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Meydan trackwork - Monday
21 Mar 2017 | Dubai Racing Club 

Group 2 US$1m Godolphin Mile sponsored by Meydan Sobha, 1600m (Dirt)

Second Summer (USA) and Etijaah (USA) - Trainer Doug Watson said: “We had hoped to run in the Dubai World Cup, especially after his excellent second in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2, but he finished sore on Super Saturday when he did not run his race.

“This trip will be his minimum but, hopefully, there will be plenty of pace on early.

“The same with Etijaah who would probably prefer further but is in good form and should be staying on. We had a lot of luck in this race last year when saddling the first three but I would be more than happy just to win it again!”

Kafuji Take  (JPN) - Assistant trainer Hirofumi Yamamoto said: “He was a little tired after the journey but he has improved a lot over the past few days. Today we cantered a lap and a half over the dirt. Jockey Yuchi Fukunaga will gallop him on Wednesday.”

Heavy Metal (GB) - Trainer Salem bin Ghadayer said: “He won impressively on Super Saturday and seems in the same kind of form. It will be a stronger race but he should be competitive at least.”

Ross (IRE) - The Group 3 Burj Nahaar sponsored by Emirates Holidays runner-up stayed in the quarantine yard on Monday, where he trotted.

Work rider Patrick Gibson explained: “He worked on Sunday on the main track at Meydan. He worked over 1400m. We went steady and then quickened over the last four hundred meters in order to open the lungs. Hence, on Monday morning, he just trotted at the quarantine yard. He is well.” 

North America (GB) - Trainer Satish Seemar said: “He has been a revelation and has done nothing but improve all season. He has been a great new recruit and is the perfect advertisement for the horses sales organised by the ERA.

“We go to Meydan on Saturday with a very live chance and just hope the draw is kind to us.”

Le Bernardin (USA) - Trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi said: “Course and distance obviously suit him as he has shown by winning Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 twice. Super Saturday was a bit disappointing but he is working well and, we hope, will be very competitive in a strong heat.”

Fitzgerald (USA) - Trainer Ahmad bin Harmash said:  “He has had a good season and deserves to take his chance in a tough race. He should run well.”

Sharp Azteca (USA) – The Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap winner worked an easy 800m under exercise rider Anthony Cruz. Trainer Jorge Navarro was pleased with the move, even if he couldn’t say for certain what the time was.
 
“I got him in 55 seconds, I think,” he said. “The poles got me, though. This track is just too big!
 
“I didn’t want to do too much with him. He’s already fit. I just wanted to take the edge off because he’s tearing down the stall. I didn’t care about the workout as much as the gallop out and I got exactly what I asked. I wanted it to be strong and he was dragging the rider and came back good.
 
“He’s taking to everything very well. Shipping to California [from Florida for the Grade 1 Malibu at Santa Anita in December] didn’t seem to bother him, that long trip. So I asked Mr. Gelfenstein (owner) if we could make the trip to Dubai. I told him the trip wouldn’t affect him and so far I’m right. He’s eating up good and everything we ask him he’s doing good.
 
“This horse has a lot in the tank and I don’t think we’ve seen the best out of him yet.”

Group 1 (Purebred Arabians) US$1m Dubai Kahayla Classic empowered by IPIC, 2000m (Dirt)

Handassa (FR) - Came onto the main track at Meydan on Monday morning. He led three other French horses in a slow canter once around the track before going around once more slightly faster. He was ridden by Marlene Danos, who said: “We didn’t do much, just a nice steady canter so that he could breathe a bit.”

TM Thunder Struck (US) - Narrowly missed out on winning the Group 1 Kahayla Classic last year and is looking to go one better this time around. 

Trained in Qatar by Alban de Mieulle, he arrived in Dubai on Monday morning at 8 am. His trainer said: “He travelled well and is in good form. “He worked yesterday. In fact, he did a really nice piece of work and I’m very happy with him.”  

Group 2 US$1m Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, 3,200m (Turf)

Basateen (IRE) - Trainer Doug Watson said: “We hope this 3200m is his ideal trip. I think he will run a big race and, hopefully, surprise a few as he has had a good preparation.”

Rembrandt Van Rijn (IRE) - Trainer Salem bin Ghadayer said: “He has been running well over shorter and we are hoping this longer trip will suit him in an open looking race.”

Trip To Paris (IRE) - The experienced Robin Trevor-Jones, Ed Dunlop’s travelling head lad, has been overseeing preparations since arriving at the weekend and was happy with the six-year-old's visit to the training track.

“He just had his first light canter on the grass,” said Trevor-Jones. “He hasn’t cantered for three days, as he was just led out on Saturday and jogged on Sunday.

“He arrived here 4kg over his racing weight. It has been so mild in Newmarket that we have already been able to give him plenty of work on the grass back home.”

Vazirabad (FR) - Alain de Royer Dupre has brought his representative back to Dubai where he will be hoping to add another Dubai Gold Cup to his impressive record. Unlike last year, when he arrived a week before the event, this year, he came early to run in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy sponsored by Al Nagoodah – VDL Buses, where he finished second.

Antoine Creton, the travelling head lad, said: “He just did a slow canter. He too went on the training track last Tuesday. He is well.” 

Sheikhzayedroad (GB) – Last season’s Group 2 Long Distance Cup hero cantered on the all-weather training track shortly after 8am.

Quechua (ARG) - Remained in quarantine area. Trainer Ricardo Le Grange said:  “He only arrived on Saturday afternoon so under the 48-hour quarantine rule he had to stay in the barn. I’d imagine he will be on the big track on Thursday for a look around. In between we will take it easy. He travelled well. He lost only 4 or 5kg on the flight over so that’s pretty manageable and I’m pleased with how things are going so far.”

Quest For More (IRE) - Had his first canter since arriving for his Meydan debut, taking a very steady leg-stretch over a circuit and a half of the all-weather training track. 

Heartbreak City (FR)  - Cantered in quarantine area track. Track rider Jamie Heavey said: “He has been here three weeks and I have been helping out with his track work. He has made good progress in his time here.

“His summer coat is starting come through with the good weather here compared to Ireland at this time of year, so that is a good sign of his wellbeing. Tadhg O’Shea has been riding him in his faster gallops and has been happy with him also. His trainer Tony Martin gets here on Wednesday.”

Group 2 $US2m UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group, 1900m (Dirt)

Cosmo Charlie (USA) and Bee Jersey (USA) - Trainer Doug Watson said: “Bee Jersey was a good second in the Guineas but is a big horse who, hopefully, is improving all the time. If he stays he should run well.
Cosmo Charlie was good winning the Al Bastakiya on Super Saturday when able to get to the front. The draw is going to be crucial - if he draws well and can get close to the speed, he should have a good chance.”

Midnight Chica (USA) - Trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam said: “She received an invitation just last week but there is nothing else for her so we may as well have a crack. Taking on the colts is never easy but she is training well.”

Nomorerichblondes (USA) - Trainer Ahmad bin Harmash said: “She won the UAE Oaks nicely so course and distance clearly suit her but this will be a lot tougher taking on the colts.”

Vettori Kin (BRZ) – New trainer Kenny McPeek, who is also a partner in the the Brazilian Group 1 winner, was en route to Dubai from his Kentucky base. He was out on the track for an easy jog at 7am.

Qatar Man (IRE) – The Marco Botti-trained three-year-old had his final workout on the main track.

Lucie Botti, assistant to her husband: “That was his final piece of work and I was very happy with how he went.

“He didn’t have a great prep going into his last start in the Al Bastakiya and he has improved for that run, which he obviously needs to do.

“The draw is going to be crucial over the 1900m track, anything over seven will be fine. He needs a speed gate and if he gets it, we know he can be quickly out of there. He handles the dirt, has a good cruising speed and if he gets a similar trip to the Al Bastakiya then I think he can be competitive. Colm O’Donoghue will ride on Saturday.”

Adirato (JPN) - Hand walked on Monday morning in the quarantine stables. Assistant trainer Shingo Nomiyama said: "He seemed to travel well and has already relaxed into his new environment. Today we just walked him for an hour. He will gallop on Wednesday with his jockey."

Epicharis (JPN) - Had a light work over the Meydan dirt course. Trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara said: "He travelled well. He cantered two laps today and he will gallop tomorrow."

Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments -  1200m (Turf)

Ertijaal (IRE) - Trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi said: “This is his third season with us and he has been a real solid performer since joining the yard. He has shown his quality on numerous occasions and remains in great form.

“He was second in this last year over 1000m but the extra 200m should not be a concern and we are very much looking forward to Saturday with him.”

Long On Value (USA) – The multiple Graded stakes winner was allowed to “stretch his legs” with an easy 400m move through the Meydan stretch under exercise rider Megan Johnston.
 
“We let him gallop out (600m), too, but most of our serious work was done back home,” said Riley Mott, assistant to his father, trainer Bill Mott. “This was merely to get his legs stretched out and keep him happy. 
 
“He’s sort of an anxious type of horse, really high energy. But he shipped well, is eating well, has been holding his weight and colour, so we’re pretty happy.”
 
“He’s been working really well since his last race and we’ve been very happy with his preparations. Frankly, we wouldn’t have sent him over here if we weren’t. It’s a long way to go to not be at your peak.
 
“We found his niche at Saratoga sprinting on the grass and he has some back-class as a two-year-old sprinting on grass. Once we cut him back a bit he started progressing and in his last race he was coming on late.”

Final Venture (GB) - Trainer Paul Midgley said: “He didn’t go out on the track today, he just had a little trot and a hack. He’s in great order, we’re just freshening him up.”

The Right Man (FR) - Trained by Didier Guillemin, he already had a prep race at Meydan when he finished third in the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint sponsored by Arabian Adventures. On Monday morning he came out on the main track at Meydan and did a slow canter in front of the main stand.

His exercise rider Mickael Mingant said: “I cantered him over 1200m. It was just a slow canter, nothing more. He is very relaxed and I’m happy with him.” 

Finsbury Square (FR) - The Fabrice Chappet-trained runner arrived last week from France and appeared on the main track at Meydan. He only jogged around the track once and his exercise rider Jacky Busson said: “We only arrived a few days ago, so we just jogged around the track once. He travelled well and seems happy.” 

Medicean Man (GB) - At the age of 11 shares with Reynaldothewizard (USA) the tag of oldest horse on the card. He cantered steadily once around the all-weather training track before making his usual early, solo exit at the top of the short straight.

Amazing Kids (NZ) - Cantered on main dirt track. Track rider David Mo said: “He travelled well. I rode him on the big track this morning at 5am and he was happy. The boss (trainer John Size) will be here on Wednesday morning.”

Richard’s Boy (USA) - Trotted once around the Meydan main track with exercise rider Jesse Sauder aboard.

“He’s fresh and sharp and training great,” said Sauder.  

Richard’s Boy is trained by Peter Miller, who is based at San Luis Rey Downs Training Center in Bonsall, California.

“The horses love it there,” said Sauder.

Limato (USA) - Henry Candy’s British raider just had a light canter around the quarantine track with an exercise rider.

Group 1 US$2m Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News, 1200m (Dirt)

Reynaldothewizard (USA)  - Trainer Satish Seemar said:  “He always gives his best and has been a great servant to the yard who we expect another big effort from under conditions that really suit him.”

Cool Cowboy (USA) and My Catch (IRE) – Trainer Doug Watson said: “The draw is going to be vital, especially to My Catch. He has terrific early speed which we hope he can utilise. Cool Cowboy is a bit more versatile tactically but both are in great shape.”
Morawij (GB) – Trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam said:  “He arrives having won the Jebel Ali Sprint and on Super Saturday but we know Saturday’s race is going to be a lot tougher.

“He ran very well in it from an awful draw last year so, hopefully, we get a bit more luck and a low gate this time.”

Muarrab (GB) - Trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi said: “He has only been with us just over a fortnight but is settling into his new routine and seems to be improving daily in his new surroundings.

“He won the race last year and has been running well in defeat this season so, with a bit of luck and a good draw, we have to be hopeful.”

Dundonnell (USA) – The seven-year-old gelding has not visited a winner’s circle since April 2015 but has been competitive in Dubai this season, including a recent third in the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal Sponsored by Emirates Skywards. This morning he cantered twice around the main dirt track.
 
“I just arrived this morning and saw him in the quarantine,” said Hong Kong-based trainer Caspar Fownes. “He looks alright and we’ll see how he looks in the morning.”

Trackrider Paul Lo said: “I have been with him since he arrived in Dubai and he has finished second and then third on Super Saturday. His preparation since has been fine, no problems and he is healthy. He will do his final gallop later in the week.”

Mind Your Biscuits (USA) - Was noticeably calm and collected on Monday morning in Dubai, leaving the World Cup quarantine barn at approximately 4.40 am and proceeding to the Meydan dirt course at 5am with trainer Chad Summers. The chestnut Grade 1-winning son of Posse galloped 2400m and schooled in the paddock, with Summers manning the lead during the latter. 

“He shipped well and is very good right now,” Summers said. “I couldn’t be happier. I wish the race was tomorrow and I feel very confident. Tomorrow he will have a blowout down the lane.” 

A consistent sort, the 4-year-old winner of four races from 14 starts has finished in the top three in 12 of his races, including an adjudged runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint on November 5. 

Mind Your Biscuits (USA) earned his lone Grade 1 when annexing the Malibu Stakes over 1400m at Santa Anita two efforts back on December 26.

Dios Corrida (JPN) – Had a light maintenance work over the quarantine barn’s trotting track on Monday morning. Assistant trainer Yoshinori Unoki said: "We cantered him on the quarantine's trotting track today. He is in much better form physically than he was last time out. He'll breeze on Wednesday."

Wild Dude (USA)  - Knows his way around the Meydan training track, having been on the premises for four outings since his purchase from the USA to run in South Korea last September, where the deep dirt surface proved against him.

Ridden by his regular work rider Jamie Heavey for trainer Michael Halford, he was the first of the 7am European workers on the main track and completed a steady, one-circuit canter.

Notlistenin’tome (AUS) - Remained in trotting ring in quarantine area on Monday. Trainer John Moore, speaking from Hong Kong said: “I understand he has travelled well. George (Moore, son) will oversee things until I get there later in the week. The plan is that he will have a jump out from the gates on the dirt on Thursday.”
 
St. Joe Bay (USA) - Seeking his fourth consecutive victory, he trotted once around the main track just after 5am in preparation for Saturday.

Exercise rider Jesse Sauder, who was aboard, said: “He felt great. He’s a very calm, collected, professional horse. He’s a fun horse to ride. He’s actually like a big teddy bear.”

Imperial Hint (USA) — Participation was in jeopardy on Monday afternoon as the four-year-old colt arrived in Dubai on March 16 with a fever.
“We have to make a decision soon, but his bloodwork has to be normal in order to run,” said trainer Luis Carvajal Jr. Imperial Hint has been walking in the quarantine barn area, but if he improves and gets a good veterinary report, he could train on the Meydan dirt track on Tuesday morning. 

Group 1 US$6m Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World – 1800m (Turf)

Opal Tiara (IRE) - Lesley White, trainer Mick Channon’s long-serving travelling head groom, was in the saddle for a visit to the main track. She said: “It was just a standard Monday morning canter to get the freshness out. We went just about 1600m.”

Zarak (FR) - The Alain de Royer Dupré trained Zarak, who won the Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes sponsored by Wheels at Meydan in February, came onto the main track at Meydan on Monday morning. He was accompanied by his stable companion Vazirabad (FR). 

Antoine Creton, travelling head lad for the yard, said: “Our two horses went onto the track and just went for a slow canter. Zarak worked last Tuesday on the grass at the Meydan training track and will now be just doing routine canters until the race.” 

Heshem (IRE) - Came onto the main Meydan track on Monday morning, together with fellow French raiders Handassa (FR), Finsbury Square (FR) and The Right Man (FR). Christophe Ferland’s charge did a slow canter once round the track and his exercise rider Enzo Corallo said: “We arrived last week and so we just did a slow canter, as the horses are still acclimatising.”

Ribchester (IRE) - Bids to become the first Godolphin-owned winner at the meeting from outside the operation’s retained trainers. Was among the 5am workers on the main dirt track at Meydan, completing a routine canter with his regular work rider. 
 
Mondialiste (IRE)  - Appeared in public for the first time since arriving in Dubai and merely stretched his legs with a very steady canter on the turf training track. 
 
Decorated Knight (GB) - Has been kept ticking over since winning the Group 1 Jebel Hatta on his Meydan debut on Super Saturday. He completed a very steady canter over a circuit and a half of the all-weather training track under his regular work rider.

Debt Collector (NZ) - Remained in quarantine area. Trainer Cliff Brown said: “He travelled OK but it is a bit new to him. He is still quite a young horse. He will canter in the quarantine area tomorrow and go out on the grass on the main track.”

Vivlos (JPN) - Assistant Trainer Shinji Yasuda said: “She arrived in good condition. Today we hacked one lap and cantered another. I'll gallop her on Wednesday.”

Real Steel (JPN) - Assistant trainer Takahide Ando said: “Since he has done this trip before, he handled it very well. We are pleased with his current condition. Today he cantered just one lap, just to stretch him out before schooling with a pony. He will gallop on Wednesday on turf.”

Group 1 US$6m Longines Dubai Sheema Classic – 2410m (Turf) 

Earnshaw (USA) - Trainer Salem bin Ghadayer said: “He is a horse we have always really liked and keeps running well without, perhaps, enjoying much luck. It is a tough race but we are happy with him.”

Postponed (IRE) - Roger Varian’s assistant trainer Will Johnson was on hand to see the defending Dubai Sheema Classic champion stretching his legs on the all-weather training track.

“He just did a light canter, we’re just freshening him up after he did the majority of his work in his run earlier in the month,” said Johnson. “I couldn’t be happier - he’s tighter and moving well.

“He’ll do one more piece of work later in the week.”

Jack Hobbs (GB) – John Gosden’s charge cantered with a lead horse just after 8am on the all-weather training track.

Highland Reel (IRE) and Seventh Heaven (IRE) - Will be among the last batch of horses to arrive for the world’s richest raceday. They are scheduled to land from Ireland early on Tuesday morning as part of trainer Aidan O’Brien’s nine-strong team, the largest ever to represent Ballydoyle at the meeting. The squad will observe the usual 48 hours’ quarantine before appearing in public on Thursday morning.

Sounds Of Earth  (JPN) - Assistant Trainer Masaoki Nakata said: “He arrived in very good condition, similar to the way he is in Japan and is eating well. We'll be working him entirely on dirt. I'll ride him for his fast work on Wednesday, on the dirt course.”

Group 1 US$10m Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline – 2000m (Dirt)

Arrogate (USA) - Powered down the Meydan stretch before dawn in what trainer Bob Baffert said was an approximate 800m breeze, going at an easy clip under exercise rider Dana Barnes before exiting the track in big, springing strides and with his ears pricked.

Baffert said he did not have a stopwatch on the colt but probably went in about 50 seconds for the distance, just enough of a move to sharpen him for Saturday.

“He’s handling everything really well,” Baffert said of how Arrogate has responded to the long journey from his base in California and the adjustment to the Meydan quarantine stabling and the racetrack surface. 

“He looks good to me.” Baffert said Arrogate will walk in the stable area on Tuesday morning and return to train on the main track on Wednesday. 

While the only trainer not employed by Godolphin to win more than one Dubai World Cup, Baffert is keen to win more. “I’ve never won it here (at Meydan), and it’s totally different. I really liked that old track (Nad Al Sheba), but this is totally different (with) tighter turns. You need a lot of racing luck to get away from the gate. It becomes a jockey’s race.
   
“And you never know until they start turning for home – is the horse going to show up? As a trainer, you’re just hoping that at the quarter pole, they’re moving.”

Baffert said all the signs are positive but he pointed out that there is added pressure. "Because I brought this great horse over here and I don’t want to mess it up. It’s still a horse race, and when it’s a major race, I go into it focused. I don’t take anything for granted.

He also made a special point of saying it is a “greatest honour — like being inducted into an international hall of fame” to be associated with Juddmonte Farms owner Prince Khalid Abdullah.

“He’s been a pleasure to work with,” Baffert said. “I can’t believe they had a horse like Frankel, the best horse they’ve ever seen in Europe, and then they get a horse like Arrogate. (Prince Khalid) is doing something right. I’m just glad to be part of it. And I’m counting on Arrogate to get it done” and win the Dubai World Cup.
 
Hoppertunity (USA) - Arrived at the main track just after 7am. He picked up a gallop on the backstretch and accelerated around the far turn and down the stretch, going about 800m to tune up for Saturday’s race.

“He felt great,” exercise rider Dana Barnes said after the brief drill. 

“Hoppertunity has been training better than he ever has, and he really loves it here,” said trainer Bob Baffert, while comparing the six-year-old horse to the arcade game character Pac-Man. “He just keeps coming and gobbling up ground and getting checks, and you never know—one day he could get there (to win).”

Keen Ice (USA)—Now trained by Todd Pletcher, who sent the five-year-old out on Monday to gallop approximately 2200m under exercise rider Nick Bush. Pletcher’s assistant Ginny DePasquale said: “We’re very pleased with him,” she said. “Mentally, he’s completely changed.”

Neolithic (USA) - Galloped about 2200m and continued to appear alert and eager in his exercise.

“He’s been on his toes ever since he arrived,” said Ginny DePasquale, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. “It seems like he’s adapted unbelievably well.” DePasquale said all three of Pletcher’s trainees that have traveled to the UAE for the Dubai World Cup Carnival will continue to gallop during the week and will not have any speed drills.

Gun Runner (USA) - Breezed 800m in 49.4 seconds on Monday morning just after 5am at Meydan.  Exercise rider Carlos Rosas was aboard and assistant trainer Scott Blasi accompanied the pair to and from the racetrack aboard the stable pony.  

Rosas, who exercised 2008 Dubai World Cup winner Curlin (USA) for trainer Steve Asmussen, said: “He’s little but he’s all heart. He can really run.”

Special Fighter (IRE) – Jockey Fernando Jara sad: “Obviously he was fourth in the race last year, having won the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 on Super Saturday, but did not run again until that same race this year after a slightly troubled preparation.

“He will have needed that run quite badly so we had to be delighted he was second and he is certainly fitter now. It is a tough race, as you would expect, but it is great to be involved with a horse who has a chance of a big run.”

Furia Cruzada (CHI) - Trainer Erwan Charpy said: “We are delighted to be running in the Dubai World Cup and it is very rare for a filly or mare to do so but she is a very good performer who deserves her chance as she has done nothing wrong.

“She won the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 on her debut for us and was a bit unlucky on Super Saturday but was making up ground at the line and should run a big race.

“The likes of Arrogate will obviously be hard to beat but we are very pleased with her.”

Mubtaahij (IRE) - Trainer Mike de Kock said: “He won the UAE Derby two years ago and was second in the big race itself last year so conditions are clearly not an issue.

“We were very pleased with his comeback run when he was giving a lot of weight to some very good horses. Ideally we would have preferred two runs before Saturday but it was not feasible the way things panned out.

“His preparation at home has been very good and we are expecting another big run but Arrogate is obviously a genuine contender and the one we all have to beat.”

Long River (USA) – Trainer Salem bin Ghadayer said:  “We always knew he had the ability to win a big race so we were not overly surprised he won the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 on Super Saturday.

“He remains in great form but we know Saturday is going to be a much bigger test.”

Gold Dream (JPN) - The Group 1 February Stakes winner had a light work over Meydan’s dirt course early Monday morning in preparation under groom Hiroya Kinoshita, who said: "He was a little tired when he arrived but as of today he is back to normal. He cantered a lap and a half today and will gallop on Wednesday."