Dubai World Cup Trackwork Notes - March 28, 2013

Thursday, 28 March, 2013

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

Animal Kingdom — The 2011 Kentucky Derby winner galloped approximately 2600 metres on the Meydan all-weather track on Thursday as assistant trainer and exercise rider Alice Clapham took a firm hold on Team Valor International’s chestnut to keep him from going too fast.
“He was on his toes,” said trainer Graham Motion, “but we would be worried about him if he wasn’t.”
Reflecting back on the post position draw, in which Animal Kingdom drew the 12 gate in the 13-horse field, Motion said “I didn’t want to be stuck on the inside so perhaps it was the lesser of two evils.”

Dullahan — Arriving at the all-weather track before dawn, Donegal Racing’s charge galloped about 2400 metres.
“He trained great,” said trainer Dale Romans, the Eclipse Award winner as America’s outstanding trainer in 2012. Romans plans to send the colt, a three-time Grade 1 winner in America on all-weather tracks, to the starting gate for a schooling session on Friday.
Dullahan was jumpy in the gate prior to breaking slowly and then finishing unplaced in the Burj Nahaar (G3) on Super Saturday, March 9, at Meydan.

Royal Delta — Following her strong 600-metre work on Wednesday, Besilu Stables’ Royal Delta enjoyed a quiet day in the Dubai World Cup quarantine barn area, jogging around a small trotting ring and taking the rest of the day off. Assistant trainer and exercise rider Rodolphe Brisset reported that the 5-year-old mare, seeking to become the first of her gender to win the world’s richest race, came out of the exercise “in good shape.”
Trainer Bill Mott added that Royal Delta “looked really good” while working. “I was very happy with it,” said Mott, who cited Animal Kingdom and Godolphin’s Hunter’s Light as perhaps the mare’s strongest competition in the race.
Meandre – Meandre who is going to leave from stall number nine on Saturday when he lines up at the start of the Group 1 Dubai World Cup, looked in good shape when he made his usual appearance on the Meydan track.
Everyone has become used to seeing the grey appear accompanied by his French compatriots Dunaden and French Fifteen and Richard Lambert, travelling head lad, said, “His routine is unchanged and will remain so until Saturday. He warmed up with a canter; then stretched his legs a bit more. He is in good form, everything is going to plan.”

Planteur – Looking full of beans, the 6-year-old was out early on the main track and swung along for five furlongs (1000m) under Lucie Botti ahead of a second, gentle canter.
“The horse was very fresh this morning,” said Botti, wife of Planteur`s trainer Marco. “He is fit and ready to go, so we just need to keep him as happy as possible. He is eating well and these are the signs we look for. We couldn`t really have him any better.”

Red Cadeaux – Trainer Ed Dunlop appeared at track work for the first time as his 7-year-old had a gentle canter around on the Tapeta. Dunlop said, “I was very impressed with the way he is moving on the surface so we will see. We know he will stay and if he handles the surface then hopefully we can pick up some prize money. It looks a very open race and the 2000-metre trip is an unknown for us as he has been running over longer distances.”

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

Gentildonna – Gentildonna stayed in the trotting ring on Thursday morning.
Jockey Yasunari Iwata commented, “She galloped yesterday, and she was very relaxed and looked in a good form. For the new surroundings and the new surface of turf here, she was a bit shying. Everything is new experience for her including the night race in Dubai, so I have to accept her all and escort her with my best.”

St Nicholas Abbey – Together with his four stablemates, the Aidan O’Brien-trained 6-year-old trotted within the quarantine barn ahead of his imminent appearance on the main track at Meydan.
“Everything is fine; we couldn`t be happier with all the horses,” said O`Brien`s travelling head lad, Pat Keating. “They are due to go out on the Tapeta (track) on Friday, when the plan is for Joseph (O`Brien, St Nicholas Abbey`s big-race jockey) to have a sit on him.”

Dunaden – The Mikel Delzangles-trained Dunaden impressed his supporters when he came to the track on Thursday morning.
Delzangles said, “He started off with a slow canter and then quickened nicely when asked. He didn’t do anything different really to yesterday. His rider just asked him to stretch, that’s it. We are happy with him, he is a good traveller.”

Shareta – Alain de Royer Dupre was on the track to see his four fillies canter on the all- weather track.
He said, “Since we have arrived the horses haven’t done much. They had a light canter in order to get used to the track.
Yesterday (Wednesday), we went a little quicker and this morning they went even a tick faster, but really they were just getting back to their normal workout routine. They trotted, cantered over 800 meters and then they stretched over 1400 meters. On this track one doesn’t have the impression that they are going too fast and hence they don’t seem to get too tired. Tomorrow we won’t go as quick as it is the last day before the race. They are calm and look all right.”

Trailblazer – Trailblazer walked in the stable area Thursday morning.
Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee commented, “Everything has been under control. He was fresh after the breeze yesterday, and I will give him a piece of work on the all-weather tomorrow morning. He has been in Dubai for over one month, so I hope this long journey will finish with a happy-end.”

Girolamo – Trainer Peter Schiergen, who rode his lightly-raced Girolamo in a serious workout on Tuesday, was back in the saddle to give the 4-year-old, a Group 1 winner in his native Germany on his most recent outing, a steady canter once round the all-weather circuit.
Schiergen said, “After Tuesday’s gallop, we jogged him on the training track on Wednesday, and he’s feeling good.”

Very Nice Name – The Qatari challenger again took to the main track before dawn on Thursday in line with quarantine regulations, having arrived in Dubai on Tuesday.
“He just did a steady canter and looks fine,” trainer Alban de Meiulle said of the progressive 4-year-old. “He was looking at everything because he was a bit lonely. In Qatar he goes out with a lead horse, although he cannot do that here. But I am not worried at all, there have been no problems.”
Very Nice Name is Qatar`s best racehorse, having transferred there from Freddy Head`s stable in France over the winter. He completed his programme of fast work when galloping in Qatar on Monday.
“I know he will give his best (on Saturday) because he always does,” de Mieulle declared of his horse.

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

Little Mike – Full of energy, Priscilla Vaccarezza’s Little Mike galloped about 2400 metres under assistant trainer Tammy Fox on Thursday and then visited the starting gate where he was loaded into stall three and stood quietly for a few minutes, surveying the view with his ears pricked.
“He’s a professional,” said Emirates Racing Authority official starter Shane Ryan, who oversees the gate schooling sessions. Trainer Dale Romans said he always schools his runners in the gate prior to races and that Little Mike is showing every sign of being ready to run well.

Ocean Park – For the second successive morning, New Zealand champion Ocean Park was not seen on the track at Meydan but there is no cause for concern.
Stable spokesperson Jenny Hennessy said Ocean Park had been confined to the exercise track in the international compound.
“We’ve just kept him to trotting in the compound,” Hennessy said. “He’s done enough work now to have him right for Saturday.”
The 4-year-old is one of the top fancies for the $US5 million Dubai Duty Free (1800m), sponsored by Dubai Duty Free.
On Tuesday, Ocean Park had his first gallop on the turf track at Meydan on which the Duty Free will be run.
Track rider Kate Hercock eased Ocean Park at one stage because of a soft spot on the track but Hennessy said the automatic tracking of the gallop revealed that he had broken 36 seconds for his last 600 metres.
“If he can do that on Saturday it should make him hard to beat,” Hennessy said.

Giofra – see Shareta note in Dubai Sheema Classic report

I`m A Dreamer, Trade Storm – Newmarket trainer David Simcock had his first sighting of race pair I’m A Dreamer and Trade Storm this week and liked what he saw.
After they had cantered twice round the all-weather track, Simcock said, “You couldn’t call it serious work, but it will just take the sting out of them. I’m very happy, and it’s hard to split the pair.”

French Fifteen – French Fifteen broke the mold for Thursday morning’s track work as the only contender to appear on the main turf track, after French trainer Nicholas Clement inspected the circuit and pronounced it suitable for his Qatar-owned 4-year-old.
Clement said, “He did a strong canter over a mile (1600m) and picked up in the straight, just to get the feel of the course. I’m very happy with him.”
French Fifteen, who was beaten a quarter-length by triple Classic winner Camelot in England’s 2000 Guineas last year, was off the track from 1 July, after sustaining an injury to his near hind leg, until 2 March.
“We were very conservative about the injury and gave him all the time he needed to get over it,” Clement said.
“He’s much stronger and heavier now, and grew 1.5cm over the winter, so I wasn’t surprised that he was rusty when he finished second over a mile (1600m) on the Polytrack surface at Chantilly. He’s definitely come on for the race.”

Wigmore Hall – Trainer Michael Bell gave Wigmore Hall, who will be making his third appearance in the race after finishing third and fourth, a pipe-opener over the all-weather circuit.
Partnered by regular work rider Gilly Dolman, Wigmore Hall cantered before breezing more seriously up the straight.
Bell said, “We stretched him out to make sure he had a good blow, which will dust off the cobwebs. He looks in great shape and on his game.”

Group 1 US$2m Dubai Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News
(third leg of Global Sprint Challenge)

Gordon Lord Byron – Tom Hogan’s runner had his second outing of the week and his first experience of the all-weather surface he will encounter on Saturday.
“This is his first time on the Tapeta and Shane Foley rode him round the track and said he felt lovely,” said Hogan’s representative Kate O’Brien. “We worked him on the grass yesterday and is really well within himself.”

Trinniberg – American champion sprinter Trinniberg was reunited with regular jockey Willie Martinez on Thursday for a light canter around the Meydan all-weather track prior to a starting gate schooling session. The 4-year-old colt, the image of contained energy with his muscles rippling in the early morning light, bounced with eagerness prior to loading but then stood still in the stall.
“He feels really good,” said Martinez, who has ridden Trinniberg in his last eight starts and has won four of those, including the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). “This has been such an incredible journey to get back here,” added the jockey, who rode Brass Hat to second past the post in the 2006 Dubai World Cup, “and anything we do (in the race) will be a bonus.”

Private Zone – “We just went out and jogged him once around,” said Leandro Mora, assistant to trainer Doug O’Neill. “He will just jog the two next days up to the race. He’s done his work already so now we just have to sit and wait.”
Unlike many of the other American horses, Private Zone did school in the paddock at Meydan on Tuesday evening.
“We don’t school the horses here,” Mora said. “We haven’t done it in five or six years unless the horse is a real nervous type. From my experience over here, where we saddle is far away from the grandstands so the horses don’t hear anything so they don’t get nervous. The only problem is the travelling from the quarantine (barn) to the paddock. Our horses are used to travelling but some horses get nervous on the ride from the quarantine to the paddock.”

Frederick Engels – “He had just a quiet canter on the Tapeta this morning.”said trainer John Moore. “His jockey, Weichong Marwing, will be on him tomorrow just for a familiarization with the horse and the track before Saturday. I can’t wait for the race. It’s my best chance ever of winning a Group 1 here.”

Taisei Legend – Taisei Legend worked in the trotting ring Thursday morning.
Trainer Yoshito Yahagi commented, “He galloped yesterday, but he was full of beans this morning. His condition is getting better every day. I should have given him a stronger work yesterday, so he will have one more piece of work tomorrow. I hope he can keep up the good condition until Saturday.”

Reply – Together with his four stablemates, the Aidan O’Brien-trained 4-year-old trotted within the quarantine barn ahead of his imminent appearance on the main track at Meydan.
“Everything is fine; we couldn`t be happier with all the horses,” said O`Brien`s travelling head lad, Pat Keating. “They are due to go out on the Tapeta (track) on Friday.”

Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint, sponsored by Emirates NBD

Mr Big – “He just walked around the training area this morning; all good, no hitches,” said trainer Michael Freedman.

Eagle Regiment – “The horse is very good,” reported trainer Manfred Man. “The vet has seen him this morning and he has improved a lot with his hoof problem. We’re more hopeful he will run now than we were yesterday [Wednesday]. He still has to pass the vet again tomorrow to make sure there is no problem but I`m happy with his progress.”
Dr. David Sykes, ERA Veterinary Steward added, “The horse pulled a shoe off on Wednesday and it was treated and poulticed with the shoe off. This morning [Thursday] we put a glue-on shoe on that foot but we didn’t put any glue across the front third of the toe so that the shoe wasn’t touching the area at the front part of the foot. He trotted up suitable enough to race this morning, much more comfortable without any pressure on the front part of the toe. That glue-on shoe will come off this afternoon [Thursday] and he’ll have a poultice overnight and then tomorrow morning the farrier will put the glue-on shoe back on and then shoe the other side so that he has them on both feet. Then we’ll trot him up again and if he looks as good as he did this morning he will be quite suitable to run. I will probably do a final check with him on Saturday to satisfy all concerned that he’s good to go. At the moment he’s on the right road as long as it doesn’t flare up again. I suspect we’re probably going to get there. The horse looks very, very well.”

Dux Scholar – A contender for the Al Quoz Sprint, Dux Scholar jogged 1600 metres and cantered 1600 metres Thursday morning at Desert 2 Stables. Trainer Seth Benzel is delighted with the horse’s condition. “I couldn’t have him in a better place,” Benzel said. “He’s in peak form. He looks fantastic,” Benzel continued. The son of Oasis Dream is scheduled to jog tomorrow.

Joy and Fun – “It will be his last race on Saturday and he’ll be given the retirement he deserves so these are the last few days we’ll have him after many years,” said trainer Derek Cruz. “He’ll run well and hopefully go out in style. He’s the best I’ve trained.”

Great Attack – Great Attack, on target for the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan on Saturday, cantered at Meydan Thursday morning. Exercise rider Tony Romero was aboard as trainer Wesley Ward looked on.

Spirit Quartz – Robert Cowell’s 5-year-old was out on the main track with his trainer, fresh off the plane, watching on. The Englishman said, “He is a very talented horse and had run over different distances before he came to us so we didn’t know what he was. We have concentrated him over 1000 metres since then and he has got faster and faster. He is a much better horse this year and has really strengthened. He needed his prep run here and that blew away the cobwebs. I think he will improve for that run but he does look a tough race. I am under no illusions but hopefully he will be thereabouts at the finish.”

Monsieur Joe – Monsieur Joe, also trained by Robert Cowell, was also out on the main track for light work at 5:30 a.m., and his trainer said,
“He is a very talented horse but has his ceiling which is Group Three/Listed level and he struggles against this class of opposition. He has performed well here in the past and I hope he runs a decent race but he might not trouble the principles.”

Varsity – Repeating the same regimen he has been given each day this week, American 1000-metre sprinting specialist Varsity galloped about 2000 metres on the all-weather track before the sun rose over Meydan and again pleased assistant trainer Christophe Lorieul, who is supervising the 6-year-old gelding’s preparations for trainer Christophe Clement, who will not make the trip to Dubai.
“So far, everything has gone according to plan,” Lorieul said, adding that “I guess we will find out Saturday night” how Varsity handles a straightaway dash against international competition. Varsity is coming off a win in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Stakes in which he was clocked in :54.17 for 1000 metres around a turn on firm ground.

Sole Power – Trainer Edward Lynam’s runner-up of 12 months ago had light exercise under regular work-rider Julie Vovchok, who said: “He had one canter round and continues to please us.”

Russian Soul – After galloping out 800 metres on the main turf track on Wednesday, Russian Soul spent his morning splashing around in the on-site swimming pool. The 5-year-old has been a model of consistency throughout the Dubai Carnival and trainer Mick Halford is looking for a decent slice of the pie on Saturday.
“He had a nice blow on Wednesday and is progressing all the time,” Halford said. “He must progress again to get involved but he has it in him to do that.”

Invincible Ash – Like stablemate Russian Soul, Invincible Ash went swimming after she galloped over 800 metres on the main turf track on Wednesday. This is the third straight year she has competed at the Dubai Carnival and trainer Mick Halford said, “The longer she is here the more she comes to herself, and this year is no different. She is looking and doing better all the time.”

Starspangledbanner – Together with his four stablemates, the Aidan O`Brien-trained 7-year-old trotted within the quarantine barn ahead of his imminent appearance on the main track at Meydan.
“Everything is fine; we couldn`t be happier with all the horses,” said O`Brien`s travelling head lad, Pat Keating. “They are due to go out on the Tapeta (track) on Friday.”

Medicean Man – Trainer Jeremy Gask is varying the work for English sprinter Medicean Man to keep the “spring in his step” for the US$1 million Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) sponsored By Emirates NBD.
Gask is alternating between the Tapeta all-weather track and turf training track with Medicean Man who was successful over 1000 metres at Meydan in January.
“It’s going to be much harder on Saturday but I think he has earned his place in the field,” Gask said.

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

He`s Had Enough – The Doug O’Neill-trained He’s Had Enough had an easy gallop and then stood in gate at Meydan on Thursday morning as his preparations for Saturday’s Group 1 UAE Derby continue. Assistant trainer Leandro Mora, who has been supervising the O’Neill horses since they arrived in Dubai, commented on the temperament of their Derby contender.
“He’s a big baby,” he said with a chuckle. “He still thinks like a baby. He likes to play; he likes to bite. He sometimes doesn’t concentrate and I think that may be why he’s lost a couple of races. There’s nothing else we can do now. He’s athletic. The Kentucky Derby is just around the corner and ‘Derby Fever’ is here.”
The O’Neill team hopes to earn enough points Saturday to get into the Kentucky Derby. The UAE Derby is part of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series, and under that race’s new point structure the race is worth 170 points, of which 100 will go to the winner; 40 to second; 20 to third; and 10 to fourth.
“We already have six points from the (second) in the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile) and the third in (the Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita,” Mora said. “He (probably) needs to at least finish second to get in to the (Kentucky) Derby.
“This is a good challenge and the O’Neill stable is known for taking challenges,” Mora said of shipping to Dubai for UAE Derby to try to earn points toward Kentucky Derby. “Sometimes we try to swim against the current – but we’ve done it (successfully) sometimes.”
Mario Gutierrez has the mount on Saturday. Gutierrez of course rode I’ll Have Another to victories in 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and has been aboard He’s Had Another for his last five starts.
“(Mario) gets along with this horse so why take him off when the big races come up.” Mora said.

Keiai Leone – Trainer Katsuichi Nishiura commented, “As I flew into Dubai this morning, I saw him for the first time during his trip. He looked very well and relaxed. I am pleased that he has enjoyed the camp. The surface of Tapeta will suit him.”
Jockey Hideaki Miyuki commented, “I was worried that he could adjust to the new surroundings since he got in, however he was very relaxed and fit, which I thought he has improved a lot mentally. He usually works very well at home, and he never changed here, and I think he will handle the all-weather track. This is the first experience to race in Dubai for both of I and the horse, but he has enough talent to overcome and I have to bring his best performance.”

Lines of Battle – Together with his four stablemates, the Aidan O’Brien-trained 3-year-old trotted within the quarantine barn ahead of his imminent appearance on the main track at Meydan.
“Everything is fine; we couldn`t be happier with all the horses,” said O`Brien`s travelling head lad, Pat Keating. “They are due to go out on the Tapeta (track) on Friday.”

Law Enforcement – The 3-year-old looking brighter and showed plenty of energy when covering one circuit of the main track under big-race jockey Richard Hughes. He had also shed the hind-leg bandages he wore the previous two mornings.
“He was mad-fresh, which is how we want him,” Hughes said. “The journey here takes as much out of them as two bits of fast work, but he has freshened up good. He was like an elastic band out there.”

Dice Flavor –United States invader Dice Flavor had an easy canter on Meydan’s all-weather Tapeta surface on Thursday morning and is coming up to Saturday’s 1900-metre affair in good order according to his trainer Paddy Gallagher despite a setback ahortly after arriving in Dubai last weekend.
“After he landed here, he got a bit dehydrated,” explained the California-based conditioner. “Fortunately, it came and went pretty quickly. Ever since then, he’s been acting good. He’s galloped the last four or five days and he cantered well this morning.”
The winner of the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Fields will be facing his toughest task to date in the UAE Derby, but Gallagher is hopeful his charge will be up to the challenge.
“It’s tough to know how the race will play out,” he said. “We’ll play it by ear and I’ll leave it up to his jockey (Jose Valdivia Jr.). The horse has been improving a little with each start and he’s had a chance to run on this type of surface in California. Now we’ll just have to wait and see if he’s up to the task.”

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

Saddler`s Rock – “His last piece of work was Wednesday. He’s grand and we’re looking forward to the race,” said trainer John Oxx.

Verema – see Shareta note in Dubai Sheema Classic report

Seismos – German trainer Andreas Wöhler was on the track for the first time this morning where he watched Dubai Gold Cup contender Seismos work.
He said, “He worked at home last Saturday and here he just needs to be exercised more than anything else. I think he is a little light, one can see that he travelled. That is why he doesn’t do much here. I think it is an open race, but the one to beat appears to be Saddlers Rock.”

Jutland – Jutland cantered 2000 metres at Al Quoz Training Center Thursday morning in preparation for the Dubai Gold Cup. Trainer Doug Watson noted that the 6-year-old gelding will continue to canter up to the race.
“We are hopeful for a check on Saturday,” he said.

Imperial Monarch – Together with his four stablemates, the Aidan O`Brien-trained 4-year-old trotted within the quarantine barn ahead of his imminent appearance on the main track at Meydan.
“Everything is fine; we couldn`t be happier with all the horses,” said O`Brien`s travelling head lad, Pat Keating. “They are due to go out on the Tapeta (track) on Friday.”

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

Penitent – Trainer David O’Meara watched on as Penitent covered a lap of the main track under big-race jockey Daniel Tudhope.

Sarkiyla – see Shareta note in Dubai Sheema Classic report

Barbecue Eddie – Barbecue Eddie continued preparations for the Godolphin Mile with a 2000-metre canter at Al Quoz Training Center Thursday. Trainer Doug Watson commented on the 9-year-old’s keen attitude.
“He’s fresh with the day off after his work,” Watson said. “He took a good hold today.”

Zazou – Russian jockey Khamzat Ulubaev took over from work rider Radic Hennig when he galloped Zazou on the all-weather track Thursday morning.
Afterwards he said, “I like the horse. I think he has a good chance. He feels very good. The trainer did a good job. I did 400 meters fast work this morning and am looking forward to Dubai World Cup night.”

Group 1 US$250,000 Dubai Kahayla Classic, sponsored by Emaar

Al Mamun Monlau – Al Mamun Monlau, preparing for a start in the Kahayla Classic, cantered a slow 1400 metres, then a steady 1400 metres at Meydan on Thursday. Trainer Jean-Francois Bernard was present for the training. Elizabeth Garel, life partner of the trainer, was pleased with Al Mamun Monlau’s progress.
“Today, no sweat,” she said. “I think he looks better and better each day. His behavior improves everyday.”

Versac PY – “He cantered on the turf (training track) this morning and he looked good,” said trainer Erwan Charpy.
“I think it will be a very tactical race. There are a couple of horses in there who always go 100 miles per hour,” he said with a chuckle when asked how he saw Saturday’s 2000-metre race shaping up. “So it comes down to whether the (rest of) the field lets them go because every time they do that, they win. Every time they don’t let them go, they fall apart.
“The main thing is we know these horses,” he continued. “He is missing a turn of foot coming into the straight so he can’t be too far back. He just stays on well. If he’s good enough – he will be there (in the end).”