$1 million Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Azizi Developments (G1)
Blue Point – A prolific winning juvenile, the 4-year-old was third in the Commonwealth Cup (G1) over 1200m at Royal Ascot last summer and broke the track record there with a win in October.
The son of Shamardal has had only one run at Meydan and encouragingly took second behind Ertijaal in the Meydan Sprint (G2).
“He did a routine canter here at Marmoom this morning and will work on the grass tomorrow,” his trainer Charlie Appleby said. “He has come on for his last run and is in good form.”
Conquest Tsunami – Carrying jockey Victor Espinoza, who is best known in Dubai as the rider of 2016 Dubai World Cup winner California Chrome, Conquest Tsunami breezed about 600m before dawn on Tuesday morning on the dirt track in his last serious workout.
Trainer Peter Miller oversaw the move down the stretch while standing near the parade ring.
“‘Tsunami’ might be my best chance in that race,” said Miller, who also will send out Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner Stormy Liberal and Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint runner-up Richard’s Boy in the Al Quoz Sprint. “He’s sharp as a razor.”
While Miller said he was hoping that the drill would be a bit more leisurely, he was satisfied by each of the works turned in by his runners during the morning.
“They each went three-eighths (about 600m) to gallop out a half (-mile, about 800m), nothing fancy, just kind of stretched their legs and got a little blow. Basically, that will be the end of their training, for the most part.”
Miller said his quartet could just jog in the quarantine barn area for the rest of the week.
Ertijaal – Led a procession of Ali Rashid Al Rayhi’s Dubai World Cup-day runners in a steady 2400m canter on the dirt track on Tuesday morning.
“He’s doing very well,” Jilani Siddiqui, assistant to Al Rayhi, said. “We are very pleased with him. He will do some work on the training track turf on Thursday morning over about 800m, nice and steady and just breezing over the last 200m.”
Hit The Bid – “Just a routine canter on the turf course this morning,” trainer Darren Bunyan said. “He will breeze on it tomorrow. His preparation has gone perfectly.”
Holding Gold – Commitments with his widespread North American operation will keep trainer Mark Casse from saddling Holding Gold, so he has entrusted the horse’s care to his able assistant, Randi Melton.
On Tuesday morning while astride a pony, she accompanied Holding Gold to the main track for a routine 1600m gallop rather than his customary 2400m exercise.
Melton explained that the long walk from the stable area to the track and back again coupled with the shorter distance of the gallop is enough to keep the horse affectionately called ‘Goldie’ fresh and on his toes.
“He seems to be going better and better each day,” Melton said. “We have not galloped on the turf course, and I’m not sure if we’re going to. He really likes the main track surface, so it does not seem like he would need to. “
Holding Gold, who is owned and was bred by Mrs. Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation in Florida, will make his first start since a seventh-place finish and troubled trip in the 2017 Breeders’ cup Turf Sprint (G1).
Live Oak is one of North America’s leading racing and breeding operations and Mrs. Weber’s famed red polka dots on white silks have graced the winner’s circle at foremost tracks across the continent for nearly 50 years. She is the granddaughter of John T. Dorrance, the inventor of the formula for condensed soup and the founder the Campbell Soup Company.
Illustrious Lad – Trainer Peter Gelagotis and his assistant brother Manny are relishing their first trip to Dubai from their country base at Moe, two hours out of Melbourne, and Illustrious Lad, their 6-year-old contender, appears to be following suit.
Illustrious Lad, a cheaply-bought yearling who came within a whisker of breaking into Group 2-winning company when going down to Super Cash in the Schillaci Stakes over 1100m at Caulfield four starts ago, had his final serious work-out over the turf course under big-race jockey Anthony Darmanin.
“He breezed 1000m in even time and finished on the bridle, clocking 11 seconds for the final 220m,” Peter Gelagotis said. “He had his last proper gallop before leaving Australia at Cranbourne almost a fortnight ago, clocking the best time of the morning, and that told me he was back to form after he ran poorly at Caulfield last month. He drew a wide gate that day and didn’t like being crowded, so we put a line through it.
“I can’t fault him since he arrived in Dubai. He’s travelled well and his action is good. His best form puts him about a length behind our top-line sprinters, and he loves a straight track, where he can get clean air and plenty of galloping room. “
Music Magnate – Bjorn Baker, who trains Music Magnate for Bjorn Baker Racing and Cobbity Lodge Stud and Stables, is a master of social media and credits the communication method as a key to the successful acceleration of his operation. Within five minutes of boarding a flight with his wife en route from Australia to Dubai he posted a photo on Facebook with the following message:
“As we sit here on board our Emirates Dubai-bound aircraft, Andrea and I would just like to thank you all for the hundreds of well wishes sent our way. It means a lot. This trip-of-a-lifetime, courtesy of Dubai World Cup Carnival, already feels like winning for us and for Music Magnate’s owners. Anything else is the cream on top! Here we go.”
Richard’s Boy – Streaking through the darkness of the 5am training period, the gray Richard’s Boy turned in his final speed work by going about 600m in approximately :36 under jockey Kent Desormeaux.
The fact that Richard’s Boy, along with stablemate Conquest Tsunami, is here in Dubai and ready to run is something of a miracle, as trainer Peter Miller recalled that both were temporarily lost during the chaos and devastation of the fire that killed 43 horses at the San Luis Rey Downs training centre in California in December.
“We found Richard’s Boy on a backyard farm about ten miles (16km) away. We couldn’t find Conquest Tsunami for a few days,” said Miller, who suffered the loss of five horses under his care due to the blaze. “It was a nightmare.”
However, both horses have recovered well from the ordeal, and Miller said Richard’s Boy is particularly well-suited to international racing in the sense that he handles the stress of shipping and racing well.
“He’s a remarkable horse. I’ve never had a horse with as much energy as that horse. He travels and runs and travels and runs. He never seems to get tired, so he’s a pretty neat horse,” Miller said.
A 6-year-old gelding by Idiot Proof, Richard’s Boy finished fifth in last year’s Al Quoz Sprint after getting a bad start.
“We were supposed to have assistant starters with our horses. Somehow or another that didn’t happen. Hopefully, this year we can get assistant starters with my four horses and we can get a clean break,” Miller said.
Richard’s Boy recorded a career-best performance by finishing second to stablemate Stormy Liberal in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) last November.
Stormy Liberal – Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), Stormy Liberal flashed down the dirt track under Victor Espinoza, finishing an about 600m blowout a bit quicker than trainer Peter Miller had hoped for but looking like he was enjoying the experience.
“He was moving a little faster than I probably would have liked, but my horses are in good shape,” Miller said.
Miller has some question marks in his mind about Stormy Liberal since the 6-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding did not travel well to Hong Kong last December and finished a disappointing 11th in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint (G1). The trainer is hoping for a different experience in Dubai.
“He didn’t ship well over there (to Hong Kong), didn’t eat, didn’t have his energy. We’re hoping we see the real Stormy Liberal in Dubai, and if we do, I think he can be right there at the finish of the Al Quoz Sprint,” Miller said.
With four horses at Meydan to run at the meeting, Miller is looking forward to Saturday.
“It’s great. It’s a lot of work and it’s a lot of anxiety, with managing the help and figuring out who’s going to do everything,” noted the trainer, who also has to continue to oversee his stable based in California. “But it will be all worth it if we win.”
Washington DC – “I think he has come forward from last season,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said. “If you go through his form there are some very smart runs there, running second in a couple of Group 1 races. His training has been very good at home. I think he could run well. He has the ability and we are happy with him.”
$2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News (G1)
Jordan Sport – Again stayed at trainer Fawzi Nass’s barn at Al Quoz having had a visit to Meydan on Monday.
“He had a steady, slow 1000m canter at my place in Al Quoz and we’ll do the same each morning until the race day. He doesn’t to do a lot more and we look forward to Saturday,” Nass said.
Matera Sky – Japan’s hope in the 1200m sprint was out on the dirt track cantering a lap and a half before schooling in the paddock with other Japanese trainees.
“We trained him a little hard when we first arrived, so we have been taking it easy up through today,” groom and exercise rider Masaki Takano said. “Jockey Yutaka Take will ride him tomorrow for his final breeze over the dirt track.”
Mind Your Biscuits – Accompanied by his groom on the shank, the leggy chestnut picked up his gallop before breaking into an easy 400m breeze around the dirt track and galloped out strongly past the line for another 200m and leaving both trainer and rider grinning ear to ear.
Trainer and co-owner Chad Summers was on hand to watch and was pleased with the ease in which he powered down the track.
“Look at him, ears up,” Summers said. “He’s a different horse and if that’s good or bad remains to be seen. Last year I think he got overshadowed by Arrogate, but what he did from the 14 hole was phenomenal. This year’s race is tougher but I couldn’t be happier.”
Mind Your Biscuits will take advantage of schooling on Tuesday evening, riding in the horsebox from his barn to the receiving barn, walking through the tunnel and taking a few laps around the saddling area and the parade ring before heading home.
Muarrab – The Ali Rashid Al Rayhi trainee did not visit the track on Tuesday morning, instead remaining inside Grandstand Stables to complete some trot work. “He’s well,” assistant trainer, Gilani Siddiqui said. “He was on the track yesterday (Monday) and will be back out tomorrow.”
Reynaldothewizard – Regular work rider Paul Chandelier was back on board his old favourite Reynaldothewizard on Tuesday morning, as the 12-year-old wound down from his final sharp work-out. Big-race rider Richard Mullen took to the saddle when Reynaldothewizard breezed like a youngster over 600m on Monday.
Trainer Satish Seemar, who has guided Reynaldothewizard through nine, carefully managed seasons since he arrived in Dubai as a mid-season 3-year-old, said: “Like the rest of Saturday’s team, he did no more than a steady walk. He’s fine.”
Looking ahead to the gelding’s inevitable retirement, Seemar said: “He’s still running because he wants to do it. He’ll tell me when he’s ready to retire.”
Roy H – As jockey Kent Desormeaux shouted out “whoa, whoa, whoa,” American champion sprinter Roy H bounded powerfully around the turn on the dirt track after breezing eagerly through about 600m in approximately :37 in his final piece of serious work.
“That’s him—he’s full of vim and vigor. He kind of dragged Kent around there,” trainer Peter Miller said. “He’s coming into the race well and he handled the surface well. I think we brought the right horse to Dubai.”
“The horse is very aggressive and gets in the bridle,” Desormeaux said. “It’s my job to slow him down, and it’s my job to slow him down in (the early part of) the race. I spend more time trying to slow him down than pushing him forward. He’s an amazing horse.”
The jockey has ridden Roy H, a 6-year-old gelded son of More Than Ready, to three consecutive victories, including the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).
X Y Jet – Trainer Jorge Navarro changed his game plan with Dubai Golden Shaheen contender X Y Jet on Tuesday morning, sending the grey speedster to the dirt track in the 5am time slot rather than the 7am shift he had been utilising.
“I wanted to get him under the lights, like he will be for the race, “ Navarro said. “And I wanted to get that out of the way. “
X Y Jet, who can be difficult to ride, handled the assignment perfectly and did not test exercise rider Anthony Cruz, who steered him through about 2400m under the track spotlights.
“He’s ready, “Navarro said after watching X Y Jet stroll back after the work with his ears up and his expression bright. “I can’t wait for the race.”
$2 million UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2)
Gold Town – The son of Street Cry has been a brilliant winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas trial and the UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) itself on his two Meydan starts and will be bidding to go one place better than his sire, who was second in this race before winning the Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline, when he starts on Saturday.
“I am happy with how he has come through his last two races and he will have a final blowout tomorrow morning,” trainer Charlie Appleby said. “He couldn’t have done more than he has in his two races so far an hopefully he can put in another good performance at the weekend. He’s an improving horse.”
Mendelssohn, Threeandfourpence and Seahenge – “The three of them finished 1-2-3 at Dundalk earlier in the month with Mendelssohn winning from Threeandfourpence and Seahenge.,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said.
“Mendelssohn continues to improve and we think he can run a big race. He is by Scat Daddy and is quite a strong traveller so we will learn more about him at Meydan, in terms of maybe the Kentucky Derby. Threeandfourpence went forward in his last run at Dundalk and that might be what we do with him again. He is in good order and Seahenge, going up in distance will suit him, and we’re hoping he can get out of the stalls a bit sharper than last time.”
Rayya – Doug Watson will saddle Rayya for the final time on Saturday. The filly is set to join the Bob Baffert barn following Saturday’s test with an eye towards the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, at Churchill Downs.
Keen to send the talented chestnut off on a high note, Watson admits he’ll continue to keep close watch.
“I’m excited to see her go on to a career in America and it will be fun to watch her over the summer,” Watson said.
Rayya, who took the Group 3 UAE Oaks sponsored by Al Naboodah Construction Group last time out, enjoyed an easy Tuesday morning.
“She just hand walked this morning. She’ll be back to the track to gallop Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and walk Saturday,” Watson said. “She came out of the work yesterday really nicely, ate up, and we’re really happy with her.”
As the filly looks to take on the boys for the first time, Watson notes that her inside draw could be a huge advantage.
“I think it’s pretty important. We’re really hopeful with that one draw. I hope she runs a big race.” Watson said. “I don’t know how much speed the other horses have. It could work as a disadvantage if she breaks slow and gets stuck down in there with all the kickback. She usually breaks pretty well and has enough early speed to hold a position with whoever is going from the outside.”
Ruggero – Cantered for one and a half lap on the dirt track and schooled at the saddling area and the paddock under the work rider Daisuke Mizuide.
“He has good mood and looks happy. “assistant trainer Hisao Shiina said.
Taiki Ferveur – Taiki Ferveur was out on the dirt track galloping a lap and a half before schooling in the paddock with a group of other Japanese trainees.
“He worked really well this morning, “ trainer Mitsunori Makiura said. “He seems unfazed by the trip and looks just as I’d expect him to before a race in Japan. He is eating well We’ll post his final work out tomorrow on the dirt, but we couldn’t be happier with his progress. “
Yulong Warrior – Shrugging off the disappointment of a less than favourable draw, trainer Satish Seemar on Tuesday reported “all’s fine” for recent runaway winner Yulong Warrior.
Seemar watched Yulong Warrior work “nice and sharp” over 800m for Richard Mullen on his final piece of serious work on Monday morning, but within a few hours he learned that the former Irish-trained son of the 2002 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry had been allocated stall seven, with only two outside him.
“It’s not the perfect draw, because his experience is limited and I would have preferred a lower number, but we will live with it, ” Seemar said.
That apart, Yulong Warrior continues to please connections, including Chinese businessman Zhang Yie Shang, for whom he ran three times placed in Ireland last year before being sold to Seemar for £360,000. A weekend deal means he will revert to his original colours on Saturday.
$1 million Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – Disctrict One (G2)
Akito Crescent – The 6-year-old Japanese contender had a gallop on the dirt track for 1200m under his jockey Yutaka Take.
“He usually is not an easy horse, but he looks very settled in here, “Take said. “He is really fit and in good order. As this will be his final gallop before Saturday’s big event, I was told to work him for 1200m and drive him for the last 200m by the trainer. He picked it up nicely the last 200m. I think it was a good work today. This is my second time to ride him. Last time he was kind of a bad boy and was not easy to ride, but he has shown a big improvement today. He was waiting for my directions.”
When asked about the condition, Take said: “With the good weather lately, the dirt track looks good. He has some potent speed and should handle the surface. The front runners will have more advantages but hopefully tactically he can sit handily or close to the pace. The race will be the first one on the card, so I will be the one to make a good start for the rest of the Team Japan. “
Economic Model – When the plane carrying the American contingent of horses competing in Saturday’s races heads back overseas, the manifest will be missing Economic Model, who will remain in Dubai to carry the colours of his new connections. Meanwhile, Chad Brown remains the trainer of record and from his base in South Florida and is overseeing preparations for the biggest test of Economic Model’s career.
“Everything is fine and he’s doing very well ever since we got here. I don’t see any change in him at all,” assistant trainer Guezel Cruz said. “It’s amazing how well he’s handled all of the travel and what we are asking from him. He’s digging into the feed tub every day. “
Economic Model was purchased privately by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum following the horse’s victory in the Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park in Florida in his last start.
“I think he’s sitting on a big race,” Cruz said. “Everybody expects that and I hope he runs well.”
On Tuesday morning Economic model was hand-walked by Cruz in the stable area as the horse had worked 800m on the dirt track the day before.
Kimbear, Muntazah, Second Summer and Shamaal Nibras – It was a case of good news, bad news for trainer Doug Watson on Tuesday as he assessed the chances of his top contenders.
While Second Summer, Muntazah and Shamaal Nibras all drew favourable post positions, top chance Kimbear was stranded in gate 12 in the 14-horse field.
“Kimbear is doing super, but it’s a horrible draw,” Watson said. “He has enough early pace to get position, but I don’t know how the track will set up on the night.”
Despite the difficult draw, Watson is reticent to simply send the Kentucky-bred son of Temple City.
“We won’t push him to get the lead. There’s plenty of other pace in there that’s for sure,” Watson said. “We’ll probably just try to get him settled into a nice position and get a clean trip around there.”
Watson will entrust Pat Dobbs, who engineered a winning trip last time out in the Group 3 Burj Nahaar at Meydan, with finding a winning path.
“He’s doing well, but there’s a bit of luck involved now. He’ll need a good break to get position and then hope for the best,” Watson said.
Second Summer will need a revitalised performance to find the board on Saturday. A neck winner over a muddy track last year in this event, Second Summer has finished no better than fourth in four starts since.
“It’s been a lost season with him as he’s had a couple of niggling problems which has kept him from his best,” Watson said. “He’s very healthy and happy now. He’s bouncing off the track and we like that part of him, he just hasn’t finished off a race yet this year.”
The 6-year-old Summer Bird gelding may reap the benefits of his more forwardly placed stablemates as rider Sam Hitchcock takes over from Dobbs.
“The pace will be strong in front of him and he’ll be coming from off the pace,” Watson said. “Hopefully, Sam can find his way around there and, if he’s finishing, find the gaps to get the best possible placing
“It’s been a little speed favouring this year but there have been some horses that have come from off the pace. If it rained over Friday and Saturday it would probably improve our odds a little bit, but that’s not going to happen. I think he really liked that sloppy track last year.”
Rosa Imperial – The Andre Fabre runner did not leave the international stables, along with three stable companions, as they had all worked on Monday morning on the dirt track.
“This morning, all four horses remained in the international stables,” rider Amelie Foulon’ said, “We took them out at 7a.m. to walk them in hand for half an hour. They are all well. Tomorrow we will return to the dirt track.”
$1 million Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (G2)
Big Orange – Suffered a bout of setfast after cantering on training track yesterday morning. Walked around quarantine barn this morning, but did not go on to the track.
Dai Harrald – Worked over 1200m on the turf course around 7.15a.m. before being paddock schooled.
“He travelled over great and looks well,” Chris Durham, travelling head lad to trainer William Haggas, said. “He’s eating and drinking well and has really thrived off the heat here. It’s all systems go for Saturday.
“We did six furlongs (1200m) yesterday, did one lap on grass today and he’ll go over the six tomorrow, when he might have a blow in the last two furlongs (400m). We paddock schooled him today to get him used to his surroundings.”
Frontiersman – Frontiersman, second to stablemate Hawkbill in the Dubai City Of Gold Sponsored by Emirates Skycargo (G2) on his last start, will be trying the trip for only the second time, having finished third over the 3200m at Wolverhampton in January.
A winner at Newmarket in September, the 5-year-old was also second to Hawkbill in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (G2) in July and ran second to Highland Reel in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes on Derby weekend at Epsom.
“He has some good form to his name,” trainer Charlie Appleby said. “His last run was solid and I have been happy with him since. He just did routine work this morning and I will ask him to do a little more on the grass tomorrow to get him spot on for Saturday.”
Janszoon – Completed a steady canter over 2400m of the turf track on Tuesday morning.
“We are really very happy with him,” Gilani Siddiqui assistant to trainer, Ali Rashid Al Rayhi, said. “He’s going very well and we will do some faster work with him on Thursday morning on the turf training track. “
Rare Rhythm – The 6-year-old beat the talented Vazirabad in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy (G2) on his only Meydan outing and also won on both of his two racecourse appearances in the England last summer.
They were both handicap wins but he successfully graduated into Group company last time and will be trying his hand at the top level this weekend over the 3200m.
“He had light exercise here at Marmoom this morning and will have a final blowout tomorrow morning on the grass,” trainer Charlie Appleby said. “He hasn’t stood a lot of racing through his career but we have been happy with him since his last run, when he did beat a good horse.”
Sheikhzayedroad – Took to the dirt track under work rider Katy Reed.
“We went on the main track for a routine canter round today and tomorrow we are galloping on the grass on the main track,” Reed said.
The senior competitor continues to turn heads including that of his familiar training partner who feels Sheikhzayedroad can improve on his good third last out in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy.
“’Sheikhy’ seems in really good form and is now starting to come in his coat,” Reed said. “He has done well from his prep run here about a month ago.”
Torcedor –“He cantered a couple of laps of the dirt track,” jockey Colm O’Donoghue said. “He feels great; very happy in himself. I’m delighted with him.”
Vazirabad – Arrived on the dirt track at 7a.m. with his leader, the filly Canndera. Ridden by Eric Alloix, the grey gelding jogged very slowly once round the track, before cantering over 1600m.
Led by Canndera for the first 800m he then joined her in the final straight and Antoine Cretin, travelling head lad, said: “Vazirabad does not show much in the morning. He is always the same. So far, everything is OK.”
$1 million Dubai Kahayla Classic sponsored by Mubadala (G1)
Al Zahir and Barnamaj – The Purebred Arabian pair, trained by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi, joined their thoroughbred stablemates in a 2400m steady canter on the turf track on Tuesday morning.
“The two Arabians are going very well,” Al Rayhi’s assistant, Gilani Siddiqui, said. “They are both looking very strong and are exactly where we want them to be going into the Dubai Kahayla Classic.”
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