloper switched from the dirt to turf on Thursday morning, breezing 800m. “He went very well,” Jilani Siddiqui, assistant to Al Rayhi, said. “He’s been pleasing us in his preparations and we are looking forward to his run on Saturday.”

Prince of Arron – If at first you don’t succeed, don’t try again – that is the policy being adopted by Newmarket trainer Charlie Fellowes when Prince Of Arran, his first and so far only runner in Dubai, has his fourth race at Meydan in the Dubai Gold Cup.

After Prince Of Arran finished runner-up to Los Barbados on his January debut and turned the tables next time, Fellowes decided to switch tack for the 5-year-old gelding’s move out of handicap company into the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy.

“We fitted a visor and rode him more forward, but it didn’t work,” Fellowes said, after supervising Prince Of Arran’s keen, one-lap work on the dirt track under former jockey Natasha Eaton on Thursday morning.

Prince Of Arran fell apart over the last 400m in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy and finished eighth as Rare Rhythm and Vazirabad fought out the finish. So, on Saturday, when Prince Of Arran will be partnered by Oisin Murphy for the first time as James Doyle, who has ridden him this year, is claimed for Frontiersman, the visor is off and more patient tactics will be employed.

Fellowes, who trains Prince Of Arran for local owner Saeed bel Obaida, said: “It’s a tough race and we’re under no illusions, but we have a realistic shout of making the top six and earning prize-money.”

Rare Rhythm – Minor niggles have resulted in the 6-year-old having only had eight career outings, but he has won five of them and got the better of dual Dubai World Cup night winner
Vazirabad in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy (G2) last time out.

A winner at Royal Ascot last summer, Rare Rhythm appears to be arriving into the race in top-class shape and looked on very good terms with himself after stretching his legs over 2000m at trainer Charlie Appleby’s Marmoom stables.

“He has had a series of annoying injuries and it is a shame as we have always thought a lot of him,” Appleby said.

“He beat Vazirabad, who has won this race the last two years, last time out and he will come on for that run. He is a lovely-looking horse and I would love to see him do himself justice on Saturday.”

Sheikhzayedroad – Trainer David Simcock arrived overnight from England and was trackside Thursday morning to watch veteran stayer Sheikhzayedroad train over the Meydan dirt track.

The 9-year-old gelding boasts a record of two wins, a second and four thirds from 11 attempts at Meydan. Last time out, Sheikhzayedroad finished a good third in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy Sponsored by Al Naboodah Civil Engineering.

“He’s a horse that thrives when he comes out here. He seems to thrive when he travels which is great for us,” Simcock said. “He’s done very well in the five weeks he’s been here. He came out slightly short of work, so the fact that he finished third in the trial was a little bit of a bonus. We know he’s going to improve and I look forward to running him on Saturday.”

With the heavy work completed, Sheikhzayedroad will act as a guide on Friday for his younger stablemate Desert Encounter, who Simcock will saddle in the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic.

“They’ll go out and have a walk around the paddock. Sheikhzayedroad won’t mind it as he’s been here so many times, but the other one, this is his first time, so ‘Sheikhy’ will show him the ropes if you like,” Simcock said.

Torcedor – Trainer Jessica Harrington said: “He galloped on the dirt for Colm (O’Donoghue) and he stretched out really well. He loves it in Dubai. Very happy with him.”

Vazirabad – The grey gelding Vazirabad continues to please his trainer Alain de Royer Dupré who watched him canter on the dirt track at Meydan racecourse on Thursday morning.

Accompanied by the filly Canndera, who led him for a jog around the track before cantering slowly over 1600m, Vazirabad seemed his usual self and his trainer Alain de Royer Dupré confirmed: “He gives me a good impression. He is calm and everything seems in order. He is a bit of an undemonstrative horse, but when he goes like this, on his own accord, it’s OK.

“He only ever does the absolute minimum. His rider Eric Alloix knows him well. As soon as you put another rider on him, he will do more, so it’s the same guy who always rides him.”


$1 million Dubai Kahayla Classic sponsored by Mubadala (G1)

Al Zahir and Barnamaj – both Ali Rashid Al Rayhi trainees breezed 800m on the dirt track on Thursday morning, stretching a little for the final 200m. “They went very well,” assistant trainer, Jilani Siddiqui said. “We are very happy with them.”