$6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1)
Cloth of Stars – Andre Fabre’s runner is always very keen when he comes out for his morning exercise. Lisa-Jane Graffard, the Godolphin representative from France, had already confirmed that this is typical behaviour for him and on Friday morning, when he came onto the dirt track at, in company of his stable companion Trais Fluors, he was eager to go. Ridden by Claude Scialacqua, his usual work rider, he took a keen hold when he cantered over 1400m.
Hawkbill – Hawkbill again had a gentle spin around trainer Charlie Appleby’s private training facility at Marmoon on the dirt, having had a blowout on the grass on Wednesday morning.
A winner at this year’s Dubai Racing Carnival in the Dubai City Of Gold Sponsored By Emirates SkyCargo (G2), the 5-year-old will be ridden again by William Buick.
“You just want each day to go quicker so you can get to Dubai World Cup night and we are almost there,” Appleby said. “He is what we would call a proper Godolphin horse – he is an international campaigner and past winner of an Eclipse in England and has put in several good runs in Group 1 races.
“His preparation has gone very well, thankfully, and I was delighted with him in the City Of Gold as he was coming off a long layoff – his last start before that was when he was just touched off in Canada last year in Group 1 company.
“He has a very straight-forward run style and William can either drop him in or make the running.”
Mozu Katchan – Ippo Sameshima sent his winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) to the dirt track and gave her an easy canter for one lap.
“Her mood is great. She exercised in the trotting ring yesterday, and today she is so motivated, she is not tense,” Sameshima said. “She is so relaxed when she at the barn and eats up well. As expected, she had lost her weight from the long trip to Dubai, but she has regained that, and she has been back in form, even better.”
Idaho – Came out with his stablemates at 7am for light exercise.
“He travelled over well which is probably the most important thing with him,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said. “His run in the Japan Cup was a cracker from a wide draw and he has gate two here. We’re thinking he has a good chance of being in the frame.”
Poet’s Word – Ever the early-bird worker, Poet’s Word had a pre-sunset alarm on Friday, the penultimate morning before he bids to become trainer Sir Michael Stoute’s second winner of the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic.
Partnered by regular work-rider Chas Robertson under the watchful gaze of Stoute and travelling head groom Sarah Denniff, Poet’s Word had his regular 7am work rota brought forward to a cooler 5am shift. He did a solo lap of the grass track at a steady canter and was heading back to the international barn by 5:15am.
Stoute reported: “His journey went well, and he’s happy and relaxed. I think he’d like to stay for a while; I know his lad Chas definitely would!
“It’s a tough race, as it’s entitled to be, but he’s in good shape and has run well in Group 1s, and I’d be very hopeful.”
Poet’s Word improved throughout his 4-year-old career in 2017, finishing second in both the Irish and British Champions Stakes, before disappointing on his first venture outside Europe in the Hong Kong Cup. Stoute said: “He had a bad draw in Hong Kong and came six wide on the turn, so we scrubbed a line through that and we start again.”
Stoute has two wins from 12 runners at the meeting – Singspiel in the famous 1997 Dubai World Cup and Fantastic Light, who won the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic in 2000, as well as narrow defeats in Saturday’s race for Fantastic Light and Spanish Moon.
He said: “It’s impossible to compare horses because every year is different. Poet’s Word is no Fantastic Light; he’s just a very reliable horse who I think is going to run a big race and take home some prize-money.”
Rey de Oro – Had a strong gallop on the dirt course. “We’re happy with his draw and he is training very well. It would be nice to be just off the pace in the race, but he can run well from anywhere.” trainer Kazuo Fujisawa said.
Satono Crown – Joined companion Neorealism to school at the receiving barn, saddling area and paddock before they working on the turf course.
“They have gone through everything they are likely to experience tomorrow, from the receiving barn to the turf course. They worked for 1000m this morning on turf,” trainer Noriyuki Hori said.
“Satono Crown has shifted into another gear after the fast workout and is ready. Neorealism is a bit too nervous sometimes, but this time he is more relaxed than in the past so I am very happy with him.”