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Trackwork Notes – Thursday March 29, 2012

Group 1 US$10 million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline

Capponi – The four-year-old chestnut has improved 18 lbs this year over his four outings at Meydan which were in handicaps until he raced in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round III.

Ridden boldly by Ahmed Ajtebi, who chased the pace before going for home in the straight, Capponi won decisively by four lengths.

Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni said: “Capponi has done remarkably well throughout the Carnival, showing great improvement. His last run was excellent and he just loves the all-weather surface. Ahmed has built up a good rapport with the horse and gets on very well with him.”

Eishin Flash - Trainer Hideaki Fujiwara commented, “Eishin Flash has been laid off since last year’s Grand Prix Arima Kinen (2nd) and galloped yesterday, so he just got familiarized with the starting gate after he cantered easily on the all-weather course. He fits very well, which is the most important thing. Thanks to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed [bin Rashid Al Maktoum], we can be here to compete on the best stage. The best thing is that the same thing will be happened as last year (Japanese 1-2 finish). I trust my horse.”

Game on Dude - Drew post 14 cantered 2,000m Thursday morning on the main track at Meydan Racecourse, after spending a few minutes standing in the starting gate.
The son of Awesome Again was hesitant to walk into the starting stalls, which are narrower than what he would experience in the United States. As a result, the starting crew backed him out and reloaded him two additional times as photographers snapped off hundreds of photos. Despite his resistance, Game On Dude did not display anxiety, either behind the gate or in the stalls.

After standing quietly, the assistant starters opened the front doors of the gate by hand and led the multiple graded stakes winner out. Walking out the front doors of the starting gate, rather than backing out, is a common practice at racetracks in the gelding’s home state of California.

Trainer Tim Yakteen, a former assistant to trainer Bob Baffert, is in Dubai to supervise Game On Dude’s training. After the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap winner cantered away, Yakteen turned to Bernie Schiappa, part owner of Game On Dude, and said, “Today there’s a lot more energy. It’s good. They’re going to have a lot more going on race night as well.”

Mendip – All bar one of his 10 runs has been at Meydan where he runs well on the all-weather surface. The most recent of his six successes came in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round II on February 9 but he was down the field last time out.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “Mendip won the second round of the Al Maktoum Challenge which was good to see. We felt there might have been an excuse last time in the final round of the Al Maktoum Challenge because he banged himself coming out of the starting gates. Kieren Fallon, who rode him that day, said he was never travelling afterwards. Mendip seems in very good order but he needs to improve to have a realistic chance.”

Monterosso –The five-year-old switched from racing well on turf to finishing a close third on all-weather in the 2011 Dubai World Cup. His first race since then came on March 10 in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round III over the same course and distance when he finished a promising fourth.

Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni said: “Monterosso needed his first race of 2012 but ran well - he has improved for that outing. He will be a lot sharper in the Dubai World Cup and did very well in the race last year. He was off for a long time afterwards but seems back in the same sort of form.”

Planteur – The winner of the Group 1 Prix Ganay last year for Ellie Lellouche, the five-year-old will have his first start for Marco Botti on Dubai World Cup night. He cleared quarantine Thursday morning and appeared on the all-weather track for the first time.

“He did a lap round the course and seemed happy in his surroundings,” said Botti. “He had a smooth journey over, travelled well and has drunk plenty of water. He looks fresh and well and his coat is nice and shiny. He will go back out on the racetrack tomorrow morning but it will be early as it is getting very hot.”

Prince Bishop – He disappointed when 10th in the 2011 Dubai World Cup but has won two of his last four races. His final outing of 2011 resulted in a Listed race success on polytrack at Kempton Park, UK, and he was also successful in a 2,000m handicap on the all-weather at Meydan on January 20. His most recent outing came in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round III when he stayed on in third.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “Prince Bishop has done well in Dubai through the winter but this is a bigger test. We hope he can run a good race in the Dubai World Cup but he needs to show more than he has done so far to be competitive.”

Royal Delta — Besilu Stables’ American champion filly galloped with her usual eye-catching style on March 29 at Meydan, her ears pricked and her stride long and easy as she travelled approximately 2,200m (about 1 3/8 miles).

“It was just a regular gallop, nothing fancy,” said American Racing Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. “But she looked great to me. We wouldn’t change a thing.”

Mott, who made history by saddling the inaugural Dubai World Cup winner Cigar, is trying for another record with Royal Delta, who would be the first female runner to win. Since the post position draw on March 28, during which Mott got first choice and selected his lucky number, seven, he has been studying the form for the field.

“It looks like there is some good speed in the race—Game On Dude, Smart Falcon and Capponi. We could be in a stalking position just behind the leaders. Hopefully, we’re not far off them.”

Royal Delta is known for her strong stretch run, so if she can keep a good position early, she will be ready to rally in the stretch.

Smart Falcon - Jockey Yutaka Take gave Smart Falcon a routine canter and jogged on the stretch course on the all-weather.

Take said, “I mounted him for the first time since I worked him at home on 15th. He was fresh, maybe too fresh this morning and wanted to go faster at the final turn, so I jogged on the stretch. He did not look like that he had lost some weight from the transport, which I heard from the connections. He is rather in a pretty good form.

“As for the all-weather, it is my first experience to work over the surface, and it is sticky and needs more power. I think Smart Falcon suits the track very well. He has lots of experiences running at many racecourses in Japan, and it is a very good thing for him to get familiar with the new surroundings.

“I am very proud of being to be here and run in the Dubai World Cup, one of the most prestige stages in the world horse racing. I was supposed to run in the Dubai World Cup 2003 with Gold Allure, but we had to cancel the travel. Dubai World Cup is I have always dreamed of, and I am very happy to come back again with the son of Gold Allure.”

So You Think - Aidan O’Brien’s Australian import appeared for the second time this week and did light exercise on the main all-weather track.

Trancend – Transcend did not appear on the main track at Meydan Thursday morning.

Group 1 US$5 million Dubai Sheema Classic, presented by Longines

Beaten Up - William Haggas’s lightly-raced four-year-old stepped out on to the track for the first having cleared quarantine and will bid to maintain his unbeaten record having won all three of his starts last year.

“He has travelled very well and I am happy with him,” said Haggas. “He cantered over [1,200m] this morning and will do more tomorrow. He is progressive but is taking on serious horses – a Champion Stakes winner, a Breeders’ Cup winner and an Irish Derby winner to name but three. I am under no illusion of the task he faces and it may come early in his career but you can’t win if you don’t try.”

Cavalryman – The six-year-old has raced in 12 Group 1 races, winning one of them. He was largely disappointing during 2011 but performed much better when a fast-finishing second in the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold at Meydan on March 10.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “Cavalryman ran very well in his prep race and it was his best run for some time. He was fresh and well that day and seems to be going into this race in good order but has to continue his comeback.”

Cirrus des Aigles - French raider Cirrus Des Aigles went onto the grass track this morning under jockey Olivier Peslier. His trainer Corinne Barande Barbe said: “He did a canter on the turf. He is very relaxed and looks in fine form. He looks light, but one mustn’t forget that he is a gelding. In fact, he is well in his racing weight.”

Peslier said: "It will be the first time I have ridden him in a race but I know the horse very well from Europe and he will be happier back on turf. Stamina is not an issue. I had a spin on him this morning which will have loosened him up nicely and he goes into Saturday`s race with a big chance."

Jakkalberry – The English raider was checked over this morning by trainer Marco Botti, who said: “He did his last serious piece of work on Sunday. That went well and I am happy with him.”

Shimraan – A Group 2 winner in France, Shimraan has not performed up to his best in two Dubai World Cup Carnival races this year.

Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni said: “Shimraan has had a couple of slightly disappointing runs out here. However, he has been going well in his work and I expect him to perform better. We should find out whether he stays a truly-run 12 furlongs.”

Songcraft – This lightly-raced four-year-old won his first four races and was not disgraced when third in the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold at Meydan on Super Saturday, March 10.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “Songcraft has been very consistent and I think there is more to come. However, he needs to improve quite a lot to make an impact in this tougher company.”

St Nicholas Abbey/Treasure Beach – The Ballydoyle team of Aidan O’Brien’s made the track for the second time this week with the latter getting slightly warm by the end of his work under jockey Jamie Spencer.

The rider said: “He just did a gentle canter. They are all fit and well and Aidan is happy with them. I’m looking forward to the night and it is a great concept.”

Group 1 US$5 million Dubai Duty Free, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free

Ambitious Dragon - Ambitious Dragon repeated his now familiar routine of a quiet and early canter around the Meydan all-weather under Bev Millard.

“We put the hood on him this morning as his canter was just a little quicker. He’s very happy,” said the wife of trainer Tony Millard.

Await the Dawn – The Royal Ascot winner came out on the main track for the second time this week for a gentle piece of exercise.

California Memory - California Memory stuck to his pattern of exercising on the turf track and Tony Cruz oozed positive vibes about the chances of his grey stable star.

“He wore glue-on shoes last time in Hong Kong but we have shod him normally for this and he should run his heart out,” the trainer said.

“The horse lost about 20 pounds on the flight over but he put it all back on very quickly. He loves it here and the turf track here has a good covering of grass that takes away any sting – it’s perfect ground. Saying that, I think he will go on anything.

“He had a Barrier Trial last week so there’s no need to do a lot with him here. He had a nice breeze yesterday and we gave him an easy canter this morning. He’s a very genuine horse, when you ask him what you want he gives it to you; he waits on the signal from the jockey.

“He’s drawn right in the middle so I’m very pleased with that. If we can get him running in midfield I’ll be very happy.”

City Style – At the age of six, City Style has been in the best form of his career this year at Meydan. He won a conditions race on February 23 after finishing second in the Group Two Al Rashidiya. He ran even better when the fast-closing runner-up in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta on March 10.

Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni said: “City Style has had an excellent Carnival, running well on all four of his outings this year. This is the ideal trip for him and he could perform surprisingly well on Saturday.”

Cityscape – Roger Charlton’s six-year-old flew in from Stanstead, England, on Monday and ventured out on to the training track for the first time Thursday. Cityscape, who was last seen finishing second in the Hong Kong Mile last December, is owned by Khalid Abduallah.

His racing manager Lord Teddy Grimthorpe said: “He arrived on Monday and has settled in very well. He went out on the training track this morning and had a nice canter on the grass. He is very, very well and we couldn’t be more pleased with how he travelled. If the scales are correct then he didn’t lose any weight on the flight, which is rare really.

“On the ratings he has to have a pretty decent chance and if he reproduces his Hong Kong or Royal Ascot run, when third to Goldikova and Canford Cliffs, then he has to have a good go. People do say he needs soft ground but he has proved in Hong Kong and Italy that quicker ground is fine for him and I think a flat track is of greater importance.”

Dark Shadow – Dark Shadow did not appear on the main track this morning.

Delegator - He is very smart at his best, being the runner-up in two British Group 1’s - the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Last year he made a winning seasonal debut in the 1,200m Group Two Duke Of York Blue Square Stakes at York.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “This is a big step up in trip for Delegator. He won first time out over [1,400m] this year and scored over [1,200m] in 2011. However, in 2010 and 2009 he was running mainly over a [1,600m]. This was the best race for him - we didn’t want to race him on [the all-weather] in the Godolphin Mile. He is best with plenty of time between his races and it will be interesting to see how he handles this distance.”

Dubawi Gold - Completed one circuit of the main track at a swinging canter Thursday, having completed his fast work on Monday. Connections are happy with his condition but have been condemned to a wide early trip on Saturday.

“We have a terrible draw (stall 16 of 16 runners) but there’s a fair distance from the stalls to the first bend,” said Richard Hannon Jr., assistant trainer to his father, also Richard. “There are a few horses in there that like to go fast early so hopefully our horse will be able to get a place in midfield.”

Dubawi Gold failed to feature when tenth of fourteen runners in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta over the same Dubai Duty Free course and distance earlier this month.

“There was no pace that day, but if nothing else, we hope he learnt a little bit about the place,” Hannon said. “The horse could not be looking better; in fact he’s the best I’ve seen him. It will be tough; we will be happy with a slice of the purse.”

Presvis - Presvis returned to the main track after galloping on turf on Wednesday.

“He had his blowout yesterday so he just had one steady canter around the track,” said trainer Luca Cumani. “It was the equal of a human athlete doing his morning jog, buying his newspaper and going back home.”

Rio de la Plata –The seven-year-old usually races most consistently but did not show much in his first two starts of 2012. Successful in three Group 1’s, he has also been in the frame in another nine races at the highest level.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “Rio De La Plata has been disappointing in his two runs this year but it often takes a couple of races before he gets into top form. We are hoping he will be back to his best on Saturday as he has been working well.”

Wigmore Hall - Wigmore Hall had some routine exercise on the main track Thursday in completing one circuit at a steady pace.

“It was an easy canter after his work on Wednesday,” said trainer Michael Bell. “He has lost the extra weight he carried when he arrived here (three weeks ago) and he looks ready to go.”

Xtension - Completing a formidable Hong Kong threat in the Dubai Duty Free is Xtension who did his final bit of pace work on the all-weather under big race rider Jeff Lloyd.

“He cantered from the 1,100m and it was a good strong canter. I just asked him to keep picking up and did exactly that. He got on the correct lead leg at just the right time and he knows what his job will be,” said Lloyd.

Trainer John Moore said he would instruct Lloyd to race Xtension close to the pace on Saturday.

“He’s a flexible kind of horse in terms of racing styles, so we’re hoping we can get him into the box-seat and maybe get a lead off one or two. We’ll just need some luck in running but I could not be happier with his condition going into the race,” the trainer said.

Group 1 US$2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News

Giant Ryan – With his final serious preparations done in the United States last week, and a slight “blow out” over the Meydan all-weather on Tuesday now under his belt, Giant Ryan came out onto the main track Thursday morning at his usual 6:15 to jog an easy lap and then jog a little more serious second lap under his regular Meydan exercise rider James Heavey.

“He knows what he has to do Saturday,” trainer Biznath Parboo said Thursday morning as he watched the six-year-old Freud horse cruise the main track. “He’ll let us know what he wants to do tomorrow by how he acts after this. He’s a smart horse.”

He will start from post 3 in Saturday’s Group 1 US$2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News. United States-based jockey Willie Martinez will have the mount.

“Willie won on him at Calder (in an overnight handicap in June 2011),” Parboo said.

Hitchens – Trainer David Barron was on track for the first time today as his Dubai World Cup Carnival winner exercised on the all-weather.

“He did a 400m breeze and lobbed around the track,” said Barron. “It was a normal piece of work and we will leave him now – he won’t do anything else before the race. They are bound to go a good gallop in the race and we will just have to see who survives. He has done very well out here but this is by far his stiffest task. You have to be in it to win through.”

Inxile - Did not appear on the main track this morning.

Iver Bridge Lad – After exercising under his trainer John Ryan on Tuesday, the five-year-old did not appear on the main track on Wednesday or Thursday.

Lucky Nine - Hong Kong hopeful Lucky Nine has not had an ideal run into the race with a hoof injury on Monday needing constant attention, but trainer Caspar Fownes said the Group 1 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint winner was responding well to treatment.

“He cantered nicely there this morning on the all-weather. He’s on the mend and I’m happy with his progress. We are still not sure what shoes he will wear in the race on Saturday but the main thing is that we have a runner and I think he is still a live chance,” Fownes predicted.

Rocket Man - Trainer Patrick Shaw reported that Rocket Man breezed well on his beloved all-weather surface under Felix Coetzee and that last year’s winner was ready to do perform to his very best again.

Owner Fred Crabbia was also present and said he was feeling as confident as he was when the horse ran second in 2010 and won a year ago.

“He loves this track and he has a better draw now in gate 1 than in the past two years when he was in 6 and 9. He will be on the back of the leader in the run hopefully and then kick in the straight,” said Crabbia.

“But there is no question that he cannot perform to his best. Pat and Felix tell me that he feels back to his very best, 100 per cent, and that will do me.”

Sepoy – He has won 10 of his 12 starts in Australia, among them four Group 1 victories, and is very good. The sprinter tries all-weather for the first time in a race on Saturday.

Trainer Peter Snowden: “Sepoy was as good a two-year-old as we have had for 25 years in Australia. The records he set and the races he won, no horse had done that for a long time. His times were astounding. He is a seasoned horse, albeit a young one, and has raced at a very high level. He had a good spring and won another two Group 1’s then (September & October 2011). He has only had one run back this year before coming here and was very disadvantaged in the weights in relation to the older horses then but he led right up to the last 50m and was only beaten a length at the line.”

Soul – Soul has also come from Australia where he raced for the final time on November 12, gaining a victory over 1,300m on turf in a Listed Sandown race. He made a good start to his Godolphin career when readily successful by a length and a quarter in a 1,200m Meydan handicap on March 1, also on turf.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “Soul won a handicap in good style on his first start in Dubai. The form is working out and he could run well despite the switch in surface to [the all-weather] and higher-class opponents.”

The Factor - Trainer Bob Baffert may receive the perfect “Get Well” gift on Saturday at Meydan Racecourse as his talented grey sprinter, The Factor, attempts to improve on the second place finish of Baffert’s 2011 starter, Euroears, in the Dubai Golden Shaheen.

The Factor, who has trained beautifully all week, jogged and cantered one lap around the Meydan main track Thursday morning, before standing in the starting gate, located in the chute near the 1,400m mark.

Regular exercise rider, George Alvarez, was aboard the son of War Front as the colt loaded eagerly and stood like a perfect gentleman in the stalls. Photographers snapped hundreds of photos only a few metres from The Factor, but the winner of five graded stakes in 10 starts was unfazed.

Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, sponsored by Emirates NBD

A Shin Virgo – Did not appear on the main track or main turf track this morning.

Addictive Dream – The winner of two races at the Dubai World Cup Carnival was not on the main track this morning.

Better Be The One - Singapore-based trainer Michael Freedman is looking forward to linking up again with Irish jockey Kieren Fallon who will ride Better Be The One for him on Saturday.

Better Be The One finished third in the same race last year behind J J The Jetplane and War Artist, and Freedman, who arrived in Dubai this morning, said he was very pleased he had secured Fallon to ride him.

“He needs a strong jockey like Kieren and he has a hundred percent record for me,” he said.

Fallon’s only previous ride for Freedman was a win on a horse called California Dane at Moonee Valley about four years ago. Freedman brought Better Be The One earlier than last year and the five-year-old had a prep run at Meydan on February 23.

“He carried top weight and finished just behind the placegetters but he has come on a lot since that run.”

Eagle Regiment - Eagle Regiment worked on the all-weather but trainer Manfred Man offered a more qualified appraisal of his charge’s current state with post time fast approaching.

“He’s not 100 per cent, probably more like 80-something per cent. He can work fine – he worked well yesterday and today - and he looks fine and he will race well, but he has a problem in a foreleg that has caused lameness. He had an injury to a ligament after his last start and we have to be careful with him,” Man said.

“But you know he has won six times at Sha Tin and only two of those times he was 100 per cent. He has been able to win his other races because he is such a good horse.”

Invincible Ash – Mick Halford’s recent Meydan winner exercised on the main Turf track.

Joy And Fun - Former UAE Champion Jockey Brett Doyle is back to ride Joy And Fun as the duo bid to repeat their 2010 victory in the Al Quoz Sprint.

The race is over the minimum 1,000m on turf and Doyle said: "He is probably my favourite horse from my time in Hong Kong and won well here two years ago. He was then injured in Europe and took a while to get back to his best but he comes here in great nick. It looks a very strong heat but I am very hopeful of a very bold show."

Joy And Fun worked half-pace under trainer Derek Cruz on the all-weather track Thursday and the trainer could barely disguise his happiness with his veteran sprinter after pulling up.

“I have given him a decent hit-out and he’s pulled up not even blowing,” Cruz enthused. “He’s just so well and he loves it here. The work is all done now so he’ll probably stay back at the barn tomorrow. We’re just really looking forward to the big day.”

Margot Did – The four-year-old filly was confined to slower paces after her workout on the main track on Wednesday.

“She just had a walkout this morning and seems primed now,” said her trainer, Michael Bell. “The guns are loaded so let’s hope she fires on Saturday.”

Monsieur Joe / Prohibit - Monsieur Joe made his first appearance of the week on the main track, where he completed one circuit at a steady pace. The five-year-old has been on the premises for the Dubai World Cup Carnival duration, and is one of two runners for the Robert Cowell stable.

“He is thriving out here,” Cowell said. “Every time we raise the bar he seems to reach up and touch it. He has got to raise it again on Saturday, but you never know what an improving horse like him is capable of. Everything about Dubai suits him, including the weather.”

Prohibit has not visited the main track all week, with trainer Robert Cowell confining him to the training track.

“He would explode if I brought him out (to the main track),” Cowell said. “It is too busy, too many people; it would blow his mind.”

The seven-year-old, winner of the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in July, bids to improve on his fifth place in the Al Quoz Sprint last year. He made two unrewarding starts at the Dubai World Cup Carnival but Cowell is confident his ever-green sprinter will step up on Saturday.

“He was very dehydrated when he ran last time (on March 10) and the vets have done a great job because he seems absolutely spot on now,” Cowell said. “I’m hopeful he is back to his best. If so, he has a serious chance. It’s a strong race, no doubt about it. The winner will probably be the horse that has the clearest run.”

Nocturnal Affair - Third home for Ireland in the Meydan Sprint on March 10, also worked on the all-weather to the satisfaction of trainer David Marnane.

“He has been in great form all Carnival. I suppose he has to improve a little bit on his third-placed run last time but if he can run the time he did when he won his previous start that will put him in the shake-up. He is as good as I can have him, so we’re hopeful,” the Tipperary handler said.

Nocturnal Affair will be having his fifth start at the 2012 Dubai World Carnival on Saturday. The six-year-old has crossed swords with several of his Al Quoz Sprint rivals of late, including a defeat of Monsieur Joe, Inexile, Prohibit and Invincible Ash in a andicap over 1,000m on February 23.

After watching Nocturnal Affair at exercise Thursday morning, Marnane concluded: “I am delighted with the way he is training at the moment, although it is a tough race with several Group 1 winners there. But by horse is progressed all the time, he knows this place well.”

Of Nocturnal Affair’s chances, Marnane added: “It will be all about where the pace of the race is and it looks as though we have a pretty good draw (stall 5). There are some good ones around us, which is encouraging.”

Ortensia - Although Paul Messara, son of Australian breeding guru John Messara who first put the famed stallion Danehill on the Australian breeding scene, might be a relative novice to the training ranks, he is very laid-back about the prospects of the mare Ortensia in the Al Quoz Sprint.

“She’s done everything asked of her since she’s been here and the straight 1,000m on the turf will give her the chance to put in a strong finish,” he said.

Secret Asset – Jane Chapple-Hyam accompanied her grey on the main all-weather track for the first time after he cleared quarantine. The Group 1 Prix de l’Abbey runner-up will be having his first start in Dubai on Saturday.

“I am happy with him and I just took him to the stalls for a look. He is fine and has travelled well. He is drawn in stall 14 and we have a lot of the Europeans around us so we will know our company. He only flew in on Monday but you wouldn’t want him out here any longer. His jockey George Baker will ride him out tomorrow morning. Saturday will be a big day for me as I also have Mull Of Killough running in the Lincoln at Doncaster.

"He`s had a history of being a problem at the gate, but hopefully that`s all behind him now. This was as much to reassure the starter as the horse, but we`ve come a long way for an international race, and we don`t want any last minute hitches. He`s well and happy out here, he seems on good terms with himself,” she said.

Sole Power – Finished 14th in the Al Quoz last year and heads back to the race after a short-head second in a conditions race here on Super Saturday. Trainer Edward Lynam was again on hand to see him exercise on the main track.

The Irishman said: “He just did a steady canter on the all-weather. That is it now and he is ready for Saturday.

“He’s in great order and will come on for that good run here a few weeks back when he was touched off in second. I just hope they go fast enough to give him a tow into the race and so he can be covered up for as long as possible,” Lynam added.

Group 2 US$2 million UAE Derby, sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group

Balada Sale – trainer Pascal Bary arrived to see his filly Balade Sale canter on the all-weather. He said: “She is in very good form. She went for a good canter this morning and I think she will run well.”

Burano – Brian Meehan’s recent Meydan winner was not seen on the main track this morning.

Daddy Long Legs/Wrote – the Aidan O’Brien pair exercised on the main track for the second time with their elder stablemates.

Entifaadha – William Haggas’s three-year-old Dansili colt worked in company with stablemate Beaten Up on the main track. He raced once at the Dubai World Cup Carnival this year when second to fellow British raider Burano.

Haggas said: “He has been out here a while and I have been thrilled with him. He is in good form, but will need to be!”

Falls of Lora – The three-year-old filly won twice from six starts in Europe last year and stayed on well to score over this trip on her seasonal debut in the Group 3 UAE Oaks at Meydan when experiencing the all-weather for the first time in a race.

Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni said: “Falls Of Lora won the UAE Oaks well and deserves to take her chance in the UAE Derby which of course is a more competitive race.”

Genten – The three-year-old bay colt did not appear on the main track this morning.

Helmet – A top performer in Australia, Helmet has won six of his 12 starts including three Group 1’s - two over a 1,600m and one at 1,400m - last year. He missed the break when disappointing in the Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington on March 3.

Trainer Peter Snowden said: “Helmet has a few little issues - minor things which can affect his performance. For example on his last start in Australia, just as the starter pressed the button, he popped about two feet in the air. While he was in the air, the field has jumped and he was back in last, which is not the position this horse likes to be in. He is best breaking well and racing on the speed. I have always thought Helmet will get this sort of trip and he has adapted to the surface well.”

Kinglet – He was successful twice in four outings in Britain last year and has raced three times this term. The colt ran on well in the second of them to take the Group 3 UAE 2,000 Guineas at Meydan but finished mid-division last time out over this distance.

Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni said: “Kinglet was very disappointing last time and never really got going. We had doubts at the distance before the race but he was beaten a long way out and we feel he is worth another chance. He won the UAE 2,000 Guineas after all but obviously comes into this race with some questions to answer.”

Lucky Chappy – The connections of UAE Derby contender Lucky Chappy were able to breathe a sigh of relief on March 29 when the small but spirited colt galloped without misbehaving.

On the previous day, Lucky Chappy dislodged assistant trainer and exercise rider Alice Clapham from the saddle, and there was the possibility he could have run off and risked injury. But Clapham was able to hold on to the colt and resume their work session, revealing later that the son of High Chaparral is well known back at his home base in the United States for his antics during training.

“We’re quite used to it,” confirmed trainer Graham Motion after the March 29 gallop. “But everything went smoothly this morning. He had a proper gallop without any unusual events.”

Lucky Chappy, who began his career in Europe and trains better when accompanied by another horse or a string of horses, has been going out at Meydan with American champion filly Royal Delta. Since the filly breezed down the stretch on March 28, Clapham kept Lucky Chappy on his own and that’s when the trouble occurred.

Other than that incident, Motion said Lucky Chappy’s preparations have been outstanding, and Royal Delta has not only helped keep the colt focused on most days but also has led him through some very strong gallops that have honed his condition.

The UAE Derby is highly competitive this year, and Motion said he is not sure how to assess Lucky Chappy’s competition, which includes runners from South America, Europe, Japan and the UAE.

“As I read in a quote by Bob Baffert, this is one of the places where you take them over and you don’t know what to expect in the race—it’s so hard to evaluate,” Motion said. “But I guess that’s one of the things that makes it so special.”

Red Duke – Another of the British runners to have arrived on Monday and John Quinn’s three-year-old Hard Spun colt stepped out on the all-weather track for the first time Thursday.

Quinn said: “I am happy with him and everything is grand. He did an easy [1,600m] this morning and will do some more gentle work tomorrow. If he produces his best form from last year then he will have a good chance. His work at home has been good and his sire was a good horse on dirt and on grass.”

Yang Tse Kiang – French trainer Richard Chotard was at the track this morning to watch his UAE Derby hope Yang Tse Kiang canter on the all-weather. He said: “I wanted him to have a good blow this morning and he cantered over 400m. He looks very calm and I’m happy with him.”

Group 3 US$1 million Dubai Gold Cup, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors

Barbican – The sole runner from the Alan Bailey yard touched down on Monday and made a first track appearance Thursday. The four-year-old was most progressive last year and having only made his racecourse debut in February, he went on to win six of his 10 starts.

He was last seen scoring at Listed level at Kempton in November, and Bailey said: “He will be my first runner out here and he has travelled exceptionally well. He has settled in fine and not left any food. He arrived on Monday and just did a gentle canter this morning over [1,200m]. He is a horse who will never overdo himself and he idles when he gets to the front in a race. It does look a decent race but he loves a battle.”

Fox Hunt – The five-year-old always tries his hardest and has won both his races at Meydan this year, taking a 2,800m handicap on February 3 and the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy just under a month later from stable companion Opinion Poll. He finished a decent seventh in the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington, Australia at the end of last season.

Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni said: “Fox Hunt is a very consistent sort and has performed very well in Dubai this year. He is tough and durable and was at the top of his form when winning earlier this month. I hope he can continue to run up to his best in the Dubai Gold Cup.”

Grand Vent – The four-year-old colt had seven starts in France, winning twice including the 2,000m Group 2 Prix Noailles at Longchamp last year. He has had one outing in 2012 when seventh of 12 in a 2,000m handicap at Meydan on March 3.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “This is a big step up in trip but he gives the impression that he should stay and I am hoping he can run well.”

Joshua Tree – Marco Botti’s runner was another do to light exercise on the main all-weather track, and the trainer said: “He did his last serious piece of work on Sunday and he is in good form and ready for the race.”

Kasbah Bliss – Ridden by his usual work rider Fabrice Milord, did a slow canter once round the track, followed by a good canter, also once round the track. His rider said: “He is in good form, in fact, he was pulling my arms out.”

Makani Bisty – The Japanese contender had a routine work on the turf course. Trainer Yoshito Yahagi commented, “It was likely a bit firm on turf. The condition has been recovered at this point, and he worked very well. Jockey Futoshi Komaki will be up and give him a bit strong work on turf tomorrow morning.”

Opinion Poll - He had an excellent 2011 in Europe when winning two Group 2 Cup races at Goodwood and York, while he was also second in the Group 1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. The six-year-old reappeared in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy over 2,800m at Meydan on March 1 and ran well in second, 2 ½ behind stable companion Fox Hunt, whom he meets again.

Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni said: “Opinion Poll needed his first run of the year. He has improved for that and we’re looking forward to him running up to his best on Saturday.”

Group 2 US$1 million Godolphin Mile, sponsored by Etisalat

African Story – The British-bred five-year-old who has won two of his three starts on all-weather at Meydan this year, showing improved form especially when successful last time out in the Group 3 Burj Nahaar.

Trainier Saeed bin Suroor said: “African Story loves the surface and has done very well in Dubai this winter. I like him a lot and am happy with his condition going into the Godolphin Mile.”

Do It All – Formerly raced in America but showed his best form ever when making all to win the Group 2 Zabeel Mile on turf at Meydan on March 1.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “Do It All is multi-purpose as far as what he races on, winning three times on an artificial surface in America. He won well on turf on his most recent outing to earn his place in this race, which will be a tougher challenge for him. He is sound, fit and healthy.”

Red Jazz – the five-year-old bay horse saw the main track for the first time Thursday after stretching his legs on the training track on Wednesday. He completed one circuit in the hands of his big-race jockey, Michael Hills.

“He is in top form – in better shape than last year (when he finished third in the Godolphin Mile),” Hills said. “He came here a fit horse so we are just keeping him ticking over. I think he’s got a good chance on Saturday. The race doesn’t look as strong as last year and he couldn’t have had a better preparation.”

Richard`s Kid - Satish Seemar reports that Richard`s Kid will be having his final start for the trainer in the Godolphin Mile before returning to Bob Baffert in California.

Seemar explained: "He came to us from Bob Baffert, for whom he finished seventh in the 2010 Dubai World Cup, to be aimed at the big race itself in which he was 12th last year.

"He ran well first time back this year but not as well on Super Saturday thus did not get into the 2012 Dubai World Cup. The 1600m is probably his minimum trip but he is a quality horse who has just not really been able to show his best on Tapeta.

"Therefore he will go back to Bob Baffert and hopefully be prepared for another tilt at the Breeders` Cup Classic, a race he was sixth in back in 2009."

Sandagiyr – Comparatively lightly raced, the four-year-old colt has stepped up on his French form in two starts in Dubai this year, winning the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes on February 9 when African Story was a close third and then was beaten two and a half lengths by Do It All on returning to turf.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “Sandagiyr has enjoyed a good campaign during the Carnival, winning well in a Group Three on [the all-weather] and then running fourth behind Do It All in the Group Two Zabeel Mile on turf. I think a return to [the all-weather] will suit him but he needs to improve a bit to be in the shake-up.”

Western Aristocrat – Jeremy Noseda’s representative was another to have arrived in Dubai on Monday. He went to the training track this morning where he cantered a lap, and the trainer’s travelling head lad Alan Tate said: “It was getting quite hot when we worked him but he moved really well on the [all-weather] surface and Jeremy, who arrived in time to watch the work, was very pleased with him.”