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Trackwork Notes – Friday March 30, 2012

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

Eishin Flash - “He did a brisk canter at the end of this morning and I wanted to check how his form was after the gallop yesterday,” said trainer Hideaki Fujiwara. “I talked to my assistant work rider with the small wireless telephone during the work and listened to him how the horse was, and he said he was very flexible and performed well like at home. I think he is 100% fit at this point. I do not know how the race will go until it starts, so all I have to do is to keep the horse’s best condition and entrust the jockey with my horse. Christophe Lemaire is a very good worldwide jockey, and he must handle the race. “

Game on Dude - Dubai World Cup contender Game On Dude, who drew the ominous post of 14 cantered 2,000m on Friday morning at Meydan. The tidy bay, however, was not accompanied by his regular exercise rider George Alvarez.

Alvarez did not arrive at the stables on Friday morning. As a result Tim Yakteen, who is overseeing the Baffert horses while Bob Baffert is recovering from a heart attack suffered early Monday morning, phoned jockey Chantal Sutherland to fill in.

“He called me early this morning and, by the sound in his voice, I knew that he needed help. Georgie (Alvarez) didn’t show up, so they needed me to come in and get on the horses,” said Sutherland.

Sutherland exercised both Game On Dude and The Factor, a contender for the 1200m Dubai Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News.

Yakteen, however, suggested this had been the plan all along.

“We wanted Chantal to test the track on the inside with Game On Dude and on the outside with The Factor,” said Yakteen. “This was our plan from the start.”

Planteur - Continued in routine mode with a steady canter on the main track. Trainer Marco Botti is looking forward to saddling the Group 1-winning five-year-old for the first time.

“The horse came to us at the end of last year and has done well since he arrived,” Botti said. “I have been happy with his work at home. We took him to Wolverhampton racetrack (in England, which has an all-weather surface) for a spin 10 days ago and he handled it really well.

“We are happy with is condition here. The only question mark is the (all-weather) surface, but that’s the same for many other horses in the race.”

Royal Delta - Capping her week of training for the Dubai World Cup with another strong gallop on March 30, Besilu Stables’ American champion filly Royal Delta gave her Racing Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott the best feeling a trainer can have.

“You couldn’t ask a horse to look any better than that,” Mott said as Royal Delta virtually swaggered off the racetrack, her ears up and her coat gleaming in the sun following her exercise. “She went great.”

Mott had contemplated letting Royal Delta pick up a little speed down the stretch, but his assistant and exercise rider Leana Willaford opted to keep the filly in a strong gallop as she had taken hold of the bit and was moving powerfully enough.

Royal Delta’s condition and preparations for the Dubai World Cup are very similar to the way she worked prior to her career-best victory in the Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Churchill Downs, Mott said.

So You Think - The already intense scrutiny of former Australian star So You Think was heightened this morning with the appearance at Meydan of Coolmore Australia’s team headed by Tom Magnier.

T Magnier, son of John Magnier, Racing and Business manager of Coolmore Australia, was accompanied by general manager Michael Kirwan and Duncan Ramage, Racing Manager for So You Think’s original owner Dato Tan Chin Nam, who still retains a share in the horse.

The trio eagerly awaited the appearance on the track of So You Think who led out the six strong team of Aidan O’Brien in his biggest onslaught yet on the world’s richest race day.

The general consensus was that So You Think was looking as good as at any time in the 15 months since he joined the Aidan O’Brien stable. “I wish some of the critics in Australia who have said he was a different horse since he went to Aidan could see him now,” Kirwan said.

Ramage said he would be happy to report to Chin Nam that the horse that won him two Cox Plates in Australia when trained by Bart Cummings still was ready to take on the richest race in the world. Magnier said O’Brien would be arriving in Dubai Friday night.

Transcend - “Transcend did not come out on the all-weather track yesterday, so he did a routine canter on the track today,” said trainer Takayuki Yasuda. “He was very relaxed and had a very good feeling, which may bring a 100% performance. He was a runner-up last year, but we are always challenger. Smart Falcon and Game On Dude will likely set the pace, but the best way is that Transcend follows the pace and keep up from just behind them turning for home. He is a very durable and has lots of sharper when he is on the lead in the closing stage of the race. The all-weather, which needs some power, should suit him and I hope to gain what we did not get last year.”

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

Beaten Up – The William Haggas-trained Beaten Up was out early for an easy canter, having debuted on the main track on Thursday. The colt takes a steep rise in class but has yet to taste defeat in his abbreviated career to date. He also approaches the Dubai Sheema Classic in rude health.

“I am happy with his preparation and am looking forward to tomorrow,” said his trainer, Haggas.

Cirrus des Aigles - Cirrus des Aigles was positively bouncing this morning when he came onto the all-weather under regular work rider Zoe Gargoulaud.

The Corinne Barande-Barbe trained Dubai Sheema Classic contender cantered around the track and she said: “I wanted him to do a slow canter, but he decided to go a little bit faster. He was pulling a bit. He decides what to do and was very happy this morning. Luckily there were all these Japanese photographers so he pulled himself up to see what was happening. He is good, very supple, perfect.”

Jakkalberry - Made an early visit to the main track Friday after the local temperature warmed up considerably on Wednesday. The ex-Italian-trained horse joined Marco Botti’s Newmarket stable in the UK towards the end of last season and must raise his game to feature on Saturday.

“He ran here at Meydan over 2,800 metres on March 1 [in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy] and finished a good third (behind Dubai Gold Cup candidates Fox Hunt and Opinion Poll), so when we received an invitation for this race the owner said: ‘Why not?’.

“The horse will eventually want to race over 3,200 metres but the he has never let us down. He is very genuine and loves fast ground.”

St Nicholas Abbey/Treasure Beach - St Nicholas Abbey remained in maintenance mode for the third consecutive morning on the main track. He accompanied his five Ballydoyle stablemates in completing one circuit of walking and another of easy cantering. The five-year-old has appeared particularly composed since he arrived on Wednesday.

The exercise was overseen by three of Coolmore proprietor John Magnier’s sons: JP, MV and Tom, the last-named a key figure within Coolmore Australia. “It would mean a lot for St Nicholas Abbey to win after the death (on Thursday) of his sire Montjeu (who stood at Coolmore Ireland). Joseph O’Brien rode him brilliantly to win the [Group 1] Breeders’ Cup Turf and is on board again on Saturday.”

“The lads who travelled with the horses are very pleased with their condition,” Magnier added. “Since I got here everyone has been telling me they horses look fantastic, and I agreed when I saw them this morning. We have six runners this year; when there is such fantastic prizemoney you have got to send horses and compete for it. We are very much looking forward to tomorrow.”

Treasure Beach remained in maintenance mode for the third consecutive morning on the main track. He accompanied his five Ballydoyle stablemates in completing one circuit of walking and another of easy cantering.

The exercise was overseen by three of Coolmore proprietor John Magnier’s sons: JP, MV and Tom, the last named a key figure within Coolmore Australia.

“The lads who travelled with the horses are very pleased with their condition,” said Tom Magnier, who arrived overnight. “Since I got here everyone has been telling me they horses look fantastic, and I agreed when I saw them this morning. We have six runners this year; when there is such fantastic prize-money you have got to send horses and compete for it. We are very much looking forward to tomorrow.”

Jamie Spencer was aboard the Irish Derby winner and will ride the colt for the first time on Saturday.

“The horse has strong form but there are others in the race with strong credentials,” Spencer said. “Cirrus Des Aigles has won a Champion Stales, St Nicholas Abbey a Breeders’ Cup Turf, so mine will have to be somewhere near his best.”

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

Ambitious Dragon - Embarked on his now familiar jaunt around the Meydan all-weather surface for a final time before raceday with, as ever, Beverley Millard, who works for Hong Kong-based trainer Tony Millard doing the steering.

“Everything has gone to plan and now we’re just waiting for the race with all the work done,” she said.

Await the Dawn - Await The Dawn remained in maintenance mode for the third consecutive morning on the main track. He accompanied his five Ballydoyle stablemates in completing one circuit of walking and another of easy cantering.

The exercise was overseen by three of Coolmore proprietor John Magnier’s sons: JP, MV and Tom, the last named a key figure within Coolmore Australia.

“The lads who travelled with the horses are very pleased with their condition,” said Tom Magnier, who arrived overnight. “Since I got here everyone has been telling me they horses look fantastic, and I agreed when I saw them this morning. We have six runners this year; when there is such fantastic prize-money you have got to send horses and compete for it. We are very much looking forward to tomorrow.”

California Memory – The Hong Kong contender eased around the turf track after which trainer Tony Cruz summed up: “He’s spot on. It’s all gone great so far, now for the race.”

Cityscape - Cityscape saw the turf track for the first time this morning, having exercised on the training track Wednesday and Thursday.

“The horse enjoys his overseas trips,” trainer Roger Charlton said. “He travelled well and has been eating and drinking. He has done no work since he arrived (on Monday) and cantered round on the grass today; the track is in good condition. He is a very good-moving horse who handles fast ground.”

Of Cityscape’s chances, Charlton said: “With a bit of luck in running he should have as good a chance as anything in the race. His (official) rating is within 1-2lbs of the best and he is a very consistent racehorse. The other thing is that he will win $60,000 for finishing sixth, which is about what you’d earn in Britain if you won a Group 2 race.”

Dark Shadow - Yuichi Fukunaga, jockey of Dark Shadow, said: “We have just one day to go, so I just gave him an easy canter on turf course. It was good for me to work on the surface, which was my first experience. I usually do not have many chances to be up on him except when racing, but I believe the stablestaff have done all their best to him, and I must meet their expectations. The turf course was more firm than I looked, which was a very good factor for the Japanese horses. If I can bring full of his talent, he must have a big chance.”

Presvis – the 2011 winner of this race. again accompanied by his lead, continued in similar vein to Thursday, when trainer Luca Cumani compared his daily exercise to that taken by an already-fit human athlete.

Cumani’s imagination was equally vivid this morning. “Presvis enjoyed another easy morning,” the trainer said. “He just went for a stroll to the beach, he stopped for a chat on the way back and now he is going home for a quick kip.”

Presvis has already earned official distinction as the highest-earning racehorse ever trained in Britain. From 27 starts, the globe-trotting eight-year-old has won total stakes of £4,318, 942, (US$6,524,463) which surpasses the career haul plundered by Fantastic Light up to 2001.

Cumani hopes Presvis will add substantially to the bounty on Saturday, although the horse is beholden to a strong early gallop to show his best.

“I have been through the race,” Cumani said, “and while there are horses that have occasionally made the running in the past, there is no obvious front-runner. We need other people to co-operate.”

Wigmore Hall – Michael Bell’s charge continues to progress physically since he arrived in Dubai four weeks ago. Last year’s Dubai Duty Free third limbered up for Saturday’s assignment with a maintenance visit to the main track.

“It’s a very strong race but I am really pleased with him,” Bell said. “He looks bang on his game right now, but against that, this year’s renewal looks a grade above last year’s.

“It didn’t work out for us last year. We had no run in the straight and as we switched out to challenge we opened the door for (the winner) Presvis, who sneaked through a gap that would have been ours in another stride or two if we’d stayed where we were. Hopefully we will get any breaks going this time.”

Xtension – One third of the Hong Kong trio in this race, Xtension also lobbed around the all-weather in his own time and jockey Jeff Lloyd later remarked: “He didn’t put a foot wrong. It was a nice canter for a lap or so and he’s ready.”

Trainer John Moore also observed: “He’s got a real spring in his step over the past 48 hours and he’s really livened up to the place. That is a good sign.”

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

Giant Ryan –The American raider did his usual easy jog around the Meydan oval Friday morning as he makes his final preparations for Saturday.

“We’ll leave it to the rider (Willie Martinez),” trainer Biznath Parboo said when asked about race strategy. “All the jock has to do is to ride him confidently.”

Lucky Nine – Trainer Caspar Fownes issued a more upbeat bulletin about Lucky Nine who cantered on the all-weather track under jockey Brett Prebble.

Lucky Nine twisted a shoe on Monday leaving him fractionally lame and his trainer briefly wondering whether his triple Group 1 winner would take his place at all, but those worries had evaporated on Friday morning.

“He’s sound now and he’s moving well. He was only 1/10 lame but he’s all clear now. He will race in glue-on shoes and I can feel he will race really well even if he has a bad gate in 12. The pace will be on and if he can position in midfield he could run home better than anything as he’s all heart.”

Rocket Man – Last year’s winner in this race, Rocket man completed his preparation by hacking around the all-weather. Trainer Patrick Shaw was happy with the routine canter and the horse’s preparation overall.

The Factor - Trainer Bob Baffert once again was not present for training on Friday morning, as he is recovering from a heart attack suffered early Monday morning in Dubai. But neither was his regular exercise rider, George Alvarez.

Alvarez failed to arrive at the quarantine facility Friday morning at Meydan. Tim Yakteen, who is overseeing the Baffert horses in Dubai, phoned Jockey Chantal Sutherland and asked her to fill in.

“He called me early this morning and, by the sound in his voice, I knew that he needed help, said Sutherland. Georgie (Alvarez) didn’t show up, so they needed me to come in and get on the horses.”

Yakteen, however, preferred to describe the situation as previously arranged.

“We wanted Chantal to test the track on the inside with Game On Dude and on the outside with The Factor,” said Yakteen. “This was our plan from the start.”

The Factor, according to his regular exercise rider Alvarez, is extremely tough to gallop. Alvarez had mentioned earlier in the week how difficult the grey would likely be to gallop the day before the Dubai Golden Shaheen. Sutherland jogged The Factor two laps the opposite way Friday morning.

Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, sponsored by Emirates NBD

Better Be The One - The Singaporean sprinter Better Be The One, third in this race last year, remained away from the main track according to the schedule of trainer Michael Freedman.

Eagle Regiment - Eagle Regiment cantered on the all-weather again and trainer Manfred Man said his Group 1 winner was making incremental progress with a minor off-foreleg complaint, but stressed that the Hong Kong 1,000m straight specialist would still run well on Saturday evening.

“He’s feeling better and better. He worked well today; it was good for him because he’s usually lazy in the morning,” Man said. “He is back to his best racing bodyweight and he will run well tomorrow. His leg is not perfect, not 100 per cent, but that does not stop him running to his very best and his very best is very good.”

Joy and Fun - Joy And Fun remained in the quarantine area as planned by Derek Cruz.

Margot Did – The four-year-old filly was another in routine mode 24 hours before her big assignment. Trainer Michael Bell was delighted with his sprinter’s condition as she took in the sights and sounds on the chute to the main track.

“I think she is spot on,” Bell said. “I’m happy with her high draw (in stall 16 of 16). She doesn’t like to be crowded so she can mind her own business out there. She’ll just break out and come down the middle-to-stands side of the track.”

Nocturnal Affair - Completed a steady canter on the main track, as he had the previous morning.

Trainer David Marnane said: “Same routine, just a different day. The horse is in great order. He went about 1,600m. Like many sprinters, the plan has been to keep him nice and fresh.

“He has been here for a while now and the place has suited him well. He has got a lot more relaxed and has learnt a lot. We just need the breaks now.”

Regally Ready - Lead assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, Scott Blasi, will be saddling Group 2 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Regally Ready on Saturday evening at Meydan.

Regally Ready made one start at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, finishing a puzzling 13th in the Meydan Sprint. The Meydan Sprint was contested over the same course and distance that the gelding will face on Saturday. Blasi has been careful not to put too much importance on the subpar finish.

“I just think you don’t overreact to it,” said Blasi. “He’s a little bit of a quirky horse. I’m glad Corey’s coming in to ride him. He’s run really well for Corey before. That gives us our best chance.”

Corey Nakatani has won five of eight starts aboard the son of More Than Ready, including the Group I Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine, and the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs. Scott Blasi has been thorough in preparing the gelding to put in a big performance with the jockey.

“He’s schooled in the paddock on race night and he’s come back over to school in the evening,” said Blasi. “Riding in the van back and forth, even to gallop. I think that is the best schooling you can do with a horse like him.”

“Hopefully that settles him a bit more inside, and he can focus a little more on what he’s doing,” Blasi continued. “And if he doesn’t, then we’re in trouble again. He’s a funny horse though,” remarked Blasi. “He’s a funny horse.”

Sole Power - Sole Power had a gentle spin on the main course to keep him loose.

“He just stretched his legs this morning and seems happy enough,” said trainer Eddie Lynam. “He breezed well on Tuesday and doesn’t need a lot of work.”

As for the chances of Sole Power, who likes to charge late, Lynam offered: “It looks wide open. I’m not sure that we are well drawn (in stall 15). There’s a bit more pace among horses drawn low but we should be OK as long as something goes off fast from our side.”

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

Balada Sale - Trainer Pascal Bary watched his filly Balada Sale canter on the all-weather and said: “She slept well, ate everything. She is in good spirits and is ready. She went for a jog and then cantered half way down the track.

Daddy Long Legs / Wrote - Daddy Long Legs remained in maintenance mode for the third consecutive morning on the main track. He accompanied his five Ballydoyle stablemates in completing one circuit of walking and another of easy cantering.

The exercise was overseen by three of Coolmore proprietor John Magnier’s sons: JP, MV and Tom, the last named a key figure within Coolmore Australia.

“The lads who travelled with the horses are very pleased with their condition,” said Tom Magnier, who arrived overnight. “Since I got here everyone has been telling me they horses look fantastic, and I agreed when I saw them this morning. We have six runners this year; when there is such fantastic prize-money you have got to send horses and compete for it. We are very much looking forward to tomorrow.”

Wrote remained in maintenance mode for the third consecutive morning on the main track. He accompanied his five Ballydoyle stablemates in completing one circuit of walking and another of easy cantering.

The exercise was overseen by three of Coolmore proprietor John Magnier’s sons: JP, MV and Tom, the last named a key figure within Coolmore Australia.

“The lads who travelled with the horses are very pleased with their condition,” said Tom Magnier, who arrived overnight. “Since I got here everyone has been telling me they horses look fantastic, and I agreed when I saw them this morning. We have six runners this year; when there is such fantastic prize-money you have got to send horses and compete for it. We are very much looking forward to tomorrow.”

Wrote landed the Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on his last outing on November 4 and looks to have made good physical progress in the interim.

Entifaadha - Completed his preparation when moving easily on the main track. The colt has improved physically since he arrived in Dubai four weeks ago but trainer William Haggas feels more is needed if the three-year-old is to be competitive.

“He will have blinkers on for the first time on Saturday,” the trainer said. “I hope they draw some improvement from him because to my way of thinking he needs to come forward by about a stone to be competitive. That might be too much.”

Genten - Yoshito Yahagi, trainer of Genten, said: “I really think he is very relaxed and in a good shape. The distance is a bit longer than his best travel though, Craig should handle this. It must be a good experience for a young horse to bring the foreign country, which should improve him a lot.”

Craig Williams, jockey for Genten, said: “He was very smooth and relaxing this morning. The distance is a question mark for him, but he can handle it as I ride him this morning and see his condition. He improves a lot last time I was riding last year in Japan, and I am very expecting his good performance. “

Lucky Chappy - Trainer Graham Motion gave Team Valor International’s UAE Derby contender Lucky Chappy an easier assignment on March 30, letting the High Chaparral colt gallop a shorter distance and at a slower pace than he has been working while following American champion filly Royal Delta in her morning romps at Meydan this week.

“I wanted to give him a little reserve for Saturday,” Motion said. “He had a really good work before he left (the United States; -1,200m] on turf in 1:12.03 on March 18) and he’s had a lot of very strong gallops over here.”

While Lucky Chappy once again acted up during his exercise, pinning his ears and trying to jump around rather than galloping forward, assistant trainer and exercise rider Alice Clapham was able to keep the difficult colt mostly to task.

“She’s done a good job,” Motion praised of Clapham, who has persevered through Lucky Chappy’s bucking and other gyrations.

“That’s pretty much his normal personality,” Motion said of Lucky Chappy, adding that if anything, he is “less naughty” now than when he was acquired after winning a stakes in Italy last year. The trainer of Team Valor’s 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, who was a late withdrawal from Dubai World Cup consideration following an injury, Motion jokingly replied to reporters who told him they had been entertained by Lucky Chappy’s pirouettes that “I’m glad I could do that for you.”

Despite the antics, Lucky Chappy has flourished in Dubai and is poised to run his best. “I couldn’t be happier with him,” said Motion, who described the UAE Derby as “a wide open race” with each entrant having a valid chance.

Yang Tse Kiang - Yang Tse Kiang looked a picture of calm when he went for a spin on the all-weather. But his trainer Richard Chotard explained: “He wasn’t always this relaxed. He has gotten rid of all of his riders, me included, at one point or another. This morning he just jogged. It’s hot and he has done all his work. He is in good form.”

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

Joshua Tree - Joshua Tree stretched his legs on a main track he has competed on without matching up to expectations since he arrived for the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival. Connections are trying something different by stepping the son of Montjeu up in distance to 3,200m on Saturday.

“He ran probably his best race on Super Saturday [when 6th in the Group 2 Dubai City of Gold on March 10],” trainer Marco Botti said, “but we thought he would handle things better while he was here. We could never really find a suitable race for him. Johnny Murtagh (who rode him last time out) said he would have no problem with 3,200 metres, so we are taking our chance.”

Kasbah Bliss - Kasbah Bliss did a slow canter, followed by a slightly faster canter on the all-weather and his trainer François Doumen said: “He has put away his work on Monday and looks well. He is maybe a little bit fresher than he was - which is not too bad as he was really very relaxed. He thinks he is in the Club Med here. He is in good shape, not
too heavy. He is very professional and knows his job. He is very supple for a horse of his age, it’s amazing.”

Makani Bisty - Yoshito Yahagi, trainer of Makani Bisty, “He cantered a bit stronger than the routine work on turf course today. The hoof was no problem at all, it was not a 100% fit though. When a horse travels abroad, the same thing we do at home sometimes cannot fit the world-class, and we have to expect some accidents as well. So I am very satisfied that he is in good form. He is the first horse to run from the team Japan, so I hope he can be a good starter and take over the other Japanese horses.”

Futoshi Komaki, jockey of Makani Bisty, “I heard there was some accident with his hoof, so I was up on him since he left the quarantine barn. But I did not think there was any hitch. Actually it was my first ride on him in trackwork. He is a very easy to ride, not shying and responded me very well. As for the turf course, it was more firm than it looked, so maybe the time will be faster. My horse suits the surface with more power, but he was very flexible this morning. I wish I can have a good outing with him and give the other Japanese runners a good wave.”

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

Red Jazz – Third in this lrace last year, Red Jazz went out for routine exercise on the main track Friday morning.

Western Aristocrat - Western Aristocrat lapped the main track in an easy rhythm, having completed his preparation before he left England on Monday.

“We just wrapped everything up this morning and we are very happy with him,” trainer Jeremy Noseda said of the four-year-old colt. “He did his last piece of work at home on Friday and he is in great shape.”

Noseda’s sole concern relates to whether Western Aristocrat will handle the all-weather surface.

“We don’t know whether he will handle the track but if he runs his race he has got to be in contention. He is a straightforward horse and the trip is ideal, so we have no worries on that score.”