Article Date: 29-March-2012
Trackwork Notes – Thursday March 29, 2012
Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, sponsored by Emirates NBD
A Shin Virgo– Did not appear on the main track or main turf track this morning.
Addictive Dream– The winner of two races at the Dubai World Cup Carnival was not on the main track this morning.
Better Be The One- Singapore-based trainer Michael Freedman is looking forward to linking up again with Irish jockey Kieren Fallon who will ride Better Be The One for him on Saturday.
Better Be The One finished third in the same race last year behind J J The Jetplane and War Artist, and Freedman, who arrived in Dubai this morning, said he was very pleased he had secured Fallon to ride him.
“He needs a strong jockey like Kieren and he has a hundred percent record for me,” he said.
Fallon’s only previous ride for Freedman was a win on a horse called California Dane at Moonee Valley about four years ago. Freedman brought Better Be The One earlier than last year and the five-year-old had a prep run at Meydan on February 23.
“He carried top weight and finished just behind the placegetters but he has come on a lot since that run.”
Eagle Regiment - Eagle Regiment worked on the all-weather but trainer Manfred Man offered a more qualified appraisal of his charge’s current state with post time fast approaching.
“He’s not 100 per cent, probably more like 80-something per cent. He can work fine – he worked well yesterday and today - and he looks fine and he will race well, but he has a problem in a foreleg that has caused lameness. He had an injury to a ligament after his last start and we have to be careful with him,” Man said.
“But you know he has won six times at Sha Tin and only two of those times he was 100 per cent. He has been able to win his other races because he is such a good horse.”
Invincible Ash – Mick Halford’s recent Meydan winner exercised on the main Turf track.
Joy And Fun - Former UAE Champion Jockey Brett Doyle is back to ride Joy And Fun as the duo bid to repeat their 2010 victory in the Al Quoz Sprint.
The race is over the minimum 1,000m on turf and Doyle said: "He is probably my favourite horse from my time in Hong Kong and won well here two years ago. He was then injured in Europe and took a while to get back to his best but he comes here in great nick. It looks a very strong heat but I am very hopeful of a very bold show."
Joy And Fun worked half-pace under trainer Derek Cruz on the all-weather track Thursday and the trainer could barely disguise his happiness with his veteran sprinter after pulling up.
“I have given him a decent hit-out and he’s pulled up not even blowing,” Cruz enthused. “He’s just so well and he loves it here. The work is all done now so he’ll probably stay back at the barn tomorrow. We’re just really looking forward to the big day.”
Margot Did – The four-year-old filly was confined to slower paces after her workout on the main track on Wednesday.
“She just had a walkout this morning and seems primed now,” said her trainer, Michael Bell. “The guns are loaded so let’s hope she fires on Saturday.”
Monsieur Joe / Prohibit- Monsieur Joe made his first appearance of the week on the main track, where he completed one circuit at a steady pace. The five-year-old has been on the premises for the Dubai World Cup Carnival duration, and is one of two runners for the Robert Cowell stable.
“He is thriving out here,” Cowell said. “Every time we raise the bar he seems to reach up and touch it. He has got to raise it again on Saturday, but you never know what an improving horse like him is capable of. Everything about Dubai suits him, including the weather.”
Prohibit has not visited the main track all week, with trainer Robert Cowell confining him to the training track.
“He would explode if I brought him out (to the main track),” Cowell said. “It is too busy, too many people; it would blow his mind.”
The seven-year-old, winner of the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in July, bids to improve on his fifth place in the Al Quoz Sprint last year. He made two unrewarding starts at the Dubai World Cup Carnival but Cowell is confident his ever-green sprinter will step up on Saturday.
“He was very dehydrated when he ran last time (on March 10) and the vets have done a great job because he seems absolutely spot on now,” Cowell said. “I’m hopeful he is back to his best. If so, he has a serious chance. It’s a strong race, no doubt about it. The winner will probably be the horse that has the clearest run.”
Nocturnal Affair- Third home for Ireland in the Meydan Sprint on March 10, also worked on the all-weather to the satisfaction of trainer David Marnane.
“He has been in great form all Carnival. I suppose he has to improve a little bit on his third-placed run last time but if he can run the time he did when he won his previous start that will put him in the shake-up. He is as good as I can have him, so we’re hopeful,” the Tipperary handler said.
Nocturnal Affair will be having his fifth start at the 2012 Dubai World Carnival on Saturday. The six-year-old has crossed swords with several of his Al Quoz Sprint rivals of late, including a defeat of Monsieur Joe, Inexile, Prohibit and Invincible Ash in a andicap over 1,000m on February 23.
After watching Nocturnal Affair at exercise Thursday morning, Marnane concluded: “I am delighted with the way he is training at the moment, although it is a tough race with several Group 1 winners there. But by horse is progressed all the time, he knows this place well.”
Of Nocturnal Affair’s chances, Marnane added: “It will be all about where the pace of the race is and it looks as though we have a pretty good draw (stall 5). There are some good ones around us, which is encouraging.”
Ortensia- Although Paul Messara, son of Australian breeding guru John Messara who first put the famed stallion Danehill on the Australian breeding scene, might be a relative novice to the training ranks, he is very laid-back about the prospects of the mare Ortensia in the Al Quoz Sprint.
“She’s done everything asked of her since she’s been here and the straight 1,000m on the turf will give her the chance to put in a strong finish,” he said.
Secret Asset– Jane Chapple-Hyam accompanied her grey on the main all-weather track for the first time after he cleared quarantine. The Group 1 Prix de l’Abbey runner-up will be having his first start in Dubai on Saturday.
“I am happy with him and I just took him to the stalls for a look. He is fine and has travelled well. He is drawn in stall 14 and we have a lot of the Europeans around us so we will know our company. He only flew in on Monday but you wouldn’t want him out here any longer. His jockey George Baker will ride him out tomorrow morning. Saturday will be a big day for me as I also have Mull Of Killough running in the Lincoln at Doncaster.
"He's had a history of being a problem at the gate, but hopefully that's all behind him now. This was as much to reassure the starter as the horse, but we've come a long way for an international race, and we don't want any last minute hitches. He's well and happy out here, he seems on good terms with himself,” she said.
Sole Power – Finished 14th in the Al Quoz last year and heads back to the race after a short-head second in a conditions race here on Super Saturday. Trainer Edward Lynam was again on hand to see him exercise on the main track.
The Irishman said: “He just did a steady canter on the all-weather. That is it now and he is ready for Saturday.
“He’s in great order and will come on for that good run here a few weeks back when he was touched off in second. I just hope they go fast enough to give him a tow into the race and so he can be covered up for as long as possible,” Lynam added.
Group 2 US$2 million UAE Derby, sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group
Balada Sale – trainer Pascal Bary arrived to see his filly Balade Sale canter on the all-weather. He said: “She is in very good form. She went for a good canter this morning and I think she will run well.”
Burano – Brian Meehan’s recent Meydan winner was not seen on the main track this morning.
Daddy Long Legs/Wrote – the Aidan O’Brien pair exercised on the main track for the second time with their elder stablemates.
Entifaadha – William Haggas’s three-year-old Dansili colt worked in company with stablemate Beaten Up on the main track. He raced once at the Dubai World Cup Carnival this year when second to fellow British raider Burano.
Haggas said: “He has been out here a while and I have been thrilled with him. He is in good form, but will need to be!”
Falls of Lora – The three-year-old filly won twice from six starts in Europe last year and stayed on well to score over this trip on her seasonal debut in the Group 3 UAE Oaks at Meydan when experiencing the all-weather for the first time in a race.
Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni said: “Falls Of Lora won the UAE Oaks well and deserves to take her chance in the UAE Derby which of course is a more competitive race.”
Genten – The three-year-old bay colt did not appear on the main track this morning.
Helmet – A top performer in Australia, Helmet has won six of his 12 starts including three Group 1’s - two over a 1,600m and one at 1,400m - last year. He missed the break when disappointing in the Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington on March 3.
Trainer Peter Snowden said: “Helmet has a few little issues - minor things which can affect his performance. For example on his last start in Australia, just as the starter pressed the button, he popped about two feet in the air. While he was in the air, the field has jumped and he was back in last, which is not the position this horse likes to be in. He is best breaking well and racing on the speed. I have always thought Helmet will get this sort of trip and he has adapted to the surface well.”
Kinglet – He was successful twice in four outings in Britain last year and has raced three times this term. The colt ran on well in the second of them to take the Group 3 UAE 2,000 Guineas at Meydan but finished mid-division last time out over this distance.
Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni said: “Kinglet was very disappointing last time and never really got going. We had doubts at the distance before the race but he was beaten a long way out and we feel he is worth another chance. He won the UAE 2,000 Guineas after all but obviously comes into this race with some questions to answer.”
Lucky Chappy – The connections of UAE Derby contender Lucky Chappy were able to breathe a sigh of relief on March 29 when the small but spirited colt galloped without misbehaving.
On the previous day, Lucky Chappy dislodged assistant trainer and exercise rider Alice Clapham from the saddle, and there was the possibility he could have run off and risked injury. But Clapham was able to hold on to the colt and resume their work session, revealing later that the son of High Chaparral is well known back at his home base in the United States for his antics during training.
“We’re quite used to it,” confirmed trainer Graham Motion after the March 29 gallop. “But everything went smoothly this morning. He had a proper gallop without any unusual events.”
Lucky Chappy, who began his career in Europe and trains better when accompanied by another horse or a string of horses, has been going out at Meydan with American champion filly Royal Delta. Since the filly breezed down the stretch on March 28, Clapham kept Lucky Chappy on his own and that’s when the trouble occurred.
Other than that incident, Motion said Lucky Chappy’s preparations have been outstanding, and Royal Delta has not only helped keep the colt focused on most days but also has led him through some very strong gallops that have honed his condition.
The UAE Derby is highly competitive this year, and Motion said he is not sure how to assess Lucky Chappy’s competition, which includes runners from South America, Europe, Japan and the UAE.
“As I read in a quote by Bob Baffert, this is one of the places where you take them over and you don’t know what to expect in the race—it’s so hard to evaluate,” Motion said. “But I guess that’s one of the things that makes it so special.”
Red Duke – Another of the British runners to have arrived on Monday and John Quinn’s three-year-old Hard Spun colt stepped out on the all-weather track for the first time Thursday.
Quinn said: “I am happy with him and everything is grand. He did an easy [1,600m] this morning and will do some more gentle work tomorrow. If he produces his best form from last year then he will have a good chance. His work at home has been good and his sire was a good horse on dirt and on grass.”
Yang Tse Kiang – French trainer Richard Chotard was at the track this morning to watch his UAE Derby hope Yang Tse Kiang canter on the all-weather. He said: “I wanted him to have a good blow this morning and he cantered over 400m. He looks very calm and I’m happy with him.”
Group 3 US$1 million Dubai Gold Cup, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors
Barbican– The sole runner from the Alan Bailey yard touched down on Monday and made a first track appearance Thursday. The four-year-old was most progressive last year and having only made his racecourse debut in February, he went on to win six of his 10 starts.
He was last seen scoring at Listed level at Kempton in November, and Bailey said: “He will be my first runner out here and he has travelled exceptionally well. He has settled in fine and not left any food. He arrived on Monday and just did a gentle canter this morning over [1,200m]. He is a horse who will never overdo himself and he idles when he gets to the front in a race. It does look a decent race but he loves a battle.”
Fox Hunt – The five-year-old always tries his hardest and has won both his races at Meydan this year, taking a 2,800m handicap on February 3 and the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy just under a month later from stable companion Opinion Poll. He finished a decent seventh in the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington, Australia at the end of last season.
Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni said: “Fox Hunt is a very consistent sort and has performed very well in Dubai this year. He is tough and durable and was at the top of his form when winning earlier this month. I hope he can continue to run up to his best in the Dubai Gold Cup.”
Grand Vent – The four-year-old colt had seven starts in France, winning twice including the 2,000m Group 2 Prix Noailles at Longchamp last year. He has had one outing in 2012 when seventh of 12 in a 2,000m handicap at Meydan on March 3.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “This is a big step up in trip but he gives the impression that he should stay and I am hoping he can run well.”
Joshua Tree – Marco Botti’s runner was another do to light exercise on the main all-weather track, and the trainer said: “He did his last serious piece of work on Sunday and he is in good form and ready for the race.”
Kasbah Bliss – Ridden by his usual work rider Fabrice Milord, did a slow canter once round the track, followed by a good canter, also once round the track. His rider said: “He is in good form, in fact, he was pulling my arms out.”
Makani Bisty – The Japanese contender had a routine work on the turf course. Trainer Yoshito Yahagi commented, “It was likely a bit firm on turf. The condition has been recovered at this point, and he worked very well. Jockey Futoshi Komaki will be up and give him a bit strong work on turf tomorrow morning.”
Opinion Poll - He had an excellent 2011 in Europe when winning two Group 2 Cup races at Goodwood and York, while he was also second in the Group 1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. The six-year-old reappeared in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy over 2,800m at Meydan on March 1 and ran well in second, 2 ½ behind stable companion Fox Hunt, whom he meets again.
Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni said: “Opinion Poll needed his first run of the year. He has improved for that and we’re looking forward to him running up to his best on Saturday.”
Group 2 US$1 million Godolphin Mile, sponsored by Etisalat
African Story– The British-bred five-year-old who has won two of his three starts on all-weather at Meydan this year, showing improved form especially when successful last time out in the Group 3 Burj Nahaar.
Trainier Saeed bin Suroor said: “African Story loves the surface and has done very well in Dubai this winter. I like him a lot and am happy with his condition going into the Godolphin Mile.”
Do It All – Formerly raced in America but showed his best form ever when making all to win the Group 2 Zabeel Mile on turf at Meydan on March 1.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “Do It All is multi-purpose as far as what he races on, winning three times on an artificial surface in America. He won well on turf on his most recent outing to earn his place in this race, which will be a tougher challenge for him. He is sound, fit and healthy.”
Red Jazz – the five-year-old bay horse saw the main track for the first time Thursday after stretching his legs on the training track on Wednesday. He completed one circuit in the hands of his big-race jockey, Michael Hills.
“He is in top form – in better shape than last year (when he finished third in the Godolphin Mile),” Hills said. “He came here a fit horse so we are just keeping him ticking over. I think he’s got a good chance on Saturday. The race doesn’t look as strong as last year and he couldn’t have had a better preparation.”
Richard's Kid - Satish Seemar reports that Richard's Kid will be having his final start for the trainer in the Godolphin Mile before returning to Bob Baffert in California.
Seemar explained: "He came to us from Bob Baffert, for whom he finished seventh in the 2010 Dubai World Cup, to be aimed at the big race itself in which he was 12th last year.
"He ran well first time back this year but not as well on Super Saturday thus did not get into the 2012 Dubai World Cup. The 1600m is probably his minimum trip but he is a quality horse who has just not really been able to show his best on Tapeta.
"Therefore he will go back to Bob Baffert and hopefully be prepared for another tilt at the Breeders' Cup Classic, a race he was sixth in back in 2009."
Sandagiyr – Comparatively lightly raced, the four-year-old colt has stepped up on his French form in two starts in Dubai this year, winning the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes on February 9 when African Story was a close third and then was beaten two and a half lengths by Do It All on returning to turf.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “Sandagiyr has enjoyed a good campaign during the Carnival, winning well in a Group Three on [the all-weather] and then running fourth behind Do It All in the Group Two Zabeel Mile on turf. I think a return to [the all-weather] will suit him but he needs to improve a bit to be in the shake-up.”
Western Aristocrat – Jeremy Noseda’s representative was another to have arrived in Dubai on Monday. He went to the training track this morning where he cantered a lap, and the trainer’s travelling head lad Alan Tate said: “It was getting quite hot when we worked him but he moved really well on the [all-weather] surface and Jeremy, who arrived in time to watch the work, was very pleased with him,.”
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