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Dubai World Cup 2015

Dubai World Cup 2015

Prince Bishop checkmates field for crowning glory- , I have never seen Hamdan so happy, decorated trainer Bin Surour says

On time ... IN Dubai World Cup 2015/March 28,2015 GoldenHorse Magazine News Tour2015 By©ParsaNedaeenia/GoldenHorse Magazine Chairman,International Photojournalist

Shaikh Hamdan receives Dubai World Cup

Dubai: African Story may have failed in its bid to rewrite history by becoming the first horse to win the Group 1 $10 million (Dh36.7 million) Dubai World Cup for the second time, a feat no horse has achieved in 20 years since the great race was first run back in 1996.
However, another astounding chapter was scripted by his stable companion Prince Bishop, who emerged as the first horse to win the 2,000 metre dirt battle at the fourth attempt. In doing so, he gifted all-conquering Emirati handler Saeed Bin Surour an unparalleled seventh success in the race which he first won in 1999 with Almutawakel.
Two days ago, jockey William Buick made an ominous comment when he said that Prince Bishop should have won the second and third rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge, a series that traditionally builds up to the Dubai World Cup. His boast was well and truly vindicated when the eight-year-old son of Dubawi delivered the performance of a lifetime to outshine a world class field headed by 2014 Horse of the Year and Kentucky Derby (G1) hero California Chrome.
Sent off at long odds of 14/1 Prince Bishop bravely coped with the dreaded kick-back for most of the trip before Buick produced him at the two furlong post, and the response was devastating. The Bishop made every move count to run comfortably and see off the challenge of the 5/4 favourite California Chrome, ridden by Victor Espinoza, with fellow American raide Lea, running on for third place.
“Obviously the horse should have won both Al Maktoum Challenges so Saeed and the whole team had a lot of faith in the horse going into the race,” said Buick.
“He has a very unorthodox way of racing so I took him around from the back and then got on California Chrome’s tail and he started to pick up the bridle and like the surface. He just kept going.
“This is his best and the biggest race. This win is for the entire team. I joined only in January and I am already a World Cup winner.
“I feel it in me that this is just the beginning. But all credit to the team. It’s all about teamwork. I give due credit to the horse as well as he executed the plan to perfection.
“In the end I feel that the best horse won. What appeals to me most about him is his huge heart and his ability to push himself.”
Bin Surour, who took home a seventh golden jockey’s whip as the winning trainer, said: “He’s the best and he has proved it tonight. I believed he is the one and he simply did not leave anything to chance with the way he finished the race.
“There were many who told me that he is used to jump early, but it really doesn’t matter to me as long as he went on to win cleanly.
“I am happy for everyone in the UAE for getting a seventh career win at the DWC night. But what is even more pleasing is the fact that Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, is a really happy man tonight,” he added. “I have not seen him so happy. This will be a great memory for the entire Al Maktoum family and it is such an honour to win it for them.
“In fact I am lucky to be working for them.”
Brazil’s Espinoza said California Chrome’s chances were compromised by the rough ride his dual Triple Crown winner endured at Meydan.
“He kind of bounced out of there running and stayed to the outside,” said Espinoza. “It seemed like the other horses were bumping me around in there on the first turn and then on the far turn.
“He kind of lost of his stride a little bit on the (home) turn because the horse on the inside (Hokko Tarumae) pushed me out. That kind of took some of the air out of his lungs. But overall, he ran awesome.”
Trainer Art Sherman took the defeat in his stride and said: “Second money [$2million] is not bad at all. He ran his eyeballs out. He was right there in contention all the way. He lost a little bit of ground but no excuses.
“Turning for home he had an equal chance. Just was second best today. That’s what happens in this game. The horse you think is going to win doesn’t always.”
Joel Rosario was full of praise for 2014 Donn Handicap (G1) winner Lea saying: “He ran his race. It was a very good race. He was always there for me, every time I asked him.
“I was on the inside. He didn’t like to be there. He kept trying and going. When I turned for home, if I had a little room, I think I could have been second. We weren’t going to beat the horse who won. He got the jump on us and was the best. I thought the leaders would tire. He did his best.”
Bill Mott, who won the inaugural Dubai World Cup with Cigar, also cited a rough passage had ruined Lea’s chance.
“We didn’t get the cleanest run. He dropped in and saved the ground and kind of got stuck there for awhile. He ran well.”

Good Luck For All...GoldenHorse Magazine News Tour...Parsa Nedaeenia

Press Release:

BISHOP IS THE DUBAI KING

With a huge crowd at Meydan cheering and jubilantly throwing their racing programmes in the air, Godolphin’s Prince Bishop (IRE) unleashed the run of his eight-year-old life to defeat American challengers California Chrome (USA) and Lea (USA) in the 20th anniversary renewal of the Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates.

Running in the colours of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Prince Bishop represents the eighth Dubai World Cup winner trained by  the Godolphin racing operation founded by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It was trainer Saeed bin Suroor’s seventh win.

“It’s a great result,” Bin Suroor exclaimed in between receiving kisses and hugs from many friends who ran to engulf him in the parade ring.

“I knew the horse had the class to win this race. Some horses improve with age, and it’s great to see him win. This is great for me and for everybody here.”

Jockey William Buick, who just last November signed a retainer with Godolphin, kept Prince Bishop to his task after he powered past California Chrome and early pacesetter Hokko Tarumae (JPN) in a matter of strides in a powerful stretch rally from just off the pace.

When they crossed the finish line, Buick blew a kiss to the crowd.

“I can’t believe it. This is surreal,” said the 26-year-old Buick. “I didn’t look back. I just kept going.”

Buick followed Bin Suroor’s instructions to stay clear of the kickback on Meydan’s new dirt track, and the trainer indicated that may have been the key to victory.

“Saeed and the whole team had a lot of faith in (Prince Bishop) going into the race today. He has a very unorthodox way of racing, so I took him out of the kickback in the back, and when I got onto California Chrome's tail, he picked up the bridle and listen, he ran on well in the end,” Buick said.

Prince Bishop, who had finished second by a neck to stablemate and 2014 Dubai World Cup winner African Story (GB) in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 at Meydan on March 7, crossed the finish line in track record time of 2:03.24 for the 2000m.

African Story finished well back in an attempt to defend his World Cup crown, checking in sixth in the field of nine.
California Chrome proved valiant in defeat, enduring some rough-and-tumble jostling around the turns after breaking from the outside post, and he finished a length and a quarter in front of his American-based rival Lea.

Racing for the inaugural Dubai World Cup-winning trainer Bill Mott, Lea was bottled up and checked while trying to rally from the rail in the stretch run but he also finished gamely.

Jockey Victor Espinoza said California Chrome “ran awesome.” Co-owner Steve Coburn hugged the jockey and kissed California Chrome on the nose as his voice choked with tears, saying: “You ran your eyeballs out. You are still America’s horse.”

“It seemed like the other horses were bumping me around in there on the first turn and then on the far turn,” Espinoza said. “He kind of lost his stride a little bit on the (home) turn because the horse on the inside (Hokko Tarumae) pushed me out. That kind of took some of the air out of his lungs.”

Jockey Joel Rosario said of Lea. “He ran his race—it was a very good race. He was always there for me, every time I asked him. I was on the inside and he didn't like to be there. He kept trying and going. When I turned for home, if I had a little room, I think I could have been second.”

Prince Bishop captured the lion’s share of the $10m purse, with $6m staying in Dubai with Godolphin. However, the Americans were well rewarded for coming to Dubai, with California Chrome earning $2m and Lea gaining $1m for their connections.

Following Lea across the finish line were Candy Boy (USA), Hokko Tarumae, African Story, Long River (USA), Side Glance (GB) and Epiphaneia (JPN).

Group 1 US$10m Dubai World Cup

sponsored by Emirates – 2000m (dirt)

William Buick (jockey, Prince Bishop (IRE), 1st) – “I don't go numb very often but I can't explain what I'm feeling right now.
“Obviously the horse should have won two Maktoum Challenges. Saeed (Bin Suroor, trainer) and the whole team had a lot of faith in him going into the race today.

“He has a very unorthodox way of racing so I took him out of the kickback in the back and when I got onto California Chrome's tail, he picked up the bridle and listen, he ran on well in the end. He likes the surface now that he has the experience. He is better than he was. This is just nuts.”

Victor Espinoza (jockey, California Chrome (USA), 2nd) – “He kind of bounced out of there running and stayed to the outside.
“It seemed like the other horses were bumping me around in there on the first turn and then on the far turn. He kind of lost of his stride a little bit on the (home) turn because the horse on the inside (Hokko Tarumae) pushed me out. That kind of took some of the air out of his lungs. But overall, he ran awesome.”

Steve Coburn (co-owner California Chrome (USA), 2nd) – “I am very proud. To send our horse halfway around the world to train on a track that he's not familiar with and to run that good, I'm very pleased.

“These horses over here are tough. They get to train on this track all the time. Sheikh Mohammad invited us to come over because he loves and believes in our horse. To run second behind one of his is a pretty good day.”

Art Sherman (trainer California Chrome (USA), 2nd) – “Second money is not bad at all. He ran his eyeballs out. He was right there in contention all the way. He lost a little bit of ground but no excuses.

“Turning for home he had an equal chance. Just was second best today. That's what happens in this game. The horse you think is going to win doesn't always.”

Joel Rosario (jockey, Lea (USA), 3rd) – “He ran his race. It was a very good race. He was always there for me, every time I asked him.

“I was on the inside. He didn't like to be there. He kept trying and going. When I turned for home, if I had a little room, I think I could have been second. We weren't going to beat the horse who won. He got the jump on us and was the best. I thought the leaders would tire. He did his best.”

Bill Mott (trainer, Lea (USA), 3rd) – “We didn't get the cleanest run. He dropped in and saved the ground and kind of got stuck there for awhile. He ran well.”

Pat Dobbs (jockey, Candy Boy (USA), 4th) – “He couldn’t handle the kickback. If he doesn’t handle it – you don’t win.”
Doug Watson (trainer, Candy Boy (USA), 4th) – “The horse was bit ring rusty. Happy with that and he is a good horse for next year.”

Hideaki Miyuki (jockey, Hokko Tarumae (JPN), 5th) – “He ran very well but he was shying and he lost a lot of energy. I think he handled the dirt better than the all-weather.”

James Doyle (jockey, African Story (GB), 6th) – “It is tough and it just shows that no horse has come back to win a second Dubai World Cup. It’s a great result for the whole team.”

Mickael Barzalona (jockey, Long River (USA), 7th) – “He was in trouble a long way out.”

Andrea Atzeni (jockey, Side Glance (GB), 8th) – “He dropped the bridle early on and just didn’t enjoy the surface. Such a shame.”

Christophe Soumillon (jockey, Epiphaneia (JPN), 9th) – “He just didn’t handle the kickback and that was it.”

DOLNIYA’S DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR SOUMILLO

The Aga Khan’s Dolniya (FR), trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre and ridden by Christophe Soumillon, made it a memorable hour for France at Meydan when running out the easy winner of the Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines.

In following on from the victory of Solow for Freddy Head and Maxime Guyon in the Dubai Turf, Dolniya also provided Soumillon with a double on the night after his win in the UAE Derby as she accounted for her high-class rivals in effortless style.

Soumillon said of his victory: “She was in very good form, the pace suited us. I was a bit scared before the race that the pace would be slow, so I came out fast in case I needed to make the running, but the pace was good and she accelerated well.”

Royer-Dupre had been confident of a big showing from Dolniya, describing her earlier in the week as a filly who had “improved throughout her three-year-old career and again from three to four.”

Dolniya broke alertly under Soumillon from gate two and led briefly before allowing Just The Judge (IRE) and Andrea Atzeni to take the lead and set steady fractions until the race began in earnest at the head of the stretch.

Japanese hopes One And Only  (JPN) and Harp Star (JPN) were in close attendance as Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Main Sequence (USA) improved his position after being slowly away behind Flintshire (GB) and Guyon.

In the stretch Just The Judge set sail for home, but her move was quickly covered by Dolniya and Soumillon, who took up the running with an impressive turn of foot and put the race to bed a long way from home, stopping the sponsor’s clock in 2.28.29.

Flintshire ran on to take second, two and a quarter lengths behind and never able to get in a serious blow at the winner, with One and Only (Cristian Demuro) staying on for third, another two lengths adrift.

Guyon said of Flintshire “I was able to follow the winner, but I could never catch her. We met a really good filly.”

Of the rest Main Sequence got into a good position but failed to deliver his usual closing kick, fading to seventh spot, just behind the early leader Just The Judge.

Hong Kong Derby star Designs on Rome (IRE) came from a long way off the pace for fourth spot, without ever looking to get closer, but jockey Joao Moreira was happy with his horse’s effort.

“The trip over here took its toll, but he put a lot of fight and heart into the race.”

Quotes for the Group 1 US$6m Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines

Christophe Soumillon (jockey, Dolniya (FR), 1st) – “She was in very good form. The pace suited us. I was a bit scared before the race that the pace would be slow, so I came out of the gates fast in case I needed to make the running.

“But finally the pace was good and it helped a lot, because every time in France there is no pace and she has a long acceleration.”

Maxime Guyon (jockey, Flintshire (GB), 2nd) – “I was just behind the leaders and coming into the straight I was able to follow the winner. He ran really well in the straight, but unfortunately he could never catch the winner. He met a really good filly.”

Cristian Demuro (jockey, One and Only (JPN), 3rd) – “He ran very good. A little more distance would be better.”

Joao Moreira (jockey, Designs on Rome (IRE), 4th) – “I am very proud with the way he fought back. He put a lot of fight and heart into the race. Unfortunately we were not able to win. It was his first race outside of Hong Kong and with the knowledge and experience, he will be even better.

“I was very happy with his run. I think he's the same horse over 2400m as he is over 2000m. He came from a long way back off the bridle today. The trip took its toll a little bit. He was a little thinner for this run than I wished.”

Martin Lane (jockey, Sheikhzayedroad (GB), 5th) – “He ran a blinder. We always knew he was up against it against proper Group 1 horses. We were very happy with the run.”

Andrea Atzenzi (jockey, Just the Judge (IRE), 6th) – “She hadn’t run for a long time and she needed the race.

“No one wanted to go on so I had to make the running. She’s a big mare and has a long season ahead. This will have brought her on a lot.”

Rajiv Maragh (jockey, Main Sequence (USA), 7th) – “A little disappointing because he didn’t come with his usual run. I was really happy that he put me up there really easily and I felt like I was in position coming off the turn to make a good run but unfortunately it just didn’t pan out today.”

Ryan Moore (jockey, Harp Star (JPN), 8th) – “She went fine. She was just disappointing tonight.”

James Doyle (jockey, True Story (GB), 9th) – “He had a lot to do in this company and it didn’t help that we had another horse on top of us. We were hopeful rather than confident and he was a bit out of his depth.”

SOLOW TAKES FLIGHT FOR GUYON

Solow (GB) came home solo to provide legendary French jockey-turned-trainer Freddy Head with a first Meydan success in the $6m Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World.

The veteran handler has a glittering roll of honour in the saddle and his ability to travel horses internationally has never been questionable with wonder filly Goldikova winning him three Breeders’ Cup Miles.

Head had been brimming with confidence in the days building up to the 1800m event and that confidence was transformed into sheer equine brilliance as his grey forged clear under Maxime Guyon.

Guyon swung relatively wide into the straight but appeared to have his nine rivals covered from some way out and he steered the five-year-old to a thumping four-and-a-half-length triumph over French Derby winner The Grey Gatsby (IRE), with Msawish (USA) a further three-quarter lengths adrift in third.

An impressive-looking individual, Solow had been raced over longer trips but has been a revelation dropped in distance and has now won his last five starts.

“This was a big test for the horse as he had never run in a Group 1 race but I could not have had him better and he has shown what a good horse he is,” said an ecstatic Head.

“Maxime rode a perfect race  - he was quiet and cool and he is among the best there is. This has been a long time coming with this horse but we now have him 100% and had to geld him to try to curb his growth as he was getting so big.

“This is my first ever winner in Dubai and it is brilliant as I love the place and I love coming here. I am thrilled too as I also train for HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum."

“I can’t tell you how good this horse is – he is a world champion. He can quicken and do anything you ask of him.
“The aim now is to come back and win this race again next year, but before then we will look at the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot.”

Guyon added: “That was unbelievable. We thought coming here that he was a very good horse and he was very easy to ride. Good horses make this job easy.

“This is my first Group 1 in Dubai so this win is an honour.”

The Grey Gatsby was having his first outing since beating Derby winner Australia in Ireland last September, and the four-year-old finished an honourable second under Ryan Moore.

His trainer Kevin Ryan said: “I was delighted with him. The winner has run well but my horse has run a good race and he’ll come on for it.

“I’d say we could go on to the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh now, and hopefully then Royal Ascot.”

 Quotes for the Group I US$6m Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World

Maxime Guyon (jockey, Solow (GB), 1st) – “That was unbelievable. We thought coming here that he was a very good horse and he was very easy to ride.

“Good horses make this job easy. This is my first Group 1 in Dubai so this win is an honour. This is my first ride in a Group 1 race since I have been contracted for the owners and it is fabulous to win this. And I think it's a first Group 1 for Freddy Head here in Dubai.

“I had a great race. Before the race we didn't know if there was pace or not, so the trainer told me if there is no one to go in front, you can go in front. But we went fast and I got a good position and he really had a great turn of foot and won very easily tonight.”

Freddy Head (trainer, Solow (GB), 1st) – “He is a very good horse. But this was a big test, as it was his first Group 1 race. But I couldn't have had him better and he showed what a good horse he is. Maxime Guyon rode him perfectly, very quiet, very cool. This is my first winner in Dubai, it's fabulous. He is one of the best I have trained.”

Kevin Ryan (trainer, The Grey Gatsby (IRE), 2nd) - “I was delighted with him. The winner has won well but my horse has run a good race and he’ll come on for it.

“I’d say we could go on to the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh now, and hopefully then Royal Ascot.”

Frankie Dettori (jockey, Mshawish (USA), 3rd) – “It was a good race. He was a bit fresh, as you know he had three days in the box with a sore foot. He ran on a good third and I'm delighted.
“Would he have been closer hadn't he been in the box? Yes, second, but I don't think we would have caught the winner.”
Bradley Weisbord (US racing adviser, Mshawish (USA), 3rd) – “I feel like we won the race.

“48-72 hours ago everyone was saying it’s a tendon, a suspensory (injury). Our vet diagnosed the problem quickly to be a bruised hoof.

“I can’t say enough about the team. Nick Bush and Ginny Depasquale lived with this horse 24 hours a day. Coordinated everything with (trainer) Todd Pletcher by phone. We soaked the hoof. No medication. No nothing. Pure horsemanship.”
Joao Moreira (jockey, Euro Charline (GB), 4th) – “It didn't happen the way we wished it to. She wound up in front, which was not the best place for her to be, but she jumped so well.

“She put two lengths in front of them going a slow tempo, I just couldn't hold her back and let someone else come across. She's coming back from a long break and ran a huge race.

“If she would have relaxed a little bit more she would have finished a little bit stronger. If we could have taken back and sat in the pocket in fourth she would have had an even better finish.”

Mickael Barzalona (jockey, Earnshaw (USA), 5th) – “He ran a beautiful race. He tried his best. We just got beaten by better horses today.”

Christophe Soumillon (jockey, Cladocera (GER), 6th) – “She was a bit shy when I took her between horses and she didn't quicken the way she did in her last race here. But the class of horse she ran against was better today.”

Johnny Geroudis (jockey, Umgiyo (AUS), 7th) – “The horse wasn't strong enough to compete in this class. Otherwise I had a clean trip, there are no excuses. That was a little bit stronger (competition) than he wanted tonight.”

Pat Dobbs (jockey, Limario (GER), 8th) – “He was travelling okay until they quickened in the straight and he couldn’t go with them. He’s been on the go for two years but still ran well enough.”

Oisin Murphy (jockey, Farraaj (IRE), 9th) – “The pace was solid enough. Euro Charline went on, and I didn’t expect the pace to be that solid.

“I was able to sit second, and that’s the way he races, but unfortunately it’s been three months since he’s had a run, he was short a piece of work and he got tired. But he’s a horse to look forward to.”

Andrea Atzeni (jockey, Trade Storm (GB), 10th) – “Not his day today. He’s a come-from-behind horse but he didn’t today.”

 SECRET CIRCLE ROUNDS THEM UP IN GOLDEN SHAHEEN

Secret Circle (USA) reasserted American primacy in the Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News courtesy of a determined, front-running victory as a tenacious Hong Kong challenge fell just short.

The winner, a dual Breeders’ Cup champion and runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint last November, was always prominent, vying for the lead out three-deep on the track for Victor Espinoza.

Having established a clear break by about a length at the furlong pole, the six-year-old entire found enough reserves in the stretch to repel the late thrust by the Sha Tin-trained Super Jockey (NZ), giving everything for Ryan Moore, by a head.
It was a race where it paid to be on the pace.

Another Hong Kong raider, Rich Tapestry (IRE), who helped force the early speed on the inside rail, travelled sweetly until 200m from home but couldn’t pull out any more in the finish and ran one and a quarter lengths further back in third. El Padrino (NZ) ran fourth for Singapore.

Winning jockey Victor Espinoza reported post-race: “What a thrill. He jumped well and we swung a little wide on the pace with the two Hong Kong horses inside me.

“The pace was good but we weren’t going too fast. Then he gave me a good kick at the top of the stretch and from that point I always felt we were going to do enough to win.”

Espinoza added: “The second horse came at us strongly but my guy battled real hard.
“He had the best American form in the race, running so well in Breeders’ Cups in the past, and now he has done the same here. He’s just a top-class sprinter. He’s really tough and he just wants to win.”

For trainer Bob Baffert, the result was his first success in the race having been second twice in the past.

This was the tenth victory for an American horse in 20 editions of the race and the winning time was 1 minute 10.64 seconds, the quickest thus far on the new Meydan dirt surface.

Quotes for the Group 1 US$2m Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News

Victor Espinoza (jockey, Secret Circle (USA), 1st) – “He jumped well. He swung wide with the two Hong Kong horses and he gave me a kick in the stretch. He was very brave at the finish to hang on. He’s a top class horse. All his American form proves that and he’s done the same here.”

Ryan Moore (jockey, Super Jockey (NZ), 2nd) – “He ran well and was staying on right to the line.”

Olivier Doleuze (jockey, Rich Tapestry (IRE), 3rd) – “I rode him to have a good position throughout the race and he did.

“He’s been very brave and he’s tough. He didn’t stop at any point and his form has been very consistent. We know he’s a horse who has got a lot of speed and we let him use it.”

Oscar Chavez (jockey, El Padrino (NZ), 4th) – “He didn’t miss the start but he just couldn’t go early.  He didn’t like the kickback. When I got him outside a few of the horses, he was just brilliant.”

Joel Rosario (jockey, Big Macher (USA), 5th) – “I kind of asked the (starter) to wait a little bit because (Big Macher) was moving around, but they just let them go so I missed the break.

“He ran a great race - he came flying after that. If he would have broken better, he could have finished better. Well, who knows? But probably. He tried hard, he gave me everything he had.”

Richard Baltas (trainer, Big Macher (USA), 5th) – “It was Breeders’ Cup revisited (when Big Macher lost all chance with a bad start).”

Pat Dobbs (jockey, Cool Cowboy (USA), 6th) – “He jumped very good but all the speed was on his inside. We drew 13 here and were good to stay on and finish where we did.”

Andrea Atzeni (jockey, Speed Hawk (USA), 7th) – “They went flat out from the start. The track is riding a bit deep and it probably did not suit him. He still ran consistently and he’ll be a good sprinter for the rest of the year.”

Oisin Murphy (jockey, United Color (USA), 9th) – “We did better than I expected. I was able to across and get a nice place among the leaders. He actually travelled not too bad. It's a big step up in class from a Group 3 to a Group 1. He was actually in front of Shaishee today though. Off the form from Super Saturday, he's run a big race.”

Paul Hanagan (jockey, Shaishee (USA), 10th) – “They went some gallop up front and he found it very hard to lie up.”

Kieren Fallon (jockey, Krypton Factor (GB), 12th) – “He doesn't want to be in the gate too long. And of course they couldn't get one horse in. I'm in the gate too long and with the hood off as well. So with no hood on, you miss the kick. And you miss the kick here, you are dead.”

Jose Lezcano (jockey, Montiridge (IRE), 13th) – “My horse missed the break.”

 

HUGHES TURNS UP THE POWER IN DUBAI

Sole Power (GB) has been among Europe's leading sprinters for many seasons but he has never excelled in Dubai.

All that changed at Meydan when the eight-year-old came with a beautifully timed run to win the Group 1 $1 million Al Quoz Spring Empowered by IPIC under Richard Hughes

It was the horse's 22nd run in a Group 1 race and his first victory in Dubai, which came at his ninth attempt.

Hughes showed exemplary timing in delivering the Edward Lynam-trained gelding from the rear. Last year's winner, Amber Sky (AUS), set blistering early fractions and fought hard to resist fellow Hong Kong challenger Peniaphobia (IRE) throughout the last 200m.

Peniaphobia eventually reeled in the trail-blazer inside the final furlong, yet no sooner had he seized the advantage than Hughes pounced closest to the stands' rail.

Owned by Sabena Power - whose husband, David, is founder of the Irish bookmaking giant Paddy Power - Sole Power tallied by a half-length from Peniaphobia, who had the same margin in hand of Green Mask (USA).

Frankie Dettori, who rode Green Mask, felt his horse would have finished closer had he not been isolated from the early pace in stall one. Amber Sky held on for fourth place ahead of Bundle Of Joy (AUS) and Sir Maximilian (IRE). The winner was timed at 57.24 seconds over the 1000m trip.

Hototo (GB) and Lancelot De Lac (ITY) were slow from the stalls and trailed throughout.

Sole Power could finish only seventh in this race 12 months ago, after which he blitzed to a Group 1 double in England. He also ran without zest when finishing twelfth of 16 runners in a Group 3 won by Sir Maximilian over the course and distance three weeks earlier.

"I dont know what Eddie (Lynam) has done to him since, but it worked," Hughes joked afterwards. "To ride any winner is a good feeling but big ones on this night take some beating."

Lynam was overjoyed to see his stable star finally come good in the desert. "He's put his CV up for (top European sprinter) today," he said.

"He has just come to himself, and on his day he was always capable of doing this."

This was the last time Hughes, a multiple champion jockey in England, will ride on Dubai World Cup night. He recently announced he is to retire from the saddle at the end of the season to embark on a training career.

Hughes will be the second high-profile rider Sole Power will see off into retirement. Sole Power was the regular mount of Johnny Murtagh until that jockey's retirement in 2013 - but there is no sign of the evergreen sprinter joining them.

Sole Power remains an explosive character - as he showed when carting his exercise rider on the all-weather training track here three days before the race.

He will now return to Lynam's stable in Ireland to be prepared for the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.MUBTAAHIJ TURNS DERBY INTO ONE-HORSE RACE

 With an eye-opening win in the $2 million UAE Derby sponsored by the Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum's three-year-old Mubtaahij (IRE) continued his charge towards the Kentucky Derby with a eight-length romp.

Breaking from the rail post in the field of nine, the Mike De Kock-trainee raced in the pocket behind a wall of front runners into the final turn.

He took over at the top of the stretch an increased his margin of victory to the wire. The timer stopped in 1:58.35 for 1900m on fast dirt.

“I was just behind the leaders and the pace was good, so I followed it into the straight, said jockey Christophe Soumillon, who was riding Mubtaahij for the first time.

"I was going very easily and as soon as I pressed the button it was all over. In the end, I kept some energy for the future, especially if he goes to the Kentucky Derby."

It was the fourth win in six lifetime starts for the son of Dubawi, whose lone loss on dirt came to Maftool (USA) in the UAE 2000 Guineas on February 12.

Last early on, Maftool rallied stoutly in the stretch and got up to secure second by three-quarters of a length over Japanese contender Golden Barows (USA), who was forwardly-placed throughout. It was another quarter length back to Motaa (KSA) in fourth.

“He was a bit naughty in the gate," said Maftool's rider Paul Hanagan. "He didn’t jump and that was the start of it.  He was never travelling at any stage. He stays, I just wish he could have helped me more.”

Mubtaahij earned 100 Kentucky Derby points for the victory and Maftool earned 50 for second. Both horses were early nominees to the American Triple Crown.

Quotes for the Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint empowered by IPIC

Richard Hughes (jockey, Sole Power (GB), 1st) – “After his last start I wasn’t strong on him as he was lacklustre that day. Edward (trainer Lynam) has worked on him and whatever he has done has paid off. Any winner is special but to win here is great.”

Doug Whyte (jockey, Peniaphobia (IRE), 2nd) – “He’s run a good race and has run true to form but the winner was too good on the day.”

Frankie Dettori (jockey, Green Mask (USA), 3rd) – “I was drawn one whereas the winner was toward the middle and the second was over in 16, so he’s run a huge race from that gate.”

Ryan Moore (jockey, Amber Sky (AUS), 4th) – “He has led and been taken on. He’s done very well.”

Joao Moreira (jockey, Bundle of Joy (AUS), 5th) – “At halfway he was really under pressure and he did very well to finish where he did in fifth.”

Kieran Fallon (jockey, Sir Maximilian (IRE), 6th) – “I didn’t break as well as I did last time and that makes a difference.

“In these close finishes, it can be the difference between winning and losing. Not that we would have won, but we should have been a lot closer than we were. We’ve beaten Sole Power before.”

Ian Williams (trainer, Sir Maximilian (IRE), 6th): “Ran great, just got a little out of his ground and had to make up an awful lot of ground from behind. Finished strong, there will be better days.”

Paul Hanagan (jockey, Farmah (USA), 7th) – “They went very hard up front which I knew they would. My filly struggled to go the pace. She came home well. She ran well.”

William Buick (jockey, Ahtoug (GB), 8th) – “They went very fast. He was struggling from the start, to be honest. Listen, he’s an older horse now and he was taking on good horses, so maybe he was not quite up to it.”

Martin Dwyer (jockey, Stepper Point (GB), 9th) – “He broke sharply. They went some gallop and he couldn’t live with them.”
Andrew Mullen (jockey, Caspar Netscher (GB), 10th) – “He was out of his comfort zone from the start. He’s really a six-furlong (1200m) horse.”

Christophe Soumillon (jockey, Via Africa (SAF), 11th) – “I think she could have done with another run (before). She also found the ground a bit soft for her.”

James Doyle (jockey, Mirza (GB), 12th) – “Unfortunately he missed his prep run so that puts you on the back foot. I was just always outpaced.”

Edwin Maldonado (jockey, Distinctiv Passion (USA), 13th) – “He was on the pace as we wanted but he found the track a little bit ‘slippy’ and he tired.”

Adam Kirby (jockey, Caspian Prince (IRE), 14th) – “He was covered in baby oil and jumped straight out of his girth. The saddle was on his tail after 30m. It was a nightmare.”

Luke Morris (jockey, Hototo (GB), 15th) – “He was very silly at the start. He’s never done it before but he threw the race away at the gate.”

Jim Crowley (jockey, Lancelot Du Lac (ITY), 16th) – “He’s run well at the Dubai World Cup Carnival but might have just gone over the top. He might not be up to this level anyway.”

 

PANTHER POUNCES FOR COOL KINGSCOTE

Brown Panther (GB) raced away from the field early in the straight to win the Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors by three and a quarter lengths and give connections including ex-England, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United football star Michael Owen success with their first runner at the Dubai World Cup meeting.

“Unbelievable” was the immediate reaction from Owen, who bred the six-year-old. Trainer Tom Dascombe had tasted success at the meeting in 2003 and 04 as assistant to Mike De Kock, while jockey Richard Kingscote only recently returned to riding after sustaining serious injuries in a five-horse race pile-up.

Brown Panther, the highest-rated runner going into the race, was reappearing for the first time since an unhappy trip to North America last autumn, which included having to be withdrawn after bolting on the way to the start, but he showed no signs of being too keen in the preliminaries, where he was accompanied by a pony, or in the race itself.

Kingscote held Brown Panther in second place as Mushreq (AUS) set a steady pace before edging off the rail on the run to the home turn, where he quickly sent his mount past the leader and into a three-length lead.

The move proved decisive, and success in the $1m race the biggest for each of horse, owners, trainer and jockey – was assured a long way out.

Mushreq’s stablemate Star Empire (SAF), fifth and third in the race for the last two years, stayed on in the straight to take a short-head verdict over Ahzeemah (IRE) for second place.
Havana Beat (IRE), who was always in the first half-dozen, and Dubday (GB), who was caught wide on the home turn, were fourth and fifth respectively but no match for the leaders.

As cool as his horse on pulling up, Kingscote said: “He was really relaxed today and I soon got into a nice position. After that, he looked after me all the way round.

“Brown Panther has been unbelievably good for my career and it means a lot to be in the winning position today.”

Dascombe was associated with four winners at the meeting from the De Kock yard before starting training on his own account, and to win under his own name with his first runner was “something special”, he said.

Dascombe added: “After 100m I was confident this could be our day, and really well done to Richard Kingscote. He kept telling me he was fit for the ride after his injury, and although I was a bit sceptical, he’s proved his point, and how.”

Owen, who owns Dascombe’s stable, as well as Brown Panther, in partnership with Andrew Black, laid off all congratulations in the direction of his team.

“All I do is sign the cheques,” Owen said. “There’s a massive difference between horse racing, where I can’t really have any influence, and football, where at least I could do something about what went on on the field.”

Quotes for the Group 2 US$2m UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group

Christophe Soumillon (jockey, Mubtaahij (IRE), 1st) – “I was just behind the leaders and the pace was good, so I followed it into the straight.

“I was going very easily and as soon as I pressed the button it was all over. In the end, I kept some energy for the future, especially if he goes to the Kentucky Derby.”

Paul Hanagan (jockey, Maftool (USA), 2nd) – “He was a bit naughty in the gate. He didn’t jump and that was the start of it. He was never travelling at any stage. He stays - I just wish he could have helped me more.”

Ryan Moore (jockey, Golden Barows (USA), 3rd) – “The pace was slow and I had pressure from the outside. They didn’t go very fast and he was keen early and didn’t relax. He didn’t really stay in the end but he’ll be okay. The 1900m was a little long, maybe 1600m is his best distance.”

Jose Lezcano (jockey, Motaa (KSA), 4th) – "He broke a little slow, but I think that's good, I didn't want to be too close when I let him relax, but he never did. He wanted to run off the whole way. He still ran good. He didn't relax. He just ran the whole way."

Joao Moreira (jockey, Tap That (JPN), 5th) – “He was feeling pressure most of the race from those outside horses. That took a little of his energy the last furlong but overall it was a very good effort.”

William Buick (jockey, Sir Fever (URU), 6th) – “I wanted to be up there (early). It wasn't what we wanted. From the gate it didn't work out for us.”

Kieren Fallon (jockey, Faithful Creek (IRE), 7th) – “He didn’t handle the track. They went a very quick pace but he’ll have his day.”

Kosei Miura (jockey, Dear Domus (JPN), 8th) – “The horse jumped well form the gate and settled in a very favourable position but another horse bumped him between the first and second turn. He did recover his rhythm in the end.”

Victor Espinoza (jockey, My Johnny Be Good (USA), 9th) – “I was off the pace. Pushed a little wide but he wasn’t good enough on the day.”
Mickael Barzalona (jockey, Alnajem Alfaiz (KSA), 10th) – “He didn’t handle the dirt. He didn’t like the kickback at all.”

TAMARKUZ PREVAILS IN STUNNING GODOLPHIN MILE

Any suggestions that the new dirt track at Meydan, which was opened at the start of the new season, favoured front runners were laid to rest with the last-to-first win by  Tarmarkuz (USA) in the Godolphin Mile sponsored By Meydan Sobha.

In a thrilling finish, Tamarkuz, owned by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and ridden by Paul Hanagan, got up in the last stride to win by a short head over Sloane Avenue (USA) with Free Wheeling(AUS) a length and a half away third.

The place-getters gave the front-running FrankyfourFingers (FR) at least four lengths start at the top of the straight and swamped him in the final 50m.

Considering that Tamarkuz fluffed the start, when he stepped backwards just as the gates opened, it would not have surprised if the US-bred five-year-old had been found wanting in such a tight finish after giving all his rivals a lead, but he kept sticking his nose out and he was the strongest at the finish.

Hanagan admitted he was concerned about conceding the early ground but did not panic and kept on improving through the field.

“He was the strongest on the line and it was great winning  one of the big races for ‘the boss’,” Hanagan said.

Tamarkuz is trained by Musabah  Al Muhairi, who is the UAE Champion trainer..

There was no doubt the solid pace throughout suited the late finishers and Tamarkuz has now won seven of his 13 starts.
Hanagan said winning a feature race on Dubai World Cup night rated up there with some of his wins in England, including the Oaks.

Among the disappointments in the race was Dark Emerald (IRE), who had gained something of a cult following in the lead up races earlier in the Dubai World Cup Carnival.

Dark Emerald was with the leaders until nearing the home turn when he started to weaken and was virtually pulled out of the race at the top of the straight.

Quotes for the Group 2 US$1m Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors

Richard Kingscote (jockey, Brown Panther (GB), 1st) –"He relaxed before the start today and had a pony with him.
“He cantered around here on Thursday and took it all in, and he has done that well.

“He felt great during the race and we got an early tow into it and we had a nice position. This horse has been unbelievably good to my career and to Tom’s (trainer, Dascombe). He means a lot to me and this is the biggest win of my career so far."

Christophe Soumillon (jockey, Star Empire (SAF), 2nd) – "I rode him like usual and when he started passing horses in the straight I thought he might be third or fourth. But the pace was quite good and my horse has real stamina. He finished lame last time so it was great to see him bounce back."

James Doyle (jockey, Ahzeemah (IRE), 3rd) – "It sounds silly but we were drawn wide in 15 and it took time to get across, but we did get over and get a nice position.

“We had a lovely trip around and he is a tough horse, it is just a shame we didn't keep second. I have no complaints and the winner looks a very good horse."

Ryan Moore (jockey, Havana Beat (IRE), 4th) – "He ran well. Honest horse. He's not better than them."

Frankie Dettori (jockey, Dubday (GB), 5th) – “My trip was okay. It was his first time at two miles (3200m) so it was a good effort.”
Paul Hanagan (jockey, Almoonqith (USA), 6th) – “I thought he ran fantastic but he probably just didn’t get home. He had every chance to get the trip, but he’s run well.”

Maxime Guyon (jockey, Bathyrhon (GER), 7th) – “He had a nice position. He didn’t pick up. First run of the season. Found it tough.”


Pat Dobbs (jockey, Meandre (FR), 8th) – “I didn’t have a great trip. He’s a funny horse – he didn’t travel very well. He probably wants soft ground to be at his best.”

William Buick (jockey, Marzocco (USA), 9th) – “Disappointing really. He ran badly. He was in the right place and then he went backwards.”

Wayne Smith (jockey, Brass Ring (GB), 10th) – “He was reluctant in rear. Then he made some headway but he was gone at the three-pole.”

Dane O’Neill (jockey, Mushreq (AUS), 11th) – “He had nice position early. He ran okay but just didn’t stay.”

Andrea Atzeni (jockey, Vaasa (IRE), 12th) – "One pace, one slow pace. But, look, he is okay. He gave me a great ride. I had a lovely spot but just couldn't go with them when they quickened."

Oisin Murphy (jockey, Dormello (IRE), 13th) – “We had an unfortunate draw with the one. We were shuffled back and ran even from there. The best horse won.”

Mickael Barzalona (jockey, Rio Tigre (IRE), 14th) – “You the saw the race. He was never travelling.”

Adrie De Vries (jockey, Cooptado (ARG), 15th) – "He was never happy when Brown Panther snuck in and I kind of clipped heels with him. He was never really going on the back straight and he pulled up immediately in the straight. There is probably something wrong with him.”

MANARK SPARKLES IN MEYDAN CURTAIN-RAISER

The 20th running of the Group 1 PA Dubai Kahayla Classic empowered by IPIC was a one-horse show when Manark (FR) turned his early lead into an overwhelming victory.

Ridden by Dane O’Neill, the six-year-old Manark beat a very fast-finishing Valiant Boy (FR) by two and a quarter lengths, while Raaziq (FR) finished a further three-quarter lengths back in third.

As to the fancied Qatari runner Djainka Des Forges (FR), she finished fourth.

It was a very fitting victory, as Manark is owned by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who was obviously delighted with the son of Mahabb.

“We started at Nad Al Sheba and now we are here and there is a huge crowd, which is wonderful,” said H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Trained by Erwan Charpy, Manark had never been tested over the 2000m trip on the new dirt track at Meydan, but he was never threatened and quickened easily in the final 400m.
His trainer said: “This horse is full of class. But he is not an easy horse to train.

“We work him with headgear and that has made all the difference. He has become more manageable, because before he was quite capable of running off.

“Already when he worked last time, Dane said that he was going the right way. Normally he is so buzzy, but he was cool in the pre-parade ring today and I was almost starting to worry, but then he came alive.

I looked at the race and thought there was no pace in it. We were drawn three on a lively track, so I told Dane not to worry if he made the running.”

O’Neill added: “It’s great to do it for the boss, Sheikh Hamdan, who is here. I just wanted him to relax wherever that happened to be. He wasn’t doing an awful lot in front.”

While Manark fulfilled his trainer’s expectations, his stable companion Versac PY, a winner at Meydan three weeks ago, was pulled up halfway through the race.

Charpy explained: “He is a very fast horse, but already the other day when he ran in Abu Dhabi the track was fast and he wasn’t ready to let himself down on the track. He is now an older horse and this track might have been a bit fast for him.”

The track certainly was fast, which Manark proved by breaking the track record after running the 2000m in 2:16:30. His trainer concluded: “He is still young, so he won’t run again this season and we will keep him for next year.”

Quotes for Group 2 US$1m Godolphin Mile sponsored by Meydan Sobha

Paul Hanagan (jockey, Tamarkuz (USA), 1st) – “He’s been so good from the stalls lately but this is such a big day, there’s a lot to take in.

“The whole occasion got to him. But he dug in so deeply. I didn’t know whether I’d won but when Frankie (Dettori) said, ‘Well done’ it made me feel good.”

Frankie Dettori (jockey, Sloane Avenue (USA), 2nd) – “From stall 15 we almost did the impossible. I had a clean run and we made the best of it from where I was. We just got outrun and he has run a great race.”

James Doyle (jockey, Free Wheeling (AUS), 3rd) – “It was a cracking run. He’s a tough horse and doesn’t know how to run a bad race. It was a tough ask on paper but he’s risen to the challenge and had a smooth run around, which helps.”

Mickael Barzalona (jockey, Frankyfourfingers (FR), 5th) – “I could do what I wanted in front but when I went to quicken, he didn’t respond like usual. It’s a bit disappointing.”

Marc Monaghan (jockey, Gold City (IRE), 6th) – “He was a bit slow to jump and got checked early. He just ran on in the straight a bit one-paced.”

Doug Watson (trainer, Layl (USA), 7th) – “The draw was no help. He couldn’t get a position and had to take back but he’s had a long, hard season. He’ll be a horse to look forward to next year.”

Christophe Soumillon (jockey, Prayer For Relief (USA), 8th) – “I had a rough run.”

Johnny Geroudis (jockey, Pylon (SAF), 9th) – “I was drawn badly and he got a little bit of a bad break, but under the circumstances he actually ran all right.”

Oisin Murphy (jockey, Forjatt (IRE), 10th) – “He couldn’t hold his position early, which got me in trouble from the start. You can’t come from behind on this surface.”

Richard Mullen (jockey, Surfer (USA), 12th) – “I was told to be handy from the 16 draw and had to use him early to get a position so he had nothing left in the straight.”

Jose Lezcano (jockey, Bradester, 13th): “He jumped a step behind. He was caught in traffic and when he got clear, the race was over.”

Adam Kirby (jockey, Dark Emerald (IRE), 14th) – "You never know until you run on it (dirt) and we didn't know. He was brilliant and perfect the first half of the race, but when I asked him to start lengthening on it he just didn't go anywhere. He was uncomfortable on that going."

Ryan Moore (jockey, Graphic (IRE), 15th) – “Outpaced.”

Quotes for the US$1m Dubai Kahayla Classic empowered by IPIC

Dane O’Neill (jockey, Manark (FR), 1st) – “It’s nice to do it for the boss Sheikh Hamdan, who is here. I just wanted him to relax, wherever that happened to be.  He wasn’t doing a lot in front and won quite well.”

Erwan Charpy (trainer, Manark (FR), 1st) – “He’s normally so buzzy. He’s was so cool in the pre-parade that I was starting to worry but then he came alive.  We were drawn three on a lively track so I told Dane not to worry if he made the running. I couldn’t relax until the line because I’ve been close before and caught in the final strides.”

Joel Rosario (jockey, Valiant Boy (FR), 2nd) – “I got blocked at one stage and wanted to be closer to the pace but it didn’t happen. He’s run great and faced the kick back perfectly. It rode like a good race.”

Kieren Fallon (jockey, Raaziq (FR), 3rd) – “He’s run a great race.  If I had asked him sooner, it might have been different, but it’s hard to tell.”

Richard Mullen (jockey, Djainka Des Forges (FR), 4th) – “Travelled lovely. Had a smashing run.  Just when I wanted her to lengthen, she just started to scramble and she’ll be better next year.”

Adrie De Vries (jockey, Abu Alabyad (FR), 5th) – “He's a mile and a half horse and a turf horse. I gave him a chance to go on today, last time I forced him a little too much. I gave him a chance. He handled the kickback, he made up a lot of ground. He just needs an extra two furlongs."

Royston Ffrench (jockey, Af Lafeh (AE), 6th) – “My horse ran OK but the winner was always going to win if he stayed, and he did.”

Pat Dobbs (jockey, Callateral (US), 7th) – “I was never on the bridle.”

Tadhg O’Shea (jockey, Richlore (US), 8th) – “She comes from behind.  She was a long way back. She wasn’t good enough.”

Szczepan Mazur (jockey, Vulcain Du Clos (FR), 9th) – “They went very fast and I was always at the back.”

Cristian Demuro (jockey, Myra De Monlau (FR), 10th) – “She ran for the first time on the dirt and she didn’t like it too much. She ran OK.”

Harry Bentley (jockey, Taraf (QA), 11th) – “I was off the bridle 800m out and struggling.  The surface might have been a concern but she’s had a long season.”

Richard Hughes (jockey, Maseh ASF (GB), 12th) – “Just not good enough.”

Wayne Smith (jockey, Bigg N Rich (US), 13th) – “I travelled up there nicely but from five furlongs out, my horse went a little bit wrong and he’s come back slightly lame.”

Paul Hanagan (jockey, Versac PY (FR), 14th) – “I was never happy going straight from the gate. Halfway down the back straight it was time to call it a day. He was never ever happy. He should have been travelling better. I took care of the horse.”

 Cigar to African Story

Dubai World Cup Marks Two Decades of Memorable Moments
Some of the UAE’s Most Celebrated Brands Back World’s Richest Race

The history of the Dubai World Cup, from Cigar to African Story, Nad Al Sheba to Meydan, will reach a major chapter in its narrative this Saturday March 28, 2015 when the 20th renewal of the US$30m race day gets underway.

The most anticipated event on Dubai’s social and sporting calendar, the Dubai World Cup has attracted the partnerships of some of the UAE, and the world’s, most distinguished brands.

Meydan’s eight Pillar Partners are key to the event’s success, with some sponsors having been in association with the event since its inauguration in 1996.

Title sponsor Emirates is one of the raceday’s longest-serving partners and has maintained a relationship with the Group 1 $10m Dubai World Cup since the very beginning.

Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Centre said:
“Over the past 20 years, the Dubai World Cup has firmly established itself as one of the world’s top racing challenges and a favourite on Dubai’s social calendar.

“Emirates is proud to have supported this success since 1996, and hopes to continue to do so in years to come. Our affinity with horse racing is strong in the UAE through the Dubai World Cup and also our partnership with the Godolphin stables. The sport has always been part of the culture of the people of the United Arab Emirates and we enjoy supporting events which take place in our home base.

“This partnership is proof of our confidence in the continued international growth of Emirates, and in the growth of Dubai as a regional hub for business, tourism and sports.”

Official Timekeeper Longines is another brand that has enjoyed a long association with the race day. The global luxury watch company presents the Group 1 $6m Dubai Sheema Classic, one of the most pre-eminent turf races in the world.
Mr. Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing said:  “Longines is delighted to be the Official Timekeeper of all events organised by the Meydan Group and to present a highlight of the Dubai World Cup - the Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines. This year is very special since this race is celebrating its 20th renewal. Indeed, these past two decades have seen the Dubai World Cup entering the realm of legend and becoming a much-awaited event for all top racing aficionados and elegant-events goers.”

DP World, a new Meydan Pillar Partner for 2015, sponsors the Group 1 $6m Dubai Turf and was also a fixture at the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival.

HE Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World, said:  “Dubai has a world class reputation for the staging of world class sports and we have been actively involved in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai Golf Championship over many years. The Dubai World Cup is one such stand out evening and attracts a star-studded cast of equine competitors.

“With such a global reputation we are honoured to be one of the Pillar Partners and to sponsor one of the major races on the night, the Group 1 Dubai Turf and over the next five years in the run up to Expo 2020. The occasion provides us with a tremendous opportunity to reach out to our international audiences as well as positioning Dubai as a hub for sport, tourism and trade.”

Leading UAE newspaper, Gulf News has been the sponsor of one of the two raceday sprints, the $2m Dubai Golden Shaheen since 1996.

“This year the Dubai World Cup is very special for us as we are celebrating not only its 20th running, but also the 20th running of the Dubai Golden Shaheen, the $2m Group 1, 1200m race sponsored by Gulf News since 1996”, said Duleep George, Executive Director – Strategy & Marketing, Al Nisr Group.

“Our association with this premier event is threefold; we are Race Sponsor, Official Newspaper and the Publisher of the Dubai World Cup Guide. It is a matter of great pride for us that apart from the Title Sponsor, only Gulf News has been a Race Sponsor since inception 20 years ago to date,” he further added.

When IPIC, already the sponsor of the $1m Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, added the Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic to their portfolio at the start of the 2015 race season, the company became the first Pillar Partner to empower two races on Dubai World Cup day. Prize money for the Dubai Kahayla Classic was raised to $1m to mark the occasion.

“IPIC is proud to be the pillar partner for Meydan and we are pleased with all the positive results that have been achieved through this sponsorship. IPIC is also proud to empower the Dubai Kahayla Classic for Purebred Arabians and the Al Quoz Sprint with prize money of $1m each; to become the first company to sponsor two races on Dubai World Cup day,” said HE Khadem Al Qubaisi, Managing Director of IPIC.

The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group sponsors the Group 2 UAE Derby, an important race for Classic-aged colts and fillies.

“Dubai World Cup is always a magnificent event,” said Abdullah Mohammed Juma Al Naboodah, Chairman of Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Holding LLC. “This year will be no exception, and actually even more special as Meydan and the racing calendar mark the 20th renewal of Dubai World Cup.

The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group were involved from the very start, sponsoring a race 20 years ago.  It is fantastic to still be so heavily involved.  We recently signed another partnership contract, this time for 5 years.  I think this shows our commitment to the racing fraternity and to Dubai too.

“I am very much looking forward to the big day.”

The Group 2 $1m Dubai Gold Cup is held on Meydan’s turf track and has been sponsored by Al Tayer Motors for four years.

One of the UAE’s premier automobile dealerships, Al Tayer Motors has been associated with equestrian sports for many years. It sponsors two race evenings every season, which are part of Racing at Meydan and Dubai World Cup Carnival, in addition to the Gamilati Endurance Cup for Mares.

The dealership is sponsoring the Dubai Gold Cup on the main race day for the fourth consecutive year.

Speaking about the sponsorship Chief Executive Officer, Ashok Khanna said: “The Dubai World Cup, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has firmly positioned itself as one of the best equestrian events attracting the finest international talents.

“It is one of the main highlights of this amazing city’s social and sporting calendar and provides us with an incomparable opportunity to position Al Tayer Motors among the best experiences that Dubai offers.”

Development company Meydan Soba sponsors the Godolphin Mile.

“We are truly honoured to be to be part of the world’s richest day in horse racing, the Dubai World Cup, as it marks its 20th season this year,” said Mr Mohammed Al Shehhi, Meydan group Board Member.

“As sponsor of the prestigious race for the second year running this is a fantastic platform for Meydan Sobha to update affluent individuals from around the world on Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City - District One.

The sponsorship positions Meydan Sobha as a supporter of the rich UAE horsing racing heritage and we are delighted to join the already impressive list of Pillar Partners. We look forward to an exciting racing season on the track.”

Saeed Al Tayer, Meydan Group chairman said: “The involvement of so many distinguished brands in our showpiece race day is a testament to the support and passion that exists for horse racing in the UAE. The Dubai World Cup is one of the most important race meetings in the world and serves a dual purpose of marketing our wonderful city to visitors and the millions who watch this event on television as well as bringing together the world’s best racehorses in the spirit of competition.

“Dubai is renowned for its staging of world-class events and the Dubai World Cup, now in its landmark 20th renewal, serves as a highlight among them.”
 

Be part of the narrative of the Dubai World Cup – buy tickets at www.dubairacingclub.com.

Get involved on Twitter @DRC_Meydan or @DWC_Meydan, on Instagram @DRC_Meydan or via our Dubai Racing Club or Dubai World Cup facebook pages.

DWC 2015 Trackwork Notes - Thursday, March 26

Group 1 US $1m Dubai Kahayla Classic empowered by IPIC – 2000m (Dirt)
Bigg N Rich (US) – Trained by Eric Lemartinel in Abu Dhabi, he only did a steady canter on Friday morning.

The trainer confirmed: “He didn’t need a lot of work anyway as he ran not long ago. So this morning he did just a slow canter and I’m happy with him. He was drawn seven and that is a good draw as he likes to travel with the pace.”

Djainka Des Forges (FR) and Taraf (QA) – Julian Smart saddles both.

“They are two nice mares,” he said: “Djainka was second in this last year before a big win in France. She has really settled in well.

“Taraf has not been eating as well as I would have liked but hopefully both will run well.”

Smart returned to Dubai on Friday morning after a successful day in Qatar that yielded two winners on Thursday.

Djainka Des Forges and Taraf only trotted on the main track at Meydan on Friday morning and he said: “Both of them worked on Thursday morning, so they just came out and trotted once round. They walked to the track, stretched their legs and are ready for tomorrow.”

On Djainka Des Forges’ draw, he commented: “She is drawn 14 from 15, not dissimilar to last year but I’m not disappointed as it is the first time for her on the dirt and we shall find out quickly if she handles the kickback or not.”

Manark (FR), Versac PY (FR) –  “I’m very happy with my horses but I don’t know a lot about some of the others,’’ trainer Erwan Charpy said.

“They include winners from France and the US, so it won’t be easy. If he stays, Manark will be a big player. Versac won on Super Saturday and these are his ideal conditions.”

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

Bradester (USA) – Keeping to a schedule designed by trainer Eddie Kenneally, he appeared very early in the morning. Ridden by Julie Stormfelt, Bradester jogged 1600m and galloped 2400m, leaving Kenneally feeling very upbeat a day before the race.

“He’s doing really well. We were out early because he does better when it’s quiet. He’s on a schedule and he’s doing great in this routine,” said the Irish-born trainer now based in the US.

Kenneally described the 16-runner field as “a solid group of horses” but with no dominant favourite. “Maybe that’s why it’s such a big field—everyone is taking a shot, like we are,” he said.

Dark Emerald (IRE) – “He didn’t go out (on the track) this morning because I think he’s done enough,” said trainer Brendan Powell. “He’s a very laid-back horse and his weight has remained the same at his past four starts.”

Forjatt (IRE) – Represents Dhruba Selvaratnam who said: “We have kept him fresh for this after his Jebel Ali Mile victory. He is fit and well but could have been drawn better.”

Gold City (IRE), Surfer (USA) – Satish Seemar was disappointed with the draw for Surfer but happy with that of Gold City.

“Surfer could not be drawn any worse,” said Seemar. “He would be very competitive from a decent draw but it would be just short of a miracle to win from that wide. Gold City will be staying on so his draw is less of a problem.”

Graphic (IRE) – Thirty members of the Royal Ascot Racing Club have arrived in Dubai to cheer on their recent Wolverhampton winner as he faces his toughest assignment to date.

Club representative Alex Smith reported: “He did all his work last week and cantered over the grass track on Thursday, so he was just led out in the stable area on Friday morning. He’s done all the right things and is very relaxed. We want him to be fresh for the race, which is when he runs best.”

Graphic will be tackling dirt for the first time. Smith added: “Although he’s a versatile horse, the surface is the unknown quantity, but we’ve got the best jockey in the world in Ryan Moore, so that’s a huge bonus.”

Layl (USA) – Layl will be saddled by Doug Watson. “We were so hopeful before the draw,” said Watson. “We will need plenty of luck from out there.”

Nolohay (IRE), Tamarkuz (USA) – Both represent Musabah Al Muhairi who said: “Conditions suit them both and we are really looking forward to this race.”

Quadrivium (USA) – As was the plan, the Graham Motion-trained Quadrivium had a mile jog on the training track in the quarantine area.  Motion indicated the son of Henrythenavigator will do the same tomorrow morning.

Sloane Avenue (USA) – The draw apart – gate 15 of 16 – everything is spot on for the lightly-raced four-year-old, according to trainer Jeremy Noseda, who came closest to success with six previous runners on the Dubai World Cup programme when Wilko ran second in the big race nine years ago.

Friday’s exercise for Sloane Avenue comprised a mix of cantering and trotting for 1200m of the main dirt track, after which Noseda said: “All the serious work has been done, so this is an easy day, and I’m delighted with him.”

Group 2 US$1m Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors – 3200m (Turf)
 

Ahzeemah (IRE) – Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor said: "We were disappointed with his last race (when eighth in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy empowered by IPIC).
“We found nothing wrong with him when we checked him over, so I think you just have to forget that run. He is usually very consistent. It is important to him to be handy in a race, so we will try to make that happen. If he is back to his best he will have a chance."
Almoonqith (USA), Mushreq (AUS), Star Empire (SAF) – All represent Mike De Kock.

“Star Empire should run his usual solid race but Mushreq needs to prove he stays,” said De Kock. “Almoonqith is probably our main chance.”

Bathyrhon (GER) – Pia Brandt was following Bathyrhon home after his morning canter on the main track at Meydan, when she said: “He just went round once. He did a slow canter.

“I liked him better this morning than yesterday when he seemed a bit more nervous. But it was probably because there were so many people here. He was more relaxed this morning. At the same time, he is fresh, which is good.”

Brown Panther (GB) – After going through a relatively strong work-out on the main turf track on Thursday, the highest-rated contender carried his head low under restraint as big-race rider Richard Kingscote took him on an exercise of walking and cantering over two circuits of the grass surface at the training track.

Trainer Tom Dascombe, who was looking forward to welcoming the six-year-old’s joint-owner, ex-England football international Michael Owen and his family later on Friday, said: “He’s a professional, taking it all in, and I couldn’t be happier with his condition.”

Cooptado (ARG), Meandre (FR) – Doug Watson saddles both Meandre and Cooptado. “Both have been working well,” said Watson. “It is a tough race but they should be competitive.”

Dormello (IRE) – Dhruba Selvaratnam relies on Dormello  and said: “He won well at Abu Dhabi last time and should stay the longer trip as they tend not to go too fast in these

Dubday (GB) – Dubday represents Qatar and trainer Jassim Al Ghazali who said: “He is a very nice horse and should stay. We are very hopeful.”

Havana Beat (IRE) – Stayed on the training track for his final light exercise this morning and has pleased connections with his progress since his prep run, when finishing fourth at Meydan last month.

Marzocco (USA) – John Gosden’s Godolphin representative again had a breeze around the main track and moved nicely on the grass.

“He has travelled over well, is in good form and I have been happy with him,” said Gosden of his recent all-weather winner.

“He went round the turf track and stretched his legs this morning, and he did no more than that. I think that the trip will suit him as will the track. He was a late invite to the race and the race does have depth to it but he is in very good form.”

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

Dear Domus (JPN) – Had an easy canter on the turf track at Meydan and trainer Yutaka Takahashi said: “He is a dirt horse but training on turf is one of my tactics. He has been training well as planned.

“The outside draw that he starts off from has an advantage against being trapped. I am able to go into the race with lots of confidence.”

Faithful Creek (IRE) – The three-year-old again visited the main track, where he went through the stalls without turning a hair under big-race jockey Kieren Fallon.

Having been warm on his first visit on Thursday, he took the excursion in his stride and was relaxed throughout.

Faithful Creek pinged the stalls when they opened and galloped 400m before returning to the paddock, where he also schooled on Thursday.

"That's all we wanted to do with him," trainer Brian Meehan said. "You can overcook them by breezing them, so I always keep it simple. The horse is ready to go."

Golden Barows (JPN) –  Went to school in the paddock and saddling area after a routine canter on the dirt track at Meydan.

Assistant trainer Kazutomo Mori said: “He changed his attitude a lot in the starting gate from what he was the other day.

“He was able to be relaxed and stand in the stall. I am happy with that.  Jockey (Ryan Moore) knows the horse and the track here very well, so there is no concern about the tactics, and we will let the jockey do what he thinks he will fit.  The horse is in a top form right now.”

My Johnny Be Good (USA) – Owner Bill Casner looked on as My Johnny Be Good went through his final pre-race paces.

“He came on the track calm and collected,” said Casner, who co-owned 2009 Dubai World Cup winner Well Armed.  “As he backed up on the track he had no worries.  That’s a big factor in these races.

“You need a strong minded horse that won’t implode when the pressure is on and he seems to have that going for him. He seems to be comfortable with the surface and have an affinity for the track.”

The son of Colonel John starts from post eight in the ten-horse field, which doesn’t thrill Casner but he’s confident that his jockey Victor Espinoza can sketch out a good trip and run to trainer Eoin Harty’s instructions.

“In a perfect world, I’d like to see him on the rail the whole way,” Casner said.

“There’s enough of a run to the first turn that Victor should be able to get him to the inside and save ground every step of the way.  It seems from watching the races here that horses who are on the fence going into the turn improve position coming out of it.

“I suppose it’s simple mathematics. I’d like to be third or fourth on the fence on the backside.”

Tap That (JPN) – Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee said, “I can see his condition getting better day by day.

“I look forward to seeing his performance in the race because he is a very talented colt, but he has not displayed his full ability yet.

“If he can show his race, he has a big chance. The quality of the surface is slightly different in the morning and the night, so I will make a final decision for his shoes and will give him the best way for his best performance tomorrow.  My hopes are high.”

Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint empowered by IPIC – 1000m (Turf)

Amber Sky (AUS) – Trainer Ricky Yiu said: “He has had an ongoing problem with a cyst on his left hind leg.

“When he comes out of his box in the morning he is a bit stiff at first but he loosens up quickly and he is fine, perfectly normal, cantering and galloping.

“That’s just the way he is now and he has responded well to treatment. As regards the race, he has drawn ten and there looks to be a lot of pace.

“He was able to lead all the way last year and it’s no good to us if he is taken on in front. But he is as good as we can have him and you have to take a horse of his quality seriously, especially with a jockey like Ryan Moore on board.”

Bundle of Joy (AUS) – Trainer David Hall said: “We kept him in the quarantine area as scheduled. All has gone well with him. No problems.”

Caspar Netscher (GB) –The six-year-old again exercised on the training track, where he was kept firmly in hand during a 1400m spin on the all-weather surface.

"He has been racing over further than (Saturday's race distance of) 1000m but the sectionals he posted when he ran in Canada (1200m) and Santa Anita (1300m) last year were good," trainer David Simcock said.

"He showed good speed when he ran here over 1000m here earlier this month and we're looking for the same on Saturday."

Caspian Prince (IRE) – Trainer Tony Carroll’s six-year-old remained on the training track this morning, and Carroll said: “He is a classy horse and is very, very fast. He will get his ideal racing conditions and he is clearly very talented.”

Farmah (USA) –  François Rohaut had arrived on Friday morning to see Farmah canter around the track. The filly seemed really well, even throwing in a couple of bucks.

Rohaut said: “She is as always very relaxed and very supple. She arrived on February 10 to run a prep race on the dirt, but as that didn’t go too well, we switched her to the turf.

“I don’t think she took to the dirt in the three weeks she was here. She is stronger now though and is really looking well.

“She is drawn five and has a nice group of horses just around her in stalls six and seven. These horses should go forward in the middle of the track and I believe they will set off quite fast. We will let them do their thing and hopefully then come from behind.”

Green Mask (USA) – The Wesley Ward-trained Green Mask appeared on the all-weather training track on Friday morning and went to the starting gate.

Hototo (GB) – fThe five-year-old has won and finished second on his two most recent starts at Meydan and has had a light week of trotting and swimming after galloping on the main track on Monday.

“He is fit, well and on course for tomorrow,” said trainer Fawzi Nass. “He has had a quiet week but is ready to go.”

Lancelot Du Lac (ITY) –Trainer Dean Ivory kept his sprinter to the walkways adjacent to the quarantine barns ahead of the race on Saturday.

"He's an intelligent horse and we just wanted to keep him going in a straight line today," said Ivory.

"We will probably throw a saddle on him tomorrow (Saturday) morning and walk him around the circular ring inside the barn.

"I am absolutely delighted with his preparation," Ivory added. "It's been lovely to see him so keen in his exercise all week. I can honestly say he looks the best I have ever seen him."

Mirza (GB) – Had an easy morning but his connections are very happy with his condition.

Peniaphobia (IRE) – Trainer Tony Cruz said: “His final canter on the dirt track was good. He’s spot on. I’m very happy with him.”    

Sir Maximilian (IRE) – Ian Williams, whose British stable is attempting an unprecedented chalk-and-cheese double in the next fortnight, remains happy with the condition of his Meydan Sprint winner, who wound up his preparation with a hack canter round the training track’s dirt circuit.

Williams is to saddle his first runner in the Grand National, the world’s most famous jumps race and at the other end of the distance scale.

“We'll continue to enjoy the experience here first, and worry about the National when we get back home,” he said, pointing out that the six-year-old had shown better form in each of his five races at Meydan since the turn of the year but would need another lifetime best to land the biggest prize.

Sole Power (GB) – Trainer Eddie Lynam was hoping that Sole Power would be happy to do a steady canter up the training track, but as usual he quickened over the last 400m.

His trainer smiled when he said: “The only good thing about it that he only does it in front of the straight.

“He doesn’t do it down the back stretch. He is in good form and I suppose if he didn’t do it we would be wondering why. His weight is good, he seems happy and now there are no more days to mess it up. He runs tomorrow and we just hope for the best.”

Stepper Point (GB) – The six-year-old was led on to the dirt training track by a pony before taking a hack canter round one circuit under big-race jockey Martin Dwyer, who has given up rides in Britain this week to complete the colt’s preparation.

Trainer William Muir said: “He’s a character, who will stop and look at any little thing, so he will have a pony when he goes to the starting gate on Saturday and this was to get him used to the idea.”

Muir, who is enjoying his first experience of racing in Dubai, added: “He’s as bright as a button, and in great shape.”

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

 Cool Cowboy (USA) – Cool Cowboy ran well on Super Saturday, his first start for Doug Watson.

“It was a great effort because he had only done four pieces of work,” said the trainer. “He has improved from that and we really like him.”

El Padrino (NZ) – The Singapore-trained El Padrino worked on the main track today for the first time since he arrived on Tuesday.

“He took a couple of days to settle down but now’s fine and I wanted him to get the feel  of the dirt track,’’ trainer Alwin Tan said.

With race jockey Oscar Chevaz in the saddle, he cantered for a lap and seemed keen to go faster.

Krypton Factor (GB) –  The 2013 winner of this race galloped at Meydan on Monday, and trainer Fawzi Nass said today: “He has had a quiet week since then walking and trotting. He is fit, well and on course for tomorrow.”

Lucky Nine (IRE) – Trainer Caspar Fownes said: “No worries. Things have gone well. He’ll run up to his best.”

Muarrab (GB), Shaishee (USA) – Both are trained by Musabah Al Muhairi , who said: “Both are in good form and should be competitive in a good race.”

Rich Tapestry (IRE) – Trainer Michael Chang said: “He didn’t travel very well. He had a bit of a stomach problem, but everything is back to normal now.

“He was also a bit dehydrated but he has recovered. He always goes well fresh and this track is pretty similar to Santa Anita where he won a Grade 1 late last year.

“I am never concerned about him on any dirt track and he enjoyed himself in his canter this morning. He will jump and sit just behind the pace. I don’t want him to lead. There is a lot of pace in the race. My level of confidence right now out of ten would be a seven or eight.”

Salutos Amigos (USA) – Galloped 2400m over a fast Meydan oval on Friday morning.

"He galloped real strong this morning," trainer David Jacobson said.

"There's nothing else we can do. Just get him back to the barn, take care of him, hope he gets a good night sleep and see what happens tomorrow."

Speed Hawk (USA) – Although winless in five starts at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, the Robert Cowell-trained four-year-old did run second over the course and distance and looked fresh and very keen when working on the dirt track this morning.

Super Jockey (NZ) – Trainer Tony Millard said: “He has had the same routine all week and he’s doing well. He was out early again this morning.

“He can sweat a lot so the idea is to get him out when it is cooler. He is coping exceptionally well with the new environment and the only negative is the draw in gate 12, which is wider than ideal.

“Ryan Moore will have to weave his magic wand on him but he knows him well and the horse is in great form. I think he has the potential to surprise a few people.”

United Color (USA) – Trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam said: “They should go fast, which will help him. He should be staying on.”

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

Cladocera (GER) – The Alain de Royer Dupre-trained filly did a steady canter on Friday morning and her handler said: “She went steady today as she had gone a bit faster yesterday.

“She is in very good form, just a bit lighter than she was when she ran last time. She moves really well though. I have the impression she is a bit more nervous than before. It is a tough race for a filly and she hasn’t got the best of draws. But we shall see.”

Euro Charline (GB) –The four-year-old filly was again out early on the main track, where she covered 1600m on turf. She was given her head for the final 200m and stretched out well.

"She seems very happy," said her trainer, Marco Botti. "We got her back from America (she spent three months with Todd Pletcher) in December and there have been no hiccups. We have to respect the opposition but to my eye, she is a stronger filly this year."

Farraaj (IRE) – Farraaj has his first start for Dhruba Selvaratnam. “He is a nice horse and has settled in well,” said Selvaratnam. “It is a tough race but he deserves to take his chance at this level.”

Limario (GER) – Doug Watson saddles Limario. “He was a bit disappointing last time,” said Watson. “He has been working well since.”

Mshawish (USA) – A statement from Bradley Weisbord, US racing advisor for Al Shaqab Racing regarding Mshawish, who suffered a minor foot bruise on Thursday morning, said: “Bruise is much improved today.

“(Trainer Todd) Pletcher staff led by Nick Bush and Ginny Depasquale worked around the clock on the foot. Walked shed row this morning sound. Plan to go to the track tomorrow a.m. to gallop if he continues to do well. (We) will only run if 100 percent. Wish we had a few more days but we don't.”

Solow (GB) – Freddy Head has been at the Meydan main track for the last four days and on Friday morning believed that Solow was just where he needed to be.

He said: “He just went for a jog once around the track. He is really well in himself and I’m very happy with him.”

The Grey Gatsby (IRE) –The top-rated horse in the race stayed in the quarantine barn, having exercised all week on the training track.

"He was just led out for some light exercise in the yard," trainer Kevin Ryan said.

Of his preparation, Ryan said: "The horse looks marvellous. He has taken everything well and we are very happy with him. I couldn't be any happier."

Trade Storm (GB) – Having exercised on the main track all week, Trade Storm stretched out on the training track under the eye of his trainer, David Simcock.
He covered 1400m on the all-weather surface at a steady canter, after which Simcock said: "He has pleased me all week. He knows this place well now and it's time for him to show what he can do."

Umgiyo (AUS) – Trainer Mike De Kock said: “He has been running well and is very fit. He should run a solid race in a tough heat.”

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

Designs on Rome (IRE) – Trainer John Moore said: “He was out this morning on the turf again. He looks awesome. Joao (Moreira, jockey) came back with a glint in his eye and said all is well. We are really looking forward to the race.”

Dolniya (FR) – Continued her preparation on Friday morning with a steady canter once around the main track. Her trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre said:

“It’s very hot now, so I just wanted my horses to do the minimum. There are probably some horses in the race that have more experience than her, but she has improved a lot from three to four.”

Flintshire (GB) – Teddy Grimthorpe, the racing manager of owner and breeder Khalid Abdullah, was at the main track at Meydan on Friday morning to watch Flintshire canter once round the track.

He confirmed: “He just did a nice steady canter, came off the track and was relaxed. He seems happy.

“He had quite a tough race in the Arc last year and then went to the Breeders’ Cup and Hong Kong. He then had a break and I think maybe he has got used to the travelling now and seems pretty relaxed throughout. He is learning and maturing and he seems happy to be here.”

Harp Star (JPN) – Put in a routine canter on the dirt at Meydan.  Trainer Hiroyoshi Matsuda said: “I am happy with her good condition.  She is on a real hot streak.  I have a big hope for jockey Ryan (Moore) who is going to give her (the best) ride.”

Main Sequence (USA) – As was the plan, the Graham Motion-trained Main Sequence had a 1600m jog on the training track in quarantine area.  Motion indicated the son of Medaglia d’Oro will do the same tomorrow morning.

One And Only (JPN) – “He is really fit. I think he is more relaxed than I am. He has moved into a top gear,” said trainer Kojiro Hashiguchi.

“What I experienced here in Dubai ten years ago has brought me a lot of strategies and knowledge for racing overseas.

“I would like to show all the people how good the Japanese Derby-winning horse is and how prestigious the Japanese Derby is. I have to win the race to do that, and I also look forward to Saturday.

“His father Heart’s Cry also won the same race back in 2006. Hopefully he is able to grab the same title as his father. This time my son Shinsuke, who has passed the exam of the JRA trainer’s license and will start the stable operations from next year, is joining the team to support us.

“The pair of Heart’s Cry and One And Only were able to have an opportunity to come here, so I also asked my son to come here with me to see the horse’s big feat.”

Sheikhzayedroad (GB) – Having visited the main track all week, the six-year-old was sent to the training track by trainer David Simcock. The horse covered one circuit on the all-weather track to complete his preparation for Saturday's race.
"Everything has gone to plan," Simcock said. "It's all about raceday now.”
Group 1 US$10m Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates – 2000m (dirt)
African Story (GB), Prince Bishop (IRE) – Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor said of African Story, last year's winner: "He worked well on Monday and comes into the race in good form, having won the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 on his last run.
"The 2000m trip is perfect for him and his draw (three) is no problem. He can take any position in the race from there, but hopefully he will be up there in second or third place. I would be really happy to see him stay away from the kickback."

Of Prince Bishop he added: “He has been jumping slowly from the stalls but I hope this time, with only nine runners, he can go forward from the stalls. If he can stay away from the kickback I think he has a chance to run well."

California Chrome (USA) – Galloped over a fast main oval at Meydan and schooled in the walking ring Friday morning.

Tony Gutierrez, the regular exercise rider for Al Quoz contender Distinctiv Passion, substituted for regular morning pilot Willie Delgado, who failed to make the gallop.

"He schooled great," said assistant trainer Alan Sherman. "Didn't turn a hair. Now it's time for him to strut his stuff and get it done."

Candy Boy (USA) – Last seen finishing sixth of 14 in the Breeders' Cup Classic last November, he will also be making his first start for owner Ramzan Kadyrov and trainer Doug Watson.

"We would have really liked to have had a prep race but it wasn't to be," Watson said.

"All seems fine and we are just looking forward to the big race. It is great to have a good runner in such a prestigious contest.”

“We could be very happy with the result or left scratching our heads. Either way, we will have a gauge on what we have and where we are at moving forward. What that will be, I'm not sure. Either a turf race or a break.”

Epiphaneia (JPN) – “He is in a really good form right now.  Everything is going well as planned,” said trainer Katsuhiko Sumii.

“This is the first experience on dirt for everybody and it is like a first stage to show the ability of the Japanese horse on this surface. Also it will be a good chance to give the Japanese horses more options to compete in the world.

“I plan to put the same type of horse shoes as he has in Japan, but I will make a final decision by walking on the dirt tonight.”

Hokko Tarumae (JPN) – Trainer Katsuichi Nishiura watched Hokko Tarumae put in a routine canter on the dirt track at Meydan on Friday morning and was very satisfied with the effort.

He said: “Everything has gone well so far.  I can really see he has a great mood and is very happy to run. The dirt has quite a different quality from what we have in Japan, and I cannot tell how it will suit him at this stage. (We have) not found any clearly answer what type of horses will suit the surface here.  We will see on race day.
“From the experience last year, I have been trying to make the best environment and give him the best way to be able to trip comfortably over the 2000m at Meydan.”

Lea (USA) – With exercise rider Neil Poznansky in tow, Lea worked "between a quarter (400m) and three-eighths of a mile (600m)" on Friday morning over a fast Meydan oval, according to trainer Bill Mott.

"I was pleased with it, and my rider was grinning from ear-to-ear when he came off the track so I think that's a pretty good sign," Mott said of the move.

“(It was) just a little blow to stretch his legs. It looked like it sharpened him up. He was bouncing coming off the racetrack. We're not there yet, but hopefully everything goes well between now and then."

Side Glance (GB) – After having a blowout on the dirt yesterday morning, the eight-year-old – who has been fourth in the last two renewals of the Dubai World Cup – was restricted to light exercise on the training track. Connections were happy with his work on Thursday and he appeared to take well to the surface in his recently fitted pacifier.

CASNERS ARMED FOR DUBAI RETURN

Bill and Susan Casner have won many of America’s most prestigious races, from the Kentucky Derby with Super Saver to the Belmont Stakes with Drosselmeyer, but the pinnacle of their years in horse racing was reached thousands of miles away from their Texas home.

Bill Casner still vividly remembers the words commentator Terry Spargo summoned when he called the finish of the 2009 Dubai World Cup, and his eyes still reflect the bright glimmer of that victory in the final race ever run at Nad Al Sheba.

“From Cigar to Well Armed, I believe that was the call that night,” Casner said while standing at the rail during morning training at Meydan this week. “That memory is burned into my mind—and that was good company to be in.”

Winning the world’s richest race in the hoofprints of legendary runners such as Cigar and Dubai Millennium was sweet enough, but for the Casners, the victory by their homebred Well Armed was even more meaningful because they had nursed the gelding back to health after a fractured pelvis left him near death.

“That was absolutely the highest mountain top that Susan and I have ever stood on,” Casner said of healing Well Armed and watching him crush his Dubai World Cup competition in a record-breaking 14-length win.

The euphoria of capturing the race has led the Casners back to the UAE this week in the company of Well Armed’s trainer, former Godolphin conditioner Eoin Harty, with hopes of reaching another racing peak. The trio has returned with a three-year-old colt they bred named My Johnny Be Good (USA), who will compete in the $2 million UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group.

“We’re excited about being here,” Casner said. “We’ve been waiting for a horse good enough to bring back to Dubai.”
My Johnny Be Good has won a pair of races, finished third in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and has potential to improve.

Casner described the bay colt as “a beautiful horse and a good-minded horse” and said he “shipped very well and couldn’t be doing any better.”

Harty has secured the services of American jockey Victor Espinoza, the regular rider of Horse of the Year California Chrome, the favourite in the $10 million Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates, for My Johnny Be Good.

NOSEDA WAITING FOR LUCK TO CHANGE

IF Susan and Paul Roy, owners of Sloane Avenue (USA), ever need to rename the colt, they might seriously consider calling him Misfortune.

Although the four-year-old has won three of his five races – all on all-weather surfaces in England last year – ill luck has dogged his short career and is even following him to Dubai, where he has been allotted gate 15 of 16 in the Godolphin Mile sponsored by Meydan Sobha.

“Everything has been good, bar the draw, which has not been kind to us at all,” trainer Jeremy Noseda said, after watching Sloane River work on the Meydan turf track under regular work rider and travelling groom David Bradley.

“We want them to go really fast, so that Frankie (Dettori) can ride a patient race and negate the draw. Then we need to pray for a miracle.”

Noseda, who believes Sloane Avenue could be the stable’s Group 1 flag-bearer this year, has faced similar unfortunate situations with him before, including on his second intended outing, when he burst out of the stalls at Lingfield and had to be withdrawn, and on his third, when he finished last at a time when the stable was under a cloud.

“Then, after he’d won at Kempton, we went to New York and on the day before the race, they had three-quarters of an inch of rain and it totally ruined his chances, although I had to run him because we’d travelled all that way,” Noseda recounted.

“He went on to win a nice Listed race at Kempton in November, and we decided to go for the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park. Everything was going well until less than 24 hours before the race, when he stumbled and struck into his near-fore, so we had to take him out.”

“That was when Dubai was put on the agenda, and preparations for a first appearance on dirt, including a spin with Dettori a fortnight ago and a final work-out on Friday, were going according to plan - until the draw."

“I’ve been dying to get him on the dirt, because although he enjoys Polytrack, everything about his pedigree suggests he’ll be even better on dirt,” Noseda said.

“I really did think he had a big chance, and he may still have, if we get a lucky break. It would mean a huge amount to David Bradley and I to have a winner at this meeting, because we were part of the Godolphin team in the very early days of the 1990s, when we had great success with such as Balanchine, Lammtarra and Halling.”

Owner Paul Roy, who has suffered his own misfortune by having to pull out of the trip at the last minute because of illness, says that seeing Sloane Avenue get to the start will be an achievement in itself.

“He’s turning into a horse who enjoys travelling first class around the world and not doing much at the other end,” he said. “It’s time for him to get serious.”

 KINGSCOTE AND PANTHER READY TO POUNCE

The longest race on the card and the most recent addition to the Dubai World Cup night card, having been added in 2012, is the $1million Dubai Gold Cup, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, a turf race for the stayers.

Brown Panther (GB), part-owned and bred by ex-England footballer Michael Owen, appears the star performer, having won the Group 1 Irish St Leger last year.

He is trained by Tom Dascombe, no stranger to Dubai success from his spell as assistant to Mike De Kock and the mount of Richard Kingscote.

The jockey was badly injured in the same Wolverhampton fall in November which saw Paul Hanagan out of action until the first night of the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival.

Significantly, Kingscote who broke a collarbone, wrist and elbow in the incident, not to mention puncturing lungs, has delayed further surgery on his elbow until November to ride here.

“The thought of riding Brown Panther at Meydan on World Cup night was all the incentive I needed to get back in action as soon as possible,” he said.

“My elbow requires another operation but I will wait until the end of the turf season in Europe. We must have a big chance on Saturday.”

The Godolphin trainers snared the first four runnings of the race and were just denied with the ill-fated Cavalryman 12 months ago.

Saeed bin Suroor is seeking a fifth victory having, won the race the first three years it was staged away from the big night, relies on Ahzeemah (IRE).

“He disappointed us last time,” said Bin Suroor. “He needs to bounce back but worked very well last week and is a nice horse.”

The Godolphin blue will also be sported by Marzocco (USA), trained in England by John Gosden and fifth in last year’s St Leger at Doncaster.

Subsequently gelded, he was a 3200m winner on the all-weather at Chelmsford and is running here rather than at Lingfield next Friday.

“He stays well and should enjoy the likely quick ground,” said Gosden. “He pleased us at Chelmsford and seems in good form.”

French challenger Bathyrhon (GER) holds strong claims, as does Dubday (GB) who has been a revelation since leaving Europe and switching to Qatar, where he is unbeaten.

The mount of Frankie Dettori, he is trained by Jassim Al Ghazali who continues to carry all before him in Qatar.

“We are very excited about Dubday,” said the trainer. “He was very unlucky here last year and has been in great form this season.”
“Hopefully he runs well Saturday and we are hoping to take him to England with Glorious Goodwood in mind.”

SMART DRESSED FOR CLASSIC SUCCESS

The traditional curtain raiser on Saturday’s card, the Group 1 Kahayla Classic, empowered by IPIC, has enjoyed a healthy rise in purse and looks another fascinating renewal.

Last year’s runner-up in the Purebred Arabian equivalent of the Dubai World Cup itself, Djainka Des Forges (FR) is bidding to go one place better for Qatar-based trainer Julian Smart, who has twice saddled the winner of the race.

Richard Mullen rides the mare in a race now worth $1m, having been denied only close home 12 months ago by Rabbah De Carrere (not been seen this season) and drawn 14 of the 15 runners.

Smart also has Taraf (QA), the mount of Harry Bentley in the field and sounds hopeful of two big runs.

“Djainka was drawn wide last year when an excellent second in this and then won us a big race in France in October,” said Smart, who was shuttling back from his home in Doha to continue preparations with other horses.

“My initial reaction when I saw the draw was disappointment, but on reflection it is not a disaster because we can keep out of the kickback if need be. She has worked well on the surface and has eaten everything we have offered her.

“Taraf is not eating as well as I would like but should handle the dirt judged by her pedigree. Her work has been fine and she is very useful in her own right.”

Also double handed is Erwan Charpy, with a pair of runners owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, headed by Versac PY (FR), winner of Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3,sponsored by Emirates SkyCargo, over the same course and distance, on Super Saturday.

The choice of the owner’s first jockey, Paul Hanagan, Charpy’s charge was fourth in this in 2012 and runner-up in 2013, before disappointing 12 months ago when only seventh (although only beaten just over two lengths).

The Frenchman also saddles Manark (FR), a wide margin winner over 1400m on his sole dirt outing, at Meydan, in February.

“Versac PY deserved his win on Super Saturday after countless good efforts in defeat,” said Charpy. “He is proven over course and distance, whereas Manark is trying a new trip.

“If he relaxes in the race I think he is also a big runner and he will wear a hood, in which he has been working nicely, to hopefully help him settle.”

Of the others, American challenger, Valiant Boy (FR), looks a big danger.
Unbeaten in his last eight starts, dating back to November 2012, he has a formidable record on dirt and looks a serious player.

BIN SUROOR RELISHING LOCAL DERBY

Since its inception in 2000, the Group 2 $2m UAE Derby, sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group, has been pretty much dominated by Godolphin, Saeed bin Suroor and South African Mike De Kock.

In fact, prior to the victory of the Aidan O’Brien-trained Daddy Long Legs in 2012, only Bin Suroor and De Kock had actually registered a victory in the race.

However, since Bin Suroor’s Khawlah (the only filly to win the race), landed the spoils in 2011, both trainers have drawn a blank.

Normal service looks likely to be resumed this year with Bin Suroor relying on his UAE 2000 Guineas winner, Maftool (USA), who has not been seen since that victory in the middle of February.

“He is doing very well at home,” said Bin Suroor. “We think he is improving all the time and Paul Hanagan, who again rides him, has been riding him regularly.

“It is a strong race but the extra trip should suit and he has a good chance.”

On that occasion he defeated the De Kock-trained Mubtaahij (IRE), subsequently winner of Super Saturday’s Al Bastakiya, over the same 1900m dirt course and distance as Saturday’s concluding leg of the UAE Triple Crown.

In winning that, De Kock’s charge ended the unbeaten record of Godolphin new recruit, Sir Fever (URU), star horse of Uruguay and winner of his homeland’s triple crown. The last horse to achieve that particular feat was Invasor – winner of the 2007 Dubai World Cup but beaten – for the only time, in this race in 2006.

“Mubtaahij has gone from strength to strength this season and relishes this kind of trip, said De Kock.

“It looks a competitive renewal with the Godolphin duo we have already seen to be more than useful, as well as several we have not come across from America, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Europe.

“All I know is my horse is in good form and a genuine stayer at this trip on a surface he handles well.”

Perhaps significantly, Christophe Soumillon will ride him for the first time and ensure he will be at his lowest riding weight all year.
Sir Fever is now trained by Charlie Appleby, who said: “I was very pleased with his first run and it gave William Buick a great opportunity to get to know him in a race scenario.

“We have added blinkers and a shadow roll to try to aid his concentration.”

Golden Barows (JPN) could be the best of three Japanese challengers.

Harp Star Looks to Play Classic Tune in Sheema

The $6million Dubai Sheema Classic, presented by Longines, may only have attracted nine runners but still looks wide open with a case to be made for each of the nine.

Run over 2410m on the turf, the relatively small field may render the draw less vital so the Japanese connections of Harp Star (JPN), drawn widest of all, should not be too disheartened.

A dual Classic winner in her homeland last year, she will be best remembered by Europeans for her sixth in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe when she was finishing rapidly having been set an impossible task.

She has the assistance of Ryan Moore on Saturday, the jockey having landed this race last year for Japan on Gentildonna and the Japanese are actually seeking a fourth win in this contest.

Moore partnered her in her work on Thursday morning and pleased trainer Hiroyoshi Matsuda.

“She has been going nicely all week and we are very happy with her and to secure the services of Ryan Moore.”

She faces a stellar field though which includes Hong Kong superstar, Designs On Rome (IRE), trained by John Moore and the mount of Joao Moreira.

The Hong Kong Derby and Hong Kong Cup were among his big race wins last year and he has won both his starts so far this season.

“The horse just seems to love it here,” said Moore. “Joao Moreira worked him on Thursday and was very pleased.”

France are launching a two pronged attack on the race with Dolniya (FR) and Flintshire (GB) who clashed in a 1900m Polytrack conditions race earlier this month.

The Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained Dolyniya just came out on top on that occasion.

“She is lovely filly who has strengthened up over the winter,” said her trainer. “All has gone to plan thus far.”

Andre Fabre trains Flintshire for Prince Khaled Abdullah, the combination who won the 2004 Sheema Classic with Polish Summer.

Runner-up in the 2012 Epsom Derby when trained in England by David Lanagan, Main Sequence (USA) has been transformed since switching to America in the care of Graham Motion.

Winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf, he has yet to taste defeat in five outings for his new trainer, four at the highest level. He also scored in his sole start this year in his pipe opener for Saturday’s test.

Just The Judge (IRE) was victorious in the 2013 Irish 1000 Guineas for Charlie Hills and won a Grade One in Canada last year. “She travelled over well and did not lose much weight,” said Hills.

“It is great she stays in training this year and we hope this new trip will really suit her.”

America Chasing Golden Reward

The 1200m Group 1 $2m Dubai Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News, has attracted a full field of 14 and the dirt sprint promises be a real speed duel.

American challengers tended to dominate the race when contested on dirt at Nad Al Sheba and it would be no surprise if the Stateside raiders were to celebrate a tenth victory in the race.

Bob Baffert saddles Secret Circle (USA) who may not have won since November 2013, but that was in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, America’s premier 1200m dirt sprint championship.

He was running well last season, including a close second when trying to defend his Breeders’ Cup crown and was not beaten far on his sole start to date this year. That was at the end of January and should have put him spot on for Saturday’s test.

Stall seven looks a good draw and should allow him to stalk the early speed, his preferred style of running. Assistant trainer, Dana Barnes, has been riding him out this week.

“He is just a monster of a horse and a proper sprinter,” she said. “He has been full of himself since he arrived and seems at the top of his game.”

Big Macher (USA) is another Grade 1 winner for America and he too looks well berthed in six, one higher than compatriot Salutos Amigos (USA), a Grade 3 winner on both his most recent outings.

Of Big Macher, trainer Richard Baltas said: “We have schooled him at the gates as he has always been bad at the stalls, which probably cost him any chance in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

“He is in good shape and, hopefully, will break on terms on Saturday.”
Krypton Factor (GB) won this in 2012 for Bahrain and owner-trainer Fawzi Nass and was fourth in 2013 but well beaten last year. He seeks to emulate Caller One (2001 and 2002), the only previous dual winner of the race.

“He is probably not as good as he was,” said Nass. “That said, he has a decent draw and ran very well first time this season and a slow start did not help him last time on Super Saturday.”

That course and distance Super Saturday contest, the Mahab Al Shimaal, sponsored by Emirates Skywards, provided a surprise winner in the form of Shaishee (USA).

He is trained by Musabah Al Muhairi for HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as is Muarrab (GB), winner of the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint the day before Shaishee’s Meydan success.

The owner’s first retained jockey, Paul Hanagan, rides Muarrab with Dane O’Neill, also in the employ of the owner, aboard Shaishee.

Rich Tapestry (AUS) was second in this last year and is joined by Lucky Nine (Ire) and Super Jockey (NZ) to complete a powerful challenge from Hong Kong, which provided last year’s winner in the shape of Sterling City.

 Turf retains French Connection

The $6m Dubai Turf, sponsored by DP World, has a new name this year but keeps its tradition of being one of the the strongest races on the Dubai World Cup card.

Ten have been declared and there’s a strong French connection with both Solow (GB) and Cladocera (GER) trained in France, as well as last year’s Prix du Jockey Club hero The Grey Gatsby (IRE) in the field.

Trained in England by Kevin Ryan, The Grey Gatsby finished his highly successful three-year-old campaign with victory in the Irish Champion Stakes under Ryan Moore, who has only been beaten once on the horse.

The pair will be combining for the fifth time on Saturday. “Obviously Ryan knows the horse very well,” said the trainer.
“He seems in good nick and we are exited to be here with a horse with such a good chance.”

Alain de Royer-Dupre saddles Cladocera in a race French-trained horses have landed twice, and she is seeking her third Meydan victory of 2015 having already won both the Balanchine and Cape Verdi.

Both those races are restricted to fillies and mares and this a lot tougher but Godolphin’s Sajjhaa did manage to win all three races in 2013. Cladocera will again be ridden by Christophe Soumillon.

“We know conditions suit her,” said Soumillon. “She has won well both times and should go well in what is obviously a lot tougher race.”

Maxine Guyon rides Solow, trained by Freddy Head and winner of his four most recent outings, including his prep over 1600m at Chantilly at the beginning of the month.

“He seems nice and relaxed and has taken the trip in his stride,” said Head. “We are hoping for a good run on Saturday in what looks a very strong race.”

A Meydan winner last year when trained in France, Frankie Dettori’s mount, Mshawish (USA) has been transferred to the States and joined Todd Pletcher.

The move has been vindicated and Pletcher’s charge arrives here having won his last three starts, including two this year and most recently in Grade 1 company at Gulfstream.

Italian born but based in England, Marco Botti trains Euro Charline (GB), winner of the Grade 1 Beverley D Stakes at Arlington Park on her most recent outing in August.

Joao Moreira is an eye-catching jockey booking (Moore rode her at Arlington). Paulo Sirigu has been aboard her all week and said: “She is not the easiest in the mornings but I get on well with her.

“She seems happy, fit and well which is all we can ask for.”

Bin Suroor Aiming to make Cup History

Saturday’s $10m Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates, the 20th running of the planet’s richest horse race, is already guaranteed a place in the history books as the first renewal to be contested on dirt at Meydan.

However, more historic value could be added with last year’s hero, Godolphin’s African Story (GB), bidding to become the first dual winner of the race and a seventh for trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

To clarify, Bin Suroor’s charge is actually only the second horse to seek a second victory in the 2000m contest, after Silver Charm landed the prize in 1998 but was well beaten the following year.

Three of Bin Suroor’s previous Dubai World Cup winners landed the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 on their way to victory in the crowning glory of the UAE season, as did African Story this year – on Super Saturday three weeks ago.

He was chased home on that occasion by stable companion Prince Bishop (IRE) and Bin Suroor is clearly looking forward to Saturday’s big race.

“African Story won this last year on the all-weather and proved he can win on dirt on Super Saturday,” said the trainer. “With good horses like him, the surface really makes less difference as the best horses will handle any surface.

“He has a nice draw in three, while Prince Bishop, from stall one, will hopefully break better than he has the last twice.”

America has won the race on nine occasions and would appear to offer a strong challenge with both California Chrome (USA) and Lea (USA) holding obvious claims.

Winner of both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes last year, the first two legs of the American Triple Crown, California Chrome seemingly ran out of stamina in the concluding heat of the series, the 2400m Belmont Stakes when he eventually finished fourth.

Arguably his best performance was also a defeat, a close third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, before regaining the winning thread in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby.

Second to the very useful Shared Belief on his sole start to date this year, he has been pleasing Art Sherman, the oldest trainer to saddle a Kentucky Derby winner.

“He has taken everything in his stride and is in great form,” said Sherman. “I am delighted with stall nine as he likes to run from the outside and, obviously, we have all the early speed inside us.”

Trained by Bill Mott, winner of the inaugural Dubai World Cup in 1996 with Cigar, Lea also holds serious claims.

“It is great to be back with a serious contender,” said Mott. “We are drawn in the middle which is perfect.”

The Japanese boast dirt specialist Hokko Tarumae back for a repeat attempt at the world’s richest race, while turf star Epiphaneia is swapping surfaces.

Head Enjoying Solow Journey

French trainer Freddy Head has not made many mistakes in his career, neither as a jockey, nor as a trainer. But by his own admission he did fail to recognise that despite coming from a proper stayer’s family, his Group 1 Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World contender Solow (GB) is actually a true miler.

“Yes,” he laughed. “It’s very funny because he is bred to stay 2400m, even further than that. So that is why I made the mistake as I ran him over longer trips all the time and one day I decided to run him over the mile (1600m) and that is when things started to go better.”

As soon as he was dropped back, things actually improved tremendously for the grey son of Singspiel. In fact, from having won a few conditions races over 2000 and 2400m, he went on to lift a Group 3 over the shorter trip at Deauville before ending the season with a convincing win in the Group 2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Longchamp.

“I did a wrong thing,” admitted Head, who is delighted to be back in Dubai.

“He only has stayers in his family and actually he has so much speed. And it was amazing because at home I had always worked him with very good milers like Anodin and he was going with them. And I kept saying he will be a champion over 2400m, but finally we cottoned on to that the 1600m was his trip.”

Solow is currently looking in great form and his handler confirmed: “He looks well, he adapted well, his action’s good. At home we work on sand, it’s not the dirt but it’s very close to it. So for the moment everything is fine. We know him well and I have great expectations.”

Head is not the only one who is hoping that Solow can win on Saturday. He is the firm favourite with a lot of racing fans and the trainer concluded: “I think he is the best chance I have had here in Dubai. He is a very nice horse and is improving all the time.”

CHROME TEAM CONTINUE TO DREAM

For 77-year-old trainer Art Sherman and the connections of California Chrome (USA), the dream that they still live in began on April 26, 2013, when a raw, chestnut racehorse with a big white blaze and marginal pedigree made his first career start at the now defunct Hollywood Park.

“As a two-year-old he was awful green and all over the racetrack,” Sherman recalls.

The exercise rider for 1955 Kentucky Derby winner Swaps and a winner of more than 2,000 races as both a jockey and trainer, Sherman knows a good horse when he sees one, but he admits that California Chrome’s progress and eventual stardom took him by complete surprise.  

“He started growing and developing and all of a sudden he kept getting better after each race,” said Sherman.

“He won six races in a row and in San Felipe he won by eight just being eased and it gave me goose pimples.

“I was like ‘wow, I hope he runs this good in the Santa Anita Derby’.”  That he did.

“He beat a field of top horses (in the Santa Anita Derby) and won easily,” Sherman said.

“Then I felt I had a real chance in the (Kentucky) Derby and he didn't prove me wrong.”

A win in the Preakness followed the Kentucky Derby triumph, but an attempt to become the first American Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, failed. He finished fourth. Less than two lengths separated California Chrome from racing immortality.

Despite the deflating defeat, in the eyes of his adoring ‘Chromies’, California Chrome lost no lustre and the likeable great grandfather Sherman remained racing’s darling.

“I call him the California rock star,” Sherman said of his prized racehorse.

“He's got such a following all over the world. I thought nobody would know me in Dubai but from the moment I stepped off the plane, people said ‘there’s California Chrome's trainer’.”

“Everybody wants you,” Sherman continued. “Royal Ascot and Hong Kong want me there. He's kind of like a drawing magnet for racing right now.”

First things first. As the international favourite, California Chrome will enter the starting gate on Saturday attempting to become the third Kentucky Derby winner to succeed in the Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates, joining Silver Charm (1998) and Animal Kingdom (2013).

“He's kind of push button,” Sherman said of California Chrome. “He's not a one-dimensional horse and that's important. Just keep him in the clear and have a place to go. That's all I ask.”

Another chapter to California Chrome’s unlikely story will be written on Saturday, but win, lose or draw, Sherman is well aware of the impact his horse has already made on a variety of levels.

“By a $2,500 stud out of a maiden $8,000 claiming mare, to come by and win all these races, it gives an incentive to the little guy,” Sherman said.

“This is a game where you can buy your way into a lot of things, but we are proof that a dream can happen. You don't have to be a millionaire or a billionaire to win these kinds of races.

“In the end, I'd like to leave some sort of legacy with him that says ‘wow, I remember California Chrome, he was a great horse and we had a lot of fun watching him run’.”

One and Only Winning Opportunity

One of the seven-strong Japanese contingent for this year’s Dubai World Cup meeting, One And Only (JPN) is Kojiro Hashiguchi’s last chance to have a runner at Meydan.

The trainer will retire next February and his contender in the Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines has already helped him realise a long-awaited dream in last year’s Japanese Derby.

Hashiguchi was making his 18th challenge for that race, including four runner-ups from 20 starters.

He has already struck twice in two starts in Dubai - Utopia winning the Godolphin Mile and Heart’s Cry the Dubai Sheema Classic -both in 2006 as he became the first Japanese trainer to have double victories in Dubai on the same day.

Hashiguchi is no stranger to the big races wins, with Group 1 trophies such as the Japan Cup, Arima Kinen, Kikuka Sho and the Yasuda Kinen.

In 2006 he also sent Heart’s Cry to the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, where he finished third. Winning the Japanese Derby was Hashiguchi’s long-coveted title, but One And Only allows him a final big hope to triumph on the world-class stage.

After winning the Japanese Derby, One And Only notched the G2 Kobe Shimbun Hai in his first race after a summer vacation. He failed to win in his three subsequent outings in the latter half of the season.

Hashiguchi has not given up his dream yet, though. There was a big concern about the long flight from Japan to Dubai, but because the Japanese team took the same flight and is staying at the same stable at Meydan, he travelled well and lost no weight, which was a good sign to satisfy the connections as a first step.

“When Heart’s Cry came back to the paddock after finishing third in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, many racegoers sent him applause for his impressive performance,” said the trainer.

“Since then, I wanted to come back to the world stage with the Heart’s Cry offspring again and now it’s time to accomplish the feat before my retirement.

“One And Only could follow into his father’s footsteps and was able to bring me back to Dubai. I really hope One And Only can show his best performance as a Japanese Derby winner this coming Saturday, and then grab another big title at Ascot in July.”

The Dubai World Cup Countdown is on as Meydan Hosts Post Position Draw

• CNN announced as Dubai World Cup Principal International Media

• Champion UAE Owner, Trainer and Jockey Honoured

The US$10m Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates is coming firmly into focus following the Post Position Draw which was held at Meydan Theatre on Wednesday afternoon.

Pre-race favourite, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome will jump from stall 9 while Godolphin’s defending champion African Story drew gate 3.

All the Dubai World Cup day Thoroughbred Group 1 races were drawn live at the event which was attended by horse connections.

The winners of the UAE Owner, Trainer and Jockey Championships were also honoured at the Dubai World Cup Post Position Draw.

Owner HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, trainer Musabah Al Muhairi and jockey Richard Mullen topped their respective championships for the 2014-15 UAE season.

During his speech Meydan Group Chairman, Saeed H Al Tayer announced CNN as the Dubai World Cup Principle International Media Partner.

“On the special occasion of our 20th celebration, it also gives us great pleasure to introduce CNN as the Dubai World Cup Principal International Media partner. CNN is the leading news and information service provider with reach of over 385 million households around the globe, in five languages and across all major TV, internet and mobile platforms. We are proud of this partnership and we are looking forward to growing it year in, year out."

“This is a very special running of the Dubai World Cup, one that represents both the future and the past of this great race. I wish all the participants the best of luck and my deepest appreciation for your help in creating the excitement of this day that we are so proud to share with the world.”

Flash quotes from the draw the connections of the Dubai World Cup runners can be viewed on www.dubairacingclub.com.

The Dubai World Cup will be run on Saturday March 28, 2015 at Meydan Racecourse and will feature a spectacular post-race show as well as a record-breaking pyrotechnic displays followed by a 90-minute concert from pop star Kylie Minogue.

Apron Views tickets for the Dubai World Cup are available at www.dubairacingclub.com or from the Ticket Sales Office located between gates B and C at Meydan Racecourse.

Racecards showing the draw can be viewed on www.emiratesracing.com.

The Dubai World Cup hospitality gates open at 2:00pm on Saturday and the first race starts at 4:00pm. The raceday schedule includes a special National Anthem ceremony at 5:30pm which features a spectacular pyrotechnic show and the Dubai World Cup Show starts at 9:30pm with the Dubai World Cup Concert featuring international pop superstar, Kylie Minogue getting underway at 10pm.

Get interactive with us on Twitter via @DRC_Meydan or @DWC_Meydan or on Instagram @Drc_meydan and like our Dubai Racing Club or Dubai World Cup facebook pages. We’ll keep you posted with behind-the-scenes news and pictures.

Post Position Draw Quotes for the US$10m Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates 2000m (dirt)

Saeed bin Suroor (trainer, Prince Bishop (IRE), post 1 and African Story (GB), post 3) – Regarding Prince Bishop: “I just hope he jumps well. He’s been working well and this is his race.”

Regarding African Story: “He won this race last year. I’m happy with stall three. He won the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3. He won this race last year. Good horses go on any surface and this is a very good horse.”

Michiaki Yabbe (owner, Hokko Tarumae (JPN), post 2) – “Going back to dirt is a big advantage and we’re really happy. This is an ideal draw.”

Anna Lisa Balding (wife of trainer Andrew, Side Glance (GB), post 4) – “He’s a mature racehorse. He’s in great form. If he could be (at least) fourth again, that would be brilliant.

“He’s going to be fine coming from stall 4. It’s better than 1 or 8 and there should be plenty of pace on which should suit him.

He’ll wear head gear in the race and that will help him face the kickback.”

Bill Mott (trainer, Lea (USA), post 5) – “We’re glad to be here. Proud to have been associated with Cigar who won the first Dubai World Cup and we’re excited to be back with Lea.

“I’ve heard that speed is a big asset here and he has tactical speed. We’ll let him place himself and see what happens.

“I think we got lucky. We’d have been happy with anything from the middle to outside draw. In a perfect world, we’d have liked to have been outside California Chrome, but we are still in a good spot.”

Doug Watson (trainer, Candy Boy (USA), post 6): “We had no choice coming last (selected) in the draw, but if we had a choice, we would have wanted them in the order 5, 4 or 6.
“We got 6 so that’s fine. He’ll be able to see what everybody does from the start.”

Salem bin Ghadayer (trainer, Long River, post 7) – “I’m very happy with the draw. If you’d have asked me beforehand I would have asked for 5, 6 or 7 and we got 7. I think it’s an open race. His preparation has been very good and he will run well.”

Katsuhiko Sumi (trainer, Epiphaneia (JPN), post 8) – “He jumps out of the gates really well. This is a good draw to be able to see the inside horses.”

Steve Coburn (owner California Chrome (USA), post 9) - “We’re really happy with (the draw). This has been an amazing journey. You know that building, the world’s tallest (Burj Khalifa) building – well take that building times 10 and that’s the hospitality we’ve experienced over here.”

Art Sherman, trainer: “I love it (post 9). Nine is a perfect position for our horse. I’ve got all the speed horses to the inside of me and he loves to run from the outside.

“The surface is not a concern – good horses can run on anything even tarmac. Victor (jockey Espinoza) knows him really well. I’m just really glad to be here. We’ve gotten a lot of texts. He’s a rock star all around the world.”

DWC 2015 Trackwork Notes - Wednesday, March 25

Group 1 US $1m Dubai Kahayla Classic empowered by IPIC – 2000m (Dirt)

Versac PY (FR) – Wore blinkers for the first time in his work with five others on the dirt main track on Wednesday.

Trainer Erwan Charpy explained that although the horse had won at 2000m, he was inclined to pull hard in his races and he thought the headgear would help him to settle down.

As for the PY on his name, Charpy said they were the initials of his breeder.

Bigg N Rich (USA) – He is trained in Abu Dhabi by Frenchman Eric Lemartinel, who said: “This morning he cantered twice over 1200m and tomorrow he will go a bit faster over 1000m. Everything is going well and I’m happy with him.”

Djainka Des Forges (FR) and Taraf (FR) – Djainka Des Forges and Taraf are both trained by Julian Smart in Qatar. Both horses came out very early on Wednesday morning onto the main training track at Meydan and their trainer said: “They didn’t do very much this morning.

Djainka Des Forges, who is a bit of a nervy kind of horse, was reacquainting herself with the surroundings, while Taraf was discovering the track. They might do some faster work tomorrow. I’m happy with them so far.”

Valiant Boy (FR) – America’s star purebred Arabian has pleased trainer Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Merryman with his adaptation to Meydan.

“I think he’s settled in really well and he had a nice breeze on Monday. Now we’ll have to see how he shapes up on the world stage,” Merryman said.

Exercise rider Ali Rawles reported that Valiant Boy handled the Meydan dirt track. “He liked it just fine,” added Merryman, who did not plan any more significant work for the rest of the week.

Valiant Boy is a prime nominee for the 2014 Darley Horse of the Year Award as America’s best purebred Arabian racehorse, an honour he also earned in 2012.

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

Bradester (USA) – Multiple graded stakes winner Bradester once again galloped 2400m on the Meydan dirt track, following a pattern utilised by exercise rider Julie Stormfelt over the past two days.

“He’s doing great. Everything is good,” Stormfelft said after the exercise on Wednesday.

Trainer Eddie Kenneally is expected to travel to Dubai to saddle the five-year-old horse. Kenneally will be seeking his second trophy from a Dubai World Cup night event, following the victory by Kelly’s Landing in the 2007 Dubai Golden Shaheen.

Dark Emerald (IRE) – “I let him have a blow up the straight this morning (on the all-weather training track),” trainer Brendan Powell said.

“He’s been on the dirt for three and a half weeks and he’s been training great.  I’m not going to be bothered if the going is heavy or firm and all I want is for him to get out of the gate and be handy (but) whatever he does, he’s already done us proud.”

Gold City (IRE) and Surfer (USA) – Trainer Satish Seemar reported that his Godolphin Mile runners are doing well as the day approaches. He sent both out for a trot and a hack canter at his Zabeel Stables base on Wednesday morning.

Graphic (Ire) – Back to winning form in a conditions race over Wolverhampton’s Polytrack surface early last month, the six-year-old has continued to please connections in advance of his first outing outside Europe.

For the second day running he completed a steady canter over slightly less than the full circuit of the main all-weather track. Trainer William Haggas’ travelling head groom ‘Bizzy’ Budden reported: “It’s all good so far.”

Layl (USA) – “I was sick to my stomach when I saw the post (14),” trainer Doug Watson said. “We’ll just let the speed go forward. Tamarkuz drew the rail, but if he breaks tardy, which he is prone to do, with that kind of money on the line, maybe they won’t give him an easy forward go on the rail.

“He (Layl) will face the kickback, so that’s a plus. We hope to be in the money, but we know that he’s a progressive horse who has a chance to be even better next year.”

Quadrivium (USA) – Quadrivium made his first and probably only appearance on the main Meydan track on Thursday morning, getting a little gate schooling before taking a spin around the oval.

“He seemed to handle the course fine,” said trainer Graham Motion before discussing the draw for the son of Henrythenavigator.  “I guess the three is helpful because they have a little bend here (pointing to where the 1600m chute meets the course proper) but I think I would rather be a little more outside.

“We had planned to bring this horse over as a companion to (Dubai Sheema Classic contender) Main Sequence. I’m glad we were able to get in but I have to admit the race came up a bit tougher than I thought.”

Sloane Avenue (USA) – After three wins on all-weather surfaces in England from five starts as a three-year-old, Sloane Avenue has been gradually introduced to the Meydan dirt that he will encounter in a race for the first time on Saturday.

He made his second appearance on the main track on Wednesday and again pleased trainer Jeremy Noseda’s experienced travelling groom and word rider David Bradley, who reported: “He cantered a circuit, travelling half a stride faster than on Tuesday, and everything’s fine.”

Group 2 US$1m Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors – 3200m (Turf)
 

Bathyrhon (GER) – Prix du Cadran runner-up Bathyrhon, trained by Pia Brandt, followed fellow French-trained Flintshire onto the main track at Meydan on Wednesday morning.

He cantered over 1400m and the trainer’s husband Joakim Brandt said:
“He is really well. He feels good and now we are just waiting for Saturday. My wife is arriving tonight, so she will be here at the track on Thursday morning.”

Brown Panther (GB) – Preparing for the opening race of what will be his last season’s racing, the ten-time winner from 25 starts, including the Group 1 Irish St Leger, experienced the main track for the first time. With regular work partner Chris Ely in the saddle, he completed a steady canter round the full turf facility.

Trainer Tom Dascombe, who planned to take his stable star for his regular afternoon swimming exercise, said: “He can be a little keen but we got a pony to canter with him and he was as good as gold. He’ll have a slightly stiffer breeze on Thursday.”

Cooptado (ARG), Meandre (FR) – “He’s a funny Argentine horse,” trainer Doug Watson said of Cooptado.
“He’s very talented but a bit of a head case. On Super Saturday, Pat Dobbs had him on one rein trying to keep him on the rail while on the lead and by the time they straightened away, others had a run on him.

“He fought back well to only be beaten three lengths. He’ll be equipped with a shadow roll and ring bit on Saturday. We’re still learning what he does best, but we do think he’ll stay all day. We’re hoping it all comes together on the night.”

Watson said of Meandre: “After running a close seventh in the Dubai Sheema Classic last year, we thought the Dubai Gold Cup might have actually suited him better, so that’s what we pointed to.

“He did well in his training this summer, so we had high hopes for the Dubai World Cup Carnival.

“It’s been a bit disappointing so far, but not without excuses. With three days of high wind the turf was very firm for the Nad Al Sheba Trophy (on February 28) and it was just a weird night of racing. He ran fifth but I’m willing to toss it out completely. We expect better on Saturday night.”

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

Dear Domus (JPN) – Dear Domus galloped 1400m of the dirt track and jockey Kosei Miura said: “He galloped at home before he flew in, so I did not require a lot from him today, just confirming how his mood was.

“It is my first experience to be here. The surface on the dirt here is different from what we have in Japan and it seems to need more speed as well. But I think the horse is handling the surface. I cannot say until he races but I am happy with his condition and performance today.”

Faithful Creek (IRE) – Although the three-year-old cleared quarantine on Tuesday, he was confined to walking in the international barn complex by his trainer, Brian Meehan.

"He will step onto the main track tomorrow but only to walk down to the paddock," Meehan said.

"He worked very well before he came out here and is fresh and very bright. This is his level after his good run in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, and while we don't know for sure how he will cope with the dirt, I'm expecting him to run well."

Golden Barows (JPN) – Noriyuki Hori’s representative galloped from the 1000m pole and was asked to drive strongly in the stretch before he got familiarised with the starting gate.

The assistant trainer, Kazutomo Mori, said, “He could change leads smoothly.  He has more spirit and stretched out strongly at the end.

“He is not good at the starting gate. He had a practice but he was a bit irritated and not relaxed when standing in the gate, but once the gate opened, he jumped much better than he always did at home, which was good. He will have an easy jog to relax and stretch his legs in the trotting ring tomorrow.”

My Johnny Be Good (USA) – “He just had a little light exercising this morning. Just cantering,” said trainer Eoin Harty.
“We’ll gallop him tomorrow.  He seemed real happy; really on the muscle as he was galloping.”

Having drawn post eight in the field for the 1900m race and having had a chance to better assess the competition, Harty noted: “The Japanese horses are really nice.

“I hadn’t really taken them into consideration and maybe I should have.  I don’t have a great post position having drawn toward the outside so we’ll have to try to save some ground somewhere.”

Tap That (JPN) – Galloped 1000m on the dirt track under assistant trainer Yuya Shiotsu.

Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee said, “He took his bit and showed more acceleration at 400m pole in the stretch.

“Even after he passed the finish line, he was not stiff and could release the reins. I heard from the staff that he was a bit tense with the new surroundings.  However, he has been getting used to it and calmed down, which was a good thing for him to bring the better performance.

“He will walk around the paddock and saddling area to get familiarised with.  The draw in stall six is ideal.”

 

Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint empowered by IPIC – 1000m (Turf)

Amber Sky (AUS) – Trainer Ricky You said: “All normal. He cantered on the dirt.”

Bundle Of Joy (AUS) – Trainer David Hall said: “The plan was to keep him in the quarantine area for a few days and that’s what’s happened. I’m very happy with him. He’ll go to the main track at Meydan tomorrow morning for a piece of work.”

Caspar Netscher (GB) - The six-year-old stepped up a gear on the main dirt track when he blew out over the last 400m to complete his programme of strong work ahead of Saturday's race.
"The horse seems in good order and he did all we wanted of him," said his trainer, David Simcock. "It's just a question now of keeping him ticking over. We're very happy with the way he is coming into the race."

Caspian Prince (IRE) –  Trainer Tony Carroll said: “All of his work has been done and he is in terrific form. His only blip is when he ran on dirt but his form is very good and he is a very fast horse. He will go off in front again on Saturday and the fast ground will suit him.”

Distinctiv Passion (USA) – After visiting the all-weather training track the last few days, the American contender galloped over the main track and visited the starting gate on Wednesday morning.

“Everything went well this morning and he’s had a good week,” said trainer Jeff Bonde, who has just arrived from his California base.

Bonde, who will be competing on Dubai World Cup night for the first time, exudes confidence when speaking of Saturday’s run.

“My horse has pure natural speed and he makes his own music,” Bonde said. “I can’t judge horses from other continents, but in our part of the world our horse is as fast as there is.”

Jockey Edwin Maldonado, who has ridden the five-year-old in most of his career, will be back aboard on Saturday.

Farmah (USA) – The François Rohaut-trained Farmah looked very relaxed when she came onto the main track at Meydan on Wednesday morning. Ridden as usual by Doric Binot, she went a bit quicker than Tuesday, finishing well over the last 200m.

Her rider confirmed: “We went a good gallop and quickened over the final 200m. It was just to open her lungs and everything went as I had hoped for. I am happy with her. Her trainer will arrive tomorrow.”

Green Mask (USA) – Trainer Wesley Ward is en route to Dubai from Miami and is expected to arrive today.

Ward is travelling with his eldest son Riley, noting: “He’s been my good luck charm. He goes on all these trips with me. He’s been with me to France twice as well as Royal Ascot.”
As far as the horse, Ward said: “He’ll jog up to the race from here. If he’s not ready by now, he’s not going to be ready. I’ve lined up Frankie Dettori to ride.”

Hototo (GB) – Fawzi Nass galloped Hototo with stablemate Krypton Factor over 900m on the dirt surface on Monday and will now trot and swim in preparation for Saturday. “He lost his condition last year but he has been training well this time and I have been happy with his preparation,” said Nass.

Lancelot Du Lac (Ity) - Having visited the turf on Tuesday, the consistent sprinter returned to the all-weather training track and covered 1400m under the British apprentice Paul Booth.
"We just went steady to make sure he was well after Tuesday's workout," Booth said. "He has been here since the first week of January, so he is well acclimatised.
"He has run well at Meydan, including when fourth on his last start.

“That was better than it looked because he was drawn away from the pace. We're obviously hoping that doesn't happen again on Saturday."

Peniaphobia (IRE) – Trainer Tony Cruz said: “He worked on the turf and went really well. Things are going according to our expectations. I feel he will run a big race.”

Sir Maximilian (Ire) – The last-time-out course winner continued his smooth progress towards a sixth outing in Dubai since the turn of the year with a repeat of Tuesday’s steady canter over 1200m of the training track all-weather surface.
With trainer Ian Williams arriving from England on Wednesday morning, travelling groom and work rider Dawn Oxley has been supervising his preparation and she reported: “He did his last piece of major work on Sunday, and did it well. Now it’s just a matter of keeping him up to the mark.”

Sole Power (GB) – Sole Power went onto the grass track at Meydan on Wednesday morning. He made a very good impression as he breezed up the straight and his trainer Eddie Lynam said: “Everything went well. We just jogged him to the 1000m mark and then cantered up the track.

“He only stretched over the final 400m and we are very happy with him. He will stay in the quarantine yard tomorrow and then will come back onto the training track on Friday morning.”

Stepper Point (GB) – With big-race rider Martin Dwyer in the saddle, the September conqueror of Sir Maximilian completed one and a half laps of the training track’s all-weather circuit in steady fashion.

Trainer William Muir, who is relishing the prospect of saddling his first runner in Dubai, said: “He’s a typical sprinter and has got his characteristics, but he walked down from the stables as if he owned the place.

We’re not overdoing things with him, because we don’t want to undo all the good work we did at home.”

 

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

Big Macher (USA) – The Grade 1 winning sprinter jogged 1200m and galloped 1800m over the Meydan dirt track in the pre-dawn darkness on Wednesday and then visited the starting gate.

Trainer Richard Baltas watched the five-year-old stand in the gate, back out and then stand again, and he will probably repeat that drill on Thursday morning.

“He’s always been a bad gate horse and I want to be sure he gets a good break,” Baltas said.

“He stumbled a bit coming out of the gate in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and it cost him the race.”

After the stumble, Big Macher trailed the field in the 14-horse Breeders’ Cup Sprint and could advance only to ninth at the finish. Typically, he races close to or on the pace, as he did when winning the Bing Crosby Stakes over 1200m at Del Mar last year.

Cool Cowboy (USA) – “I’ve never run a horse off a layoff off just four pieces of work, so we knew going in into the Mahab Al Shimaal that he would likely be a bit short,” said trainer Doug Watson.

“He gave us a bit of a thrill, but finished fourth. He wasn’t blowing hard after the race, he just got a little bit leg weary. We expect him to move forward, but we worry about the speed of the American horses in the race.”

Krypton Factor (GB) –The 2013 winner of this race will trot and swim in the final few days before race night after working on the dirt track on Monday morning.

“He isn’t as good as he used to be but if runs like he did on his first start back here then he will go well,” said trainer Fawzi Nass.

Lucky Nine (IRE) – Trainer Caspar Fownes said: “He was out on the main dirt track for the first time. Very happy with him.”

Rich Tapestry (IRE) – Trainer Michael Chang said: “Vincent Sit who is riding him in the mornings reported that he is much better than when he arrived on Sunday. He was happy out on the big track today. I am sure he will run a good race on Sunday.”

Salutos Amigos (USA) – One day after indicating that his contender would blow out 600m on Wednesday morning, trainer David Jacobson decided to give the Salutos Amigos “the day off”.

Secret Circle (USA) – Arriving at the Meydan dirt track around 6:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, 2013 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Secret Circle jogged strongly under exercise rider and assistant trainer Dana Barnes, who reported that the six-year-old is feeling extremely good as race day nears.

“He’s a monster,” Barnes said, adding that Secret Circle has been moving more powerfully than he typically does in his morning exercise. “He literally dragged me around and then all the way back home (to the quarantine barn).”

Secret Circle has some powerful connections when it comes to Dubai racing. His trainer, Bob Baffert, saddled Dubai World Cup winners Silver Charm and Captain Steve, and one of his co-owners, Mike Pegram, campaigned Captain Steve.

Speed Hawk (USA) – Twice placed at Group 3 level during the Dubai World Cup Carnival, the Robert Cowell-trained four-year-old again exercised on the training track Wednesday.
“He is fine, it’s been very straight-forward with him and he is well,” said Cowell.

“He has done three easy bits of work since Super Saturday and he certainly won’t have left his race on the training track. He worked yesterday on the all-weather and will then canter on Friday and we will be ready to go.”

Super Jockey (NZ) – Bev Millard, wife of trainer Tony, said: “I rode him in a nice canter early this morning. He’s in good shape. We are hoping for a good draw.”

 

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

Cladocera (GER) – The Alain de Royer Dupre-trained Cladocera did not change her training routine at Meydan on Tuesday morning, when she cantered over 1200m following a warm-up jog in front of the stands.

Her travelling head lad Antoine Creton said: “The preparation in view of the races on Saturday is following its course and we were happy with the way things went this morning. She seems well.”

Euro Charline (GB) –The four-year-old filly, trained in England by Marco Botti, cleared quarantine and strode out over the turf track under Italian rider Paulo Sirigu.
"She did a steady canter over 1600m and enjoyed herself," said Botti's wife, Lucie. "She seems to have travelled well and is drinking lots of water, so we are happy."
Mrs Botti is unconcerned that Euro Charline has not run since she won the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington in Chicago back in August.

"She had a trial at Chelmsford racecourse two weeks ago and she's a pretty straightforward filly. It shouldn't be an issue," she said.

Farraaj (IRE) – Farraaj  will be having his first start for Dhruba Selvaratnam.

“He is a nice horse,” said Selvaratnam. “Obviously it is a tough race but he has form at a good level and has pleased us since arriving.”

Limario (GER) – The Doug Watson-trained Limario galloped at Meydan on Monday. “We took him over to Meydan for his final piece of work on the turf. He worked nicely along with Meandre (Dubai Gold Cup).”

Mshawish (USA) – The American raider Mshawish, who represents Qatar’s Al Shaqab Racing, took to the Meydan dirt course shortly after sunrise on Tuesday morning under the watchful eye of assistant trainer Ginny Depasquale as well as Bradley Weisbord, US advisor for the ownership group.  Both were happy with the exercise.

The son of Medaglia d’Oro has won his last three starts in the US, stepping up in class with each victory.

Solow (GB) – French trainer Freddy Head had arrived on Tuesday morning to oversee Solow’s morning track work.

As usual, the grey came onto the main track a Meydan with his fellow French trained Dolniya and Cladocera. He cantered over 1400m, but went a bit slower than Monday morning, and Freddy Head said: “He seems well. He was nice and relaxed and we are hoping for a good run on Saturday.”

The Grey Gatsby (IRE) – The Kevin Ryan-trained four-year-old is by some way the highest-rated horse in this race. However, having cleared quarantine, the son of Mastercraftsman worked on the training track.

Trade Storm (GB) – The six-year-old completed his preparation when he strode out over the turf track in company with his stablemate Sheikhzayedroad, who runs in the Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines. He completed 1300m, during which the tempo increasing markedly down the home straight.
"It was just what he wanted," said trainer David Simcock. "He had a decent blowout, his rider was happy and we are one day closer to the race."

Umgiyo (AUS) – Mike De Kock saddles Umgiyo, the mount of Johnny Geroudis. “I rode him the last time when he was staying on nicely,” said Geroudis. ”Hopefully he can build on that and Mike is delighted with him.”

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

Designs on Rome (IRE) – Trainer John Moore said: “He just cantered around the turf for his work rider. He loves it here. He’s very settled and he looks great. Joao Moreira will ride him work tomorrow.”

Dolniya (FR) – Dolniya, trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, looks a stronger filly than last year and seems to have taken well to her surroundings.

After a warm up jog half way around the main training track, she cantered over 1400m and Antoine Creton, travelling head lad, said: “Dolniya continues her preparation as planned and seems in very good form. All we can do now is wait for the race on Saturday.”

Flintshire (GB) – Flintshire, who was ridden by regular work rider Annelie Ackermann, cantered on the main track at Meydan on Wednesday morning.

Richard Lambert, travelling head lad for the Andre Fabre yard, said: “He is now doing the same exercise every morning until the race on Saturday. He is well and fit and cantered over about 1400m, which he will do again tomorrow and on Friday.”

Harp Star (JPN) – The Japanese 1000 Guineas winner Harp Star was working steady on the Meydan dirt track.

Trainer Hiroyoshi Matsuda said: “She drove strongly in the stretch this morning, which was her routine galloping style. I am happy with her showing the strong stretch run. There is no hitch. Ryan Moore will be on to work her on the turf track tomorrow.”

Just the Judge (GB) – The Charlie Hills trained Just The Judge continued her preparations with a light canter on the main turf track on Wednesday morning. Her trainer arrived in Dubai today and reported everything to be well with his filly.

"She travelled well and didn't lose much weight on the journey, which is good. She just had a quiet morning on the track, and she'll have another quiet day tomorrow," said the trainer." I am looking forward to running her over this trip, I think she will be suited by stepping up in distance.”

Just The Judge has never in 14 career starts run beyond 2000m.

Main Sequence (USA) – The top-rated US turf horse and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2014, Main Sequence made his first and likely only appearance on the main Meydan track on Thursday morning.

The six-year-old son of Aldebaran stood in the starting gate, as did his stablemate Quadrivium (Godolphin Mile) before going once around the oval.

“Main Sequence was a little antsy, but that’s him,” Motion noted and then said of Wednesday’s upcoming draw. “I’d like four or nine, then he’s the last one in (the gate.)

“He’ll train tomorrow and Friday on the training track,” he added. “He’s used to training on Tapeta back home so I thought we’d stick with it.

Motion, who saddled 2013 Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom, knows what it takes to get a horse ready for Dubai World Cup night and he did note one place where Main Sequence excels: “He’s done one thing Animal Kingdom didn’t and that’s string a bunch of wins together.”

One and Only (JPN) – With the jockey Cristian Demuro getting abroad, he started galloping at the 1000m pole and drove strongly in the stretch on the Meydan turf track.

Trainer Kojiro Hashiguchi said: “He showed a strong run with the big strides in the stretch.

“He has a great mood and I am very happy with his good form. I am going to give him a schooling with the starting gate tomorrow morning as the gate is different from what we have in Japan. I will walk him around the quarantine stable area to relax him tomorrow morning.”

Demuro said: “It was my first ride on him this morning and he ran very nicely. I drove him strongly in the last 200m and had a good feeling from him.

He is in a very good condition. Of the turf at Meydan, because they take care of the surface well, it is in good condition and well-watered.

“I thought he ran very comfortably this morning so he likes the course.”

Sheikhzayedroad (GB) - Having blown out over 1300m on the turf on Tuesday, the consistent six-year-old was back in routine mode when completing one circuit of the main dirt track.

His trainer, David Simcock, was pleased with the way Mohammed Jaber's horse rebounded from Tuesday's work. "He did a quiet canter and showed he had taken his spin on the grass well," Simcock said.

The Newmarket-based trainer would like to see the race run at a strong pace.

"That would suit us, although I can't see where that will come from," he said.

"But the horses are good enough that I'm hoping something will go on. I'm hoping they will start be racing hard early enough for it not affect his chance.”
 

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

California Chrome (USA) – According to trainer Art Sherman, Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates contender California Chrome came out of Tuesday’s 800m breeze in good order.

“He ate up everything last night and walked for 45 minutes this morning,” Sherman said. “The pressure is off today. He will go back to the track at 5 a.m. tomorrow. It’s nice and cool then.”

Sherman believes his horse will put himself into the race regardless of the gate he springs from.

“We’d like to be outside, but I’ve heard that the rail is good here (Meydan main track),” Sherman said. “Our perfect trip has been to sit up close on the outside with a target in front of us."

Although he has won three times on synthetic and once on turf, California Chrome’s Dubai World Cup presence was somewhat inspired by Meydan’s return to dirt.

“I don't know if we would have come if it were the old (all-weather),” Sherman said. “He likes a firm dirt track and to hear his feet rattle a little bit, and don't forget a $10 million purse has a nice ring to it.”

Candy Boy (USA) – Candy Boy will be making his first start under the care of trainer Doug Watson and galloped 2000m over a fast Meydan oval on Wednesday.

“He hasn’t raced since the Breeders’ Cup (sixth behind Bayern) but we’ve gotten him very fit in his work and he’s thriving,” Watson said.

Although Candy Boy has run from off the pace in the majority of his starts, Watson believes him capable of racing closer in the early stages on Saturday.

“I watched his American replays with Pat (jockey Dobbs) and he ran a little bit forward in some of his races,” Watson said.

“We agreed we’re going to push a little forward and take our chances. We’re not going to take back, that’s for sure. He’s a big horse and the wide sweeping turns of this course should work in his favour.”

Epiphaneia (JPN) – The horse galloped on the dirt track this morning.

Trainer Katsuhiko Sumii said: “After he flew into Dubai and arrived here, he was too fresh, however the days go by, he is getting used to the new surroundings here and is in a good condition so far.

“The reason why we decided to send him to the race over the 2000m instead of 2400m is because he is a type of horse who takes the bit and is keen to go faster, and instead of choosing the race where the pace would be slower, the 2000m where the American horses would pick up the pace will be much more suitable for him.”

“By touching the dirt itself, my impression is the surface is different from what they have in the US, but it seems to require both speed and power.  I think he is gradually getting used to the new surfaces. Tomorrow he will school in the paddock ring.”

Hokko Tarumae (JPN) – Hokko Tarumae galloped half-speed, covering the final 200m in 12.8 seconds on the dirt track this morning.

Trainer Katsuichi Nishiura said: “The fractional time is just a reference anyway, he was galloping powerfully and very flexibly.  I think he has more passion and looks like he wants to run.  He is in a great mood.  I feel he is very relaxed and fresh.

“He had colic and was very sick after last year’s race, he was forced to stay here longer than other Japanese contenders before he returned to Japan.

“But all the support from Dubai Racing Club, Sheikh Mohammed and the treatment at the Godolphin hospital, he could recover from the sickness and bounced back to his form.

It is an honour to be coming back here again. To prove his high-class performance to the world, I would like to win the race.”

Lea (USA) – Under the watchful eye of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who arrived in the UAE the previous evening, Lea galloped twice around the Meydan oval on Wednesday morning.

“He will have another easy day tomorrow and probably have a little blowout on Friday morning,” Mott said. “Nothing serious. Just to let him stretch his legs and get over the track. The next day will be race day.”

Mott’s win in the inaugural Dubai World Cup with the legendary Cigar is well documented, but his champion mare Royal Delta disappointed in recent editions of the race.

She was ninth in 2012 and tenth in 2013, but both of those were contested over a synthetic all-weather surface.

“We are certainly here (with Lea) because the race is back on dirt and our horse has done his best running on the dirt,” Mott said.

“Just from what I can tell from looking at the surface this morning, it looks very good. I walked across it and it looks like our horse handles it well, which is the most important thing.”

Mott is very familiar with the qualifications of the likely international race favourite California Chrome, but admits there are some unknowns entering Saturday’s race.

“We're going to give it our best,” Mott said. He (California Chrome) is a very good horse who of course was (US) Horse of the Year, which is the biggest prize you can get I suppose.

He's well thought of but we like our horse as well. I don't know a lot about the Japanese horses. We have nothing to compare them to.”

Side Glance (GB) – Andrew Balding’s globetrotting eight-year-old, last seen finishing fourth in the Cox Plate, again worked on the training track Wednesday morning and will complete his preparation with an outing on the dirt track on Thursday.

“He had a canter round this morning and will head out to the main track on Thursday,” said Balding.

“He has been fourth the last two years and his holding his form well – his run in Australia was almost a career best. He has been away to gallop twice in the UK and will be in an eye-shield and half-cut blinkers on Saturday to help him on the dirt.”

Balding Passes a Third Glance

Andrew Balding has taken every precaution possible to ensure Side Glance (GB) will act on the new dirt surface at Meydan when he bids to make it third time lucky in the $10million Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates.

An away gallop on the deep Fibresand surface at Southwell and a fancy combination of new headgear will ensure the eight-year-old has the best chance of showing his world-class form when he tries his luck on dirt for the first time.

Side Glance has been Englishman Balding’s ticket to travel over the last couple of years with the son of Passing Glance amassing almost $2.5million in prize money with starts in the UK, Dubai, Singapore, America and Hong Kong.

“He has earned prize money in dirhams, pounds, dollars and all sorts of currencies,’” said Balding. “I’m really looking forward to Saturday and I am hoping he takes to the surface and performs to his best as we know the configuration on the track suits him well.

“The dirt is the unknown factor but I am hoping he will be ok on it. He went away to gallop at Southwell and will wear an eyeshield with half-cut blinkers in the race.

They were something that trainers David Simcock and  Dhruba Selvaratnam suggested we tried to help him and he has been working away fine in the headgear.”

Side Glance was last seen beaten less then half a length by Adelaide in the Cox Plate and has twice finished fourth in the Dubai World Cup when beaten by African Story and Animal Kingdom over the last two years.

“He is holding his form really well and you could argue that his Cox Plate run was a career best,” said Balding.

“He has a new rider in Andrea Atzeni, who is the new jockey to his owners, but he is world-class and there are no worries there.

“The horse means so much to us as he is by Phoenix Reach, who I trained, and his dam was nothing much but has turned out to be a pretty special broodmare and to have a homebred who has done what he has done has been exceptional.”

Side Glance will not be Balding’s only runner on the night with Havana Beat (IRE) going in the Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors.

“He ran fourth there in his prep race and he will have come on for that,” added the trainer. “We have thought a lot of him since his maiden win and hopefully he can step up again.”

 

Dubai World Cup Media Notice

 

 

Dear Dubai World Cup media,

 

We will be having Paddock Schooling tonight (Tuesday) under the lights this evening from 7:00pm to 7:30pm.

 

Horses schooling include:

 

LEA (USA) – Bill Mott
BRADESTER (USA) – Eddie Kenneally
MAIN SEQUENCE (USA) & QUADRIVIUM (USA) - Graham Motion
MSHAWISH (USA) – Todd Pletcher

 

 Today’s track interviews and B roll of this morning’s trackwork can be found at this link:

 

 Interviews include:

Art Sherman – Trainer CALIFORNIA CHROME (USA)
Tom Dascombe – Trainer BROWN PANTHER (GB)
Bill Casner – Owner Myjohnnybegood (USA)

 

DUBAI WORLD CUP MORNING PRESS CONFERENCE – Wednesday, March 25, 2015

 

Starting 9am in the Meydan Interview Room:

 

Katsuhiko Sumii - EPIPHANEIA (JPN) – Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates (TBC)
Katsuichi Nishiura - HOKKO TARUMAE (JPN) - Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates
Graham Motion - MAIN SEQUENCE (USA) - Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines
Graham Motion - QUADRIVIUM (USA) - Godolphin Mile sponsored by Meydan Sobha
Frank Gabriel - Executive Director, Racing - Dubai Racing Club
Bill Mott - LEA (USA) - Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates

 

The Post Position Draw will be made tomorrow (Wednesday) at 3pm in the Meydan Theatre. All Group 1 races will be drawn live and there will be a draw ceremony for the US$10m Dubai World Cup. Access is for Dubai World Cup accredited media only.

DWC 2015 Trackwork Notes - Tuesday, March 24

Group 1 US $1m Dubai Kahayla Classic empowered by IPIC – 2000m (Dirt)
Raaziq (FR) - Majed Al Jahouri has booked Kieren Fallon to ride.
“On his best form he has a chance,” said Fallon. “The yard won this last year and is always a good one to ride for.”
Callateral (US), Abu Alabyad (FR) and Richlore (US) all represent Salem Al Ketbi.
Tadhg O’Shea elects to ride the last-named and said: “Obviously it is a tough race but they are three nice horses who should all run well.
“It is never easy to choose in these situations so hopefully I am on the right one.”
Group 2 US$1m Godolphin Mile sponsored by Meydan Sobha – 1600m (Dirt)
Bradester (USA) – Multiple American graded stakes winner Bradester galloped 2400m under Julie Stormfelt, who reported that the five-year-old “is doing great.”
Trainer Eddie Kenneally is due to travel to Dubai to saddle Bradester but Stormfelt said she did not know when he would arrive.

Bradester has not raced in about six months, as his last start was on September 27, 2014, when he finished seventh in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park. In his prior start, earlier that month, he won the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs in a mostly front-running performance, indicating that he has the speed that may make him well suited for Meydan’s new dirt track.

Dark Emerald (IRE) – Dark Emerald travelled well within himself in a lap of the main dirt track and seems to have coped well with his solid campaign during the lead-up carnival.

Free Wheeling (AUS) – Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “Free Wheeling ran well last time and we will see how he handles the dirt as he is returning to the surface. I am happy with him and he worked well on Sunday. It is a tough race and he will need to be at his best."

Gold City (IRE) and Surfer (USA) – Trainer Satish Seemar reported that his duo emerged from their Monday workouts in good order.

However, he expressed great disappointment that the talented Surfer drew the far outside post position in the 16-runner field, which he said will be a big disadvantage.

“You don’t want to lose hope, but it will have to be kind of a miracle situation (for Surfer to win),” Seemar said Tuesday morning. “This horse just never gets a break in his life. He always gets the wide draws.”

Owned by Zabeel Racing International Corp, the American-bred Surfer put together back-to-back Meydan wins in the Listed Dubai Creek Mile on December 18 and the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 over a mile on January 8 prior to finishing fourth in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 at 1900m on February 5. In that last start, Surfer finished ahead of defending Dubai World Cup champion African Story, demonstrating his quality.

While Seemar remains confident in Surfer, he is philosophical due to the post position draw. “From my point of view, my work is done. I was joking with (jockey) Richard Mullen that now the pressure is on him,” Seemar said.

Gold City drew post 10 for the Godolphin Mile, which was acceptable to the trainer.

“For a horse like him, it doesn’t matter, so that is Ok,” Seemar said.

Graphic (IRE) –The Royal Ascot Racing Club’s representative, who will be attempting to land a first win at the Dubai World Cup meeting for trainer William Haggas, had his initial experience of Meydan on Tuesday morning, trotting up the back stretch of the dirt track under the stable’s pupil assistant Jason Favell.

“He just came to have a look around,” travelling head groom ‘Bizzy’ Budden reported.

“It’s his first experience of flying since he came to us two years ago, so he’s a bit in awe of the situation, but he’s travelled OK and seems happy.”

Layl (USA) – Layl has been done no favours by the draw says Doug Watson. “We were hoping for a low draw so 14 is far from ideal,” said Watson. “He is in great form and should run a big race but it is going to be tough from that draw.”

Nolohay (IRE), Tamarkuz (USA) – Paul Hanagan rides Tamarkuz for Musabah Al Muhairi.

“He has been in great form and seemingly improving,” said Hanagan. “We are drawn in (barrier) one and can hopefully utilise that in this stronger race.”

Quadrivium (USA) – Graham Motion’s four-year-old Henrythenavigator gelding comes in off a sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap in New Orleans, but that performance doesn’t bother the trainer.

“When I first got him he won two dirt races right away,” said Motion, who trained 2013 Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom.

“After that, we sent him to California where he faces Hopportunity and then to the Fair Grounds.  He didn’t like the turf so we’ll stick with him in dirt. I expect he’ll run well here.”

Sloane Avenue (USA) – The first of the British-trained contingent to emerge at Meydan on Tuesday morning after clearing quarantine, the lightly-raced four-year-old covered a circuit of the dirt track under trainer Jeremy Noseda’s experienced travelling groom David Bradley, who reported: “He started at the 1400m marker and went back to the same point in a very easy canter.”

Bradley, Employee of the Year in the 2013 Godolphin Stud and Stable Awards, added: He felt very comfortable, very much at home. The only disappointment is his draw, 15 of 16.”

Group 2 US$1m Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors – 3200m (Turf)
 
Ahzeemah (IRE) – Saeed bin Suroor said: "Ahzeemah worked on Sunday but was very disappointing last time. We are expecting a much better performance in the Gold Cup and hope he can show his best form."

Bathyrhon (GER) – Bathyrhon, trained in Chantilly by Pia Brandt, cantered once round the main track at Meydan on Tuesday morning.

Ridden by Joaquim Brandt, he seemed relaxed and his rider confirmed: “We didn’t want to do too much this morning, as he went on the grass yesterday. He really feels well and I’m very happy with him.”

Brown Panther (GB) – A regular swimmer at home in England, last year’s Irish St Leger winner had already been in the pool in the international stables on Monday evening before leaving quarantine and taking to the all-weather training track on Tuesday morning for the first time.

“He did a circuit for Chris Ely, who’s been riding him for the last two years, just to take a little of the ‘fizz’ out of him,” trainer Tom Dascombe reported.

“I’ve been very happy with his preparation at home. He travelled over 10kg heavy and lost 8kg on the journey, but he’s been drinking and eating well since he arrived.”

Havana Beat (IRE) – Andrew Balding’s runner finished fourth in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy Empowered by Ipic on his prep run and worked on the training track Tuesday morning. He did two laps of the all-weather circuit, hugging the outside rail.

Marzocco (USA) – Trainer John Gosden’s only Dubai World Cup night runner arrived on Sunday morning and cleared quarantine today. However, he did not appear on the main track for exercise.

Gosden said: "We feel that the track and ground at Meydan should suit Marzocco and the trip is within his compass.”

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

Dear Domus (JPN) – Yutaka Takahashi reported that the colt did routine work on the Meydan dirt track.

The trainer said, “Jockey (Kosei Miura) will give him a gallop tomorrow morning. He is drawn number 10, and as my horse can dash well and take the lead, there is no concern about the barrier.”

Faithful Creek (IRE) – The Brian Meehan-trained three-year-old cleared quarantine on Tuesday morning but was not seen out on the main track.

The son of Bushranger, last seen when finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf in October, will be making his dirt debut on Saturday.

Golden Barows (USA) – Noriyuki Hori’s representative cantered for 1000m and jogged for 400m before he cantered again for 1400m on the Meydan dirt track.

Assistant trainer Kazutomo Mori said: “He was tense yesterday but has been relaxed and worked nicely today. He has a good mood. He sometimes started off the gate a bit slower recently, so he is going to have a school at the starting gate.”

Maftool (USA) – Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: "Maftool is doing good and I am happy with the progress he is making. The longer trip will suit him. The jockey (Paul Hanagan) has been riding him in the mornings. It is a hard race but he has a chance."

My Johnny Be Good (USA) – Trainer Eoin Harty reported that My Johnny Be Good remained in the quarantine area on Tuesday morning after his more serious drill on Monday.

“He’ll jog up to the race,” said the conditioner, who is familiar with the routine here having sent out 2009 Dubai World Cup victor Well Armed.

Looking at the form guided for the first time, Harty commented on the Japanese contingent, noting they appeared to be a strong bunch.

Sir Fever (URU) – Trainer Charlie Appleby said: "I was pleased with Sir Fever's first run for us and he has come out of the race well.

“It was good that William (Buick) got to know him during the race. Sir Fever is a big, lengthy galloper and we are applying headgear (blinkers and shadow roll) to help his concentration and keep him focussed."

Tap That (JPN) – The Tapit-sired Tap That had a piece of easy work on the Meydan dirt track.

Assistant trainer Yuya Shiotsu said: “He got used to the new surroundings and has settled well. He seems in really good form. He was getting familiarised with the starting gate and he had no problem at all.”

Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint empowered by IPIC – 1000m (Turf)

Ahtoug (GB) – Trainer Charlie Appleby said: “Ahtoug is ultra-consistent and looks in great nick. His most recent run was the best of the year so far and we were delighted the performance. William (Buick) rode him that day and saw what the horse is capable of. Ahtoug just got beaten in this race last year and retains his speed."

Amber Sky (AUS) – Trainer Ricky You said: “He cantered on the dirt surface at the big track under his regular work rider Raymond Tam, who said he’s in great form.”

Bundle Of Joy (AUS) – Trainer David Hall said: “No problem with him. He stayed behind in the quarantine area but he will be out on the main track later on.”

Caspar Netscher (GB) – The six-year-old was out on the main dirt track, where he completed one circuit on a morning of routine exercise.

"He's pretty fit, having run well here earlier this month," trainer David Simcock said. "He will have something slightly better than a canter (Wednesday) morning."

Caspian Prince (IRE) – Has had four runs during the Dubai World Cup Carnival and managed to make all and win in handicap company.

Trainer Tony Carroll is due to overcome his fear of flying to be in Dubai for the race and his six-year-old did not appear on the main track on Tuesday morning.

Farmah (USA) – The François Rohaut trained Farmah was on his own when he came onto the main track at Meydan on Tuesday morning.

He was ridden by Doric Binot, who said: “We cantered over 1200m and everything went as planned. He is very well and maybe he will work a bit faster tomorrow, but we shall see.”

Green Mask (USA) – Green Mask did not appear on the main track Tuesday morning, having completed his major work with a drill down the turf chute Monday morning.

“He’s in great shape,” said trainer Wesley Ward from his Florida base.

When asked to assess the competition for Saturday compared to what the son of Mizzen Mast has been facing back home he said: “I’m not sure this is as much a tougher task than he’s been taking over here (as it may appear on paper.)  His (US speed figures) suggested he’s right there.

“He’s had tough trips in his last two starts – which can happen going five furlongs (1000m) around a bend. He should get a better trip down the straight.  It’s very unlikely he will get traffic trouble down the straight. I think he’s a very good horse when it comes to turf sprints.”

Hototo (GB) – Fawzi Nass galloped Hototo with stablemate Krypton Factor over 900m on the dirt surface on Monday and will now trot and swim in preparation for Saturday.

Lancelot Du Lac (ITY) –  The five-year-old joined a bunch of British-trained horses in exercising on the turf course, where he covered one circuit at a steady canter.

His trainer, Dean Ivory, is expected to arrive here on Wednesday to put the finishing touches to his sprinter.

Peniaphobia (IRE) – Trainer Tony Cruz: said: “He did easy work with Amber Sky on the dirt. Shell Chan, his track rider, is really happy with him.  Tomorrow he will gallop on the turf.”

Sir Maximilian (IRE) – The busiest graduate in the field from the Dubai World Cup Carnival, where he had five runs, the six-year-old has been kept ticking over as he bids to add Group 1 glory to his Super Saturday success in the Group 3 Meydan Sprint.

With trainer Ian Williams still to arrive on site, he covered one circuit of the all-weather training track at a hack canter for his regular work rider on Tuesday.

Sole Power (GB) – Sole Power came onto the training track on Tuesday morning, where he dazzled with a slightly faster gallop than planned.

Trainer Eddie Lynam smiled when he said: “He is fresh and keen all right, which I suppose is a good sign. He sometimes can be like that and it is best to let him do his thing than try and hold him back.

“The girl who rides him knows him well and if you let him go and then reign him in, it’s better than to fight him. Tomorrow he will be going onto the grass track at Meydan.”

Stepper Point (GB) – Dubai debutant Stepper Point had his first experience of local conditions on Tuesday after exiting quarantine, and hacked round the all-weather training track for big-race rider Martin Dwyer “to show him what life is all about,” according to William Muir.

The trainer added: “He likes to do things his own way at home, and although he’s been all round Europe, this was his first experience of flying, so it’s all a new experience for him, but he hasn’t turned a hair.”

Via Africa (SAF) – Christophe Soumillon rides for Mike de Kock.

“She ran well on Super Saturday,” said Soumillon. “She needed the run and has come out of it well.”

 

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

Big Macher (USA) – Arriving at the Meydan dirt track well before dawn on Tuesday, Tom Mansor and Tachycardia Stables’ Big Macher jogged about 1400m and then galloped 1800m.

“I feel like he’s happy right now,” said trainer Richard Baltas. “He’s eating good and he’s weight is good, and he’s settled in well.”

Baltas does not plan to send Big Macher out for any speed work in Dubai prior to his first international start since the five-year-old gelding turned in a lightning fast breeze before he left his base at Santa Anita Park in California.

Big Macher, who won the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes over the all-weather track at Del Mar in 2014, sped through six furlongs (1200m) in 1:09.20, the fastest time of the day, on March 11, six days before he boarded the plane bound for Dubai.

Cool Cowboy (USA) – Cool Cowboy galloped on Monday.

“He went well in his final piece of work,” said trainer Doug Watson. “He has improved for his Super Saturday run so it is fingers crossed for a good draw.”

Krypton Factor (GB) – The 2013 winner of the Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News will trot and swim in the final few days before race night after working on the dirt track on Monday morning.

Lucky Nine (IRE) – Trainer Caspar Fownes said: “Good reports from the team in Dubai. He has travelled well. I just hope we draw a good gate for the race.”

Muarrab (GB), Shaishee (USA) – Paul Hanagan rides Muarrab  for Musabah Al Muhairi.

“The horse has enjoyed a good season and seems in great nick,” said Hanagan. “The draw is going to be of great significant in his race.”

Dane O’Neill partners stable companion Shaishee. “He won well on Super Saturday to earn his place in this field,” said O’Neill. “He stays 1400m so will be suited by the likely strong gallop.”

Rich Tapestry (IRE) – Trainer Michael Chang said: “He was a bit under the weather when he first arrived but he has improved a lot. He was on the main dirt track this morning and he’s in good shape.”

Salutos Amigos (USA) – Salutos Amigos galloped 2400m on Tuesday in preparation for Saturday’s race, and trainer David Jacobson, who will be saddling his first Dubai World Cup night runner, is happy with his decision to make the trip.

“I think I have a nice horse,” Jacobson said. “We considered the Carter (April 4 at Aqueduct) but there’s a lot of money and prestige on the line here. It's that simple.”

Salutos Amigos exited his win in the Grade 3 Toboggan at Aqueduct on February 7 with a minor foot issue, but returned a month later to score his fourth consecutive win in the Grade 3 Tom Fool.

“Because of the foot issues, he missed the General George (February 16 at Laurel Park), which would have been running back a little quick anyway,” Jacobson explained.

“He bounced right out of it and that last race was evidence of that. He's better than he's ever been. His past performances will tell you that.”

According to Jacobson, the five-year-old gelded son of Salute the Sarge will breeze 600m at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Secret Circle (USA) – Following his 800m workout on Monday over the Meydan dirt track, the Bob Baffert-trained Secret Circle had an easy morning in the Dubai World Cup quarantine barn area on Tuesday.

Baffert’s assistant and exercise rider, Dana Barnes, reported that Secret Circle came out of his workout in perfect shape. “He’s excellent. Everything is cold and tight and ready to go,” Barnes said.

Speed Hawk (USA) –Twice placed at Group 3 level during the Dubai World Cup Carnival, the Robert Cowell-trained four-year-old did not appear on the main track this morning but enjoyed light exercise on the all-weather training circuit.

Super Jockey (NZ) – Bev Millard, wife of trainer Tony Millard, said: “I gave him an easy canter on the dirt track early at 5 a.m. He seemed to enjoy himself and liked the surface. He’s a very fit horse.

“He did a nice piece of fast work in Hong Kong on Saturday before he flew here to take the freshness out of him and that has seemed to work well. I’m very happy with how he is.”

United Color (USA) – United Color represents Dhruba Selvaratnam.

“It is going to be a very tough race,” said Selvaratnam. “There should be plenty of early speed and hopefully he will be running on strongly.”

 

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

Cladocera (GER) – The Alain de Royer Dupre-trained Cladocera did not change her training routine at Meydan on Tuesday morning, when she cantered over 1200m following a warm-up jog in front of the stands.

Her travelling head lad Antoine Creton said: “The preparation in view of the races on Saturday is following its course and we were happy with the way things went this morning. She seems well.”

Euro Charline (GB) –The four-year-old filly, trained in England by Marco Botti, cleared quarantine and strode out over the turf track under Italian rider Paulo Sirigu.
"She did a steady canter over 1600m and enjoyed herself," said Botti's wife, Lucie. "She seems to have travelled well and is drinking lots of water, so we are happy."
Mrs Botti is unconcerned that Euro Charline has not run since she won the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington in Chicago back in August.

"She had a trial at Chelmsford racecourse two weeks ago and she's a pretty straightforward filly. It shouldn't be an issue," she said.

Farraaj (IRE) – Farraaj  will be having his first start for Dhruba Selvaratnam.

“He is a nice horse,” said Selvaratnam. “Obviously it is a tough race but he has form at a good level and has pleased us since arriving.”

Limario (GER) – The Doug Watson-trained Limario galloped at Meydan on Monday. “We took him over to Meydan for his final piece of work on the turf. He worked nicely along with Meandre (Dubai Gold Cup).”

Mshawish (USA) – The American raider Mshawish, who represents Qatar’s Al Shaqab Racing, took to the Meydan dirt course shortly after sunrise on Tuesday morning under the watchful eye of assistant trainer Ginny Depasquale as well as Bradley Weisbord, US advisor for the ownership group.  Both were happy with the exercise.

The son of Medaglia d’Oro has won his last three starts in the US, stepping up in class with each victory.

Solow (GB) – French trainer Freddy Head had arrived on Tuesday morning to oversee Solow’s morning track work.

As usual, the grey came onto the main track a Meydan with his fellow French trained Dolniya and Cladocera. He cantered over 1400m, but went a bit slower than Monday morning, and Freddy Head said: “He seems well. He was nice and relaxed and we are hoping for a good run on Saturday.”

The Grey Gatsby (IRE) – The Kevin Ryan-trained four-year-old is by some way the highest-rated horse in this race. However, having cleared quarantine, the son of Mastercraftsman worked on the training track.

Trade Storm (GB) – The six-year-old completed his preparation when he strode out over the turf track in company with his stablemate Sheikhzayedroad, who runs in the Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines. He completed 1300m, during which the tempo increasing markedly down the home straight.
"It was just what he wanted," said trainer David Simcock. "He had a decent blowout, his rider was happy and we are one day closer to the race."

Umgiyo (AUS) – Mike De Kock saddles Umgiyo, the mount of Johnny Geroudis. “I rode him the last time when he was staying on nicely,” said Geroudis. ”Hopefully he can build on that and Mike is delighted with him.”

 

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

Designs on Rome (IRE) – Fifi Siu, assistant to trainer John Moore, said: “He cantered very slowly, one and a half laps on the turf track. He’s very relaxed and calm. He’s healthy. His trainer will be here tomorrow and the plan is for his jockey Joao Moreira to ride him on the turf on Thursday morning.”

Dolniya (FR) – Dolniya, trained by Alain de Royer Dupre, was accompanied by her stable companion Cladocera when she came onto the main track at Meydan on Tuesday morning.

Galloping with several lengths between them, she cantered once more for about 600m, before quickening over 1200m. Antoine Creton, travelling head lad for the yard said: “Dolniya is very well and we are happy with her. Her trainer arrives on Thursday.”

Flintshire (GB) – Following his gallop on the grass track at Meydan on Monday, Flintshire only did a slow canter on Tuesday morning.

Annelie Ackermann, his regular work rider, said: “After working on grass, the next day we always just do a slow canter. He went round the main track once and seems in fine form.”

Harp Star (JPN) – Another Japanese ace for Saturday’s Dubai Sheema Classic completed one lap on the dirt track at an easy canter.

Trainer Hiroyoshi Matsuda said: “I arrived at Meydan just after she finished working. The staff told me that everything went well. She will be galloping tomorrow.”

Just The Judge (GB) – The Charlie Hills-trained Just The Judge went to the turf training track on Tuesday morning under the supervision of long time travelling head lad Geoff Snook. The five-year-old daughter of Lawman did no more than a slow canter around a circuit of the track.

“She was nice and relaxed and I’m happy with her,” said Snook as he made his way back to the barn.

Just The Judge enjoyed a fine autumn campaign in 2014 winning the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine Race Course in Canada, before a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita. Both those races were over 2000m, and Just The Judge will be stepping up to 2400m for the first time when she makes her 15th career start on Saturday.

Main Sequence (USA) – Trainer Graham Motion arrived from America on Tuesday and will oversee the preparation of his Dubai World Cup night horses for the remainder of the week.

“He’s been doing well and we’ve done most of his work at the training track,” said the conditioner, who won the 2013 Dubai World Cup with Animal Kingdom.

“We’re going to bring him up to the main track on Wednesday morning to do some gate training.”

American-based horses of course have not fared well over the Meydan turf course on Dubai World Cup night and Motion is hoping his horse can reverse that trend.

“We should be competitive in there – among the choices (internationally),” he said, “but let’s face it, it’s a deep division.”

One and Only (JPN) – The four-year-old Heart’s Cry colt worked easily on the Meydan dirt course under the supervision of the trainer Kojiro Hashiguchi, who flew into Dubai this morning.

Hashiguchi said: “He looks well and worked nicely this morning. He is very flexible and is a gutsy horse like his (sire). He looks to be in really good condition.”

Sheikhzayedroad (GB) – The six-year-old took to the turf track for exercise and covered 1300m in company with his stablemate Trade Storm, a runner in the Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World.

"He had a blowout over the track and his rider was very happy with him," trainer David Simcock said. "The horse is in good order and everything is going to plan."

True Story (GB) – Saeed bin Suroor said: "True Story won well first time out in Dubai this year but a mile and a half (2400m) is a better trip for him. He needs to be more relaxed in his races and we have been working on this. Unfortunately, Sky Hunter is not able to run.”

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

African Story (GB), Prince Bishop (IRE) – African Story won the world's richest race, the US$10-million Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates, last year when it was run on the all-weather surface.

Meydan switched to a dirt track in 2014 and African Story, along with Godolphin's other Dubai World Cup contender, Prince Bishop, has now had experience of the new surface.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: "Both African Story and Prince Bishop worked on Saturday and are happy and in good condition.

"It will be very tough racing against California Chrome from America, though our horses have been doing very well.

"They have been getting used to the dirt this year but they don't like the kickback and need to be prominent in the race.

"Prince Bishop has to start better - he came from last to second in the final round of the Al Maktoum Challenge. African Story was victorious in last year's Dubai World Cup and is now back in peak form."

California Chrome (USA) – With exercise rider Dana Barnes in tow, Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates contender California Chrome breezed a half-mile (800m) early Tuesday morning in :50 over a fast Meydan main track.

“He got the last eighth (200m) in 11 seconds,” said Alan Sherman, assistant and son of trainer Art Sherman. “We just wanted to stretch his legs. If he’s not fit by now, it’s too late.”

With all six of his wins as a three-year-old coming against restricted company, California Chrome took full advantage of his sophomore season, but Sherman believes he can be as successful now that he is facing older horses.

“He's not a real heavy horse but I do think he's grown into his four-year-old season and that he’s a lot stronger,” Sherman said. “I'm just glad the owners (Steve Coburn and Perry Martin) decided to run him another year.”

Jockey Victor Espinoza, who has partnered with Chrome for his last 11 runs, will be back aboard for Saturday’s Dubai World Cup.

Candy Boy (USA) – Candy Boy remains in good form according to trainer, Doug Watson. “He did his final serious gallop yesterday (Monday) morning and went well,” said Watson. “We are looking forward to Saturday.”

Epiphaneia (JPN) – Representatives of trainer Katsuhiko Sumii said the Japanese contender had an easy canter on the Meydan dirt track and  has adapted to the new surroundings.

Assistant trainer Norihiko Kishimoto said, “He has been training well.  He will gallop on the dirt course tomorrow morning.”

Hokko Tarumae (JPN) – Jockey Hideaki Miyuki watched his partner Hokko Tarumae, another Dubai World Cup Japanese contender, cantering on the Meydan dirt track.

Miyuki said: “I have not ridden him since he has arrived, but as I touched and walked on the dirt course, it seemed to be more sticky than the Japanese dirt and needs more power. Hokko Tarumae is also a power-type of horse, so he should handle it.  He looks fit and I am happy with it.”

Lea (USA) – Lea continued his preparation for Saturday’s race on Tuesday by galloping 2400m over the Meydan main oval.

One year ago, following wins in both the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope and Grade 1 Donn Handicap, the Dubai World Cup was on the radar for Lea, but a virus quickly ended that thought process.

“Last year he won the Donn, which is a great stepping stone race to the World Cup, but then he got sick on us and the goal changed to getting the horse healthy,” explained assistant trainer Riley Mott, the son of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.

“We brought him back slowly and let the horse tell us when he was ready to get back at it. He's running well now and we think he's still improving.”

Off an 11-month layoff, the lightly raced six-year-old won the Hal’s Hope again but he failed to repeat in the Donn, finishing a close second behind Constitution. Following some initial indecision about making the trip, the connections targeted the Dubai World Cup.

“He really ran a bang up race in the Donn and came out of it in great shape,” Mott said. “The Dubai World Cup is a US$10 million race and it’s back on dirt. We feel like we have great chance.”

Lea will likely be the second choice internationally behind American Horse of the Year California Chrome.

“It’s a credit to the connections of California Chrome for bringing him here,” Mott said. “It's a big deal in American racing and a fun challenge for us.”

Side Glance (GB) – Andrew Balding’s globetrotting eight-year-old shipped into Dubai on Sunday and cleared quarantine this morning. Last seen when finishing fourth in the Cox Plate in Australia, he will be making his dirt debut over the weekend and covered two circuits of the all-weather training track today.

Watson on Right Track to Glory

Three-time Champion Trainer in the UAE since taking over at Red Stables from compatriot Kiaran McLaughlin in 1993, American Doug Watson was narrowly denied a fourth title this season as he finished four behind Musabah Al Muhairi.

The destiny of the title was only decided at Jebel Ali last Friday when, after the first race, the gap was cut to just two winners.
However, it has been a fantastic season for the amiable handler with his 41 winners contributing to his season’s earnings of Dh6,213,888 – virtually the exact amount as his runners amassed in the previous two seasons, combined.

The reason for this is obvious – Watson has enjoyed a phenomenal Dubai World Cup Carnival, saddling six winners with 15 of his other 31 runners collecting a cheque.

He also won three of the ‘non-Carnival’ races on the big nights, including with Layl, who progressed through the ranks and is now his hopeful for Saturday’s Godolphin Mile, sponsored by Meydan Sobha.

In fact, of his seasonal haul, 22 of his winners were at Meydan, more than any other trainer and four clear of his closest pursuer, Godolphin’s Saeed bin Suroor (whose 18 were all achieved at the Dubai World Cup Carnival).

Six wins at Sharjah was more than any other handler, while 11 at Jebel Ali was bettered only by Al Muhairi’s 15.

The main contributing factor for such a great campaign is surely Meydan’s decision to rip up the all-weather and install a traditional dirt surface.

With 18 runners at Abu Dhabi failing to win on the turf, Watson’s only success this season on the green stuff was that of Limario in a handicap over 1800m.

Limario will take his chance in Saturday’s Group 1 Dubai Turf, sponsored by DP World.

Watson is actually set to saddle six runners on Saturday, including local debutant Candy Boy in the $10 million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates and Cool Cowboy in the Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News.

Both races are, of course, on dirt.

“It has been a really good season,” said Watson. “When it was announced Meydan were to put down a dirt track I could not have been happier. I train on dirt and my horses traditionally ran well on it.

“We did not have such a good record on the all-weather but the majority of our horses have really taken to the new surface.

“It is not just me of course. It is a real team effort and everyone has contributed and worked really hard. Luckily we have seen the rewards for that effort this season.

“Pat Dobbs has been riding really well and Sam Hitchcott has also contributed in the saddle when the chances have allowed.”

Watson went on: “I am really looking forward to Saturday, as is the whole team. It is a great achievement to get six horses to the big night and we think we have a few decent each-way chances.

“Layl does not have the best of draws in the Godolphin Mile for a 1600m dirt contest where the stats are very much against him. I just hope Cool Cowboy fares better when the gates are announced for the Golden Shaheen.

My father and my sister are coming over this year so, hopefully, it will be a great evening and they can help ease my nerves.”

SIRIGU LIKES EURO CHALLENGE

Anyone who watched Marco Botti’s Euro Charline storm to victory in the Group 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington last summer would never guess that she is actually quite a prickly lady when it comes to exercising in the morning.

However, the obviously talented four-year-old filly has a number of quirks that prompted the Newmarket trainer to fly out Italian jockey Paolo Sirigu to make sure her preparation in view of her start in the Group 1 Dubai Turf, sponsored by DP World, on Saturday would go without a glitch.

Paolo Sirigu has been riding for his fellow countryman for the past two years and actually rode Euro Charline on her first start at Wolverhampton, when she won by an impressive three lengths.

A native of Sardinia, Paolo Sirigu was not born into a racing family as such, even though Andrea Atzeni, who has ridden Euro Charline on more than one occasion, is his second cousin.

Yet, lightly built, there was never any question in his mind when it came to choosing a career and after a successful campaign as an apprentice, he decided to follow in the footsteps of Frankie Dettori and moved to England.

His association with Euro Charline, though, was a bit of a happy coincidence.

“When she came to us as a two-year-old, no one wanted to ride her,” Sirigu laughed. “She was really quite tricky, because she didn’t like it when you tried to put a bridle on her.

“Sometimes it would take more than half an hour before we managed to get a bridle on her.”

At the beginning of her career, the daughter of Myboycharlie and Eurolink Artemis could be seen sporting a hackamore bridle, which is commonly used on show jumpers rather than race horses.

However, it seemed to do the trick. “When she did the stall test in Newmarket, she passed it without any problems”, continued 30-year-old Sirigu.

“And in her first race, when I actually rode her, she went in and came out easily and won by several lengths.”

Owned by Team Valor International, Euro Charline has no problem wearing a normal bridle any more, but she can still be difficult in the morning.

“Yes,” concludes Sirigu. “In a race, Euro Charline is absolutely fine and can be ridden by any good rider, but in the morning, she can still be a bit tricky, so I have come out here, as I know her like the back of my hand.

“You can’t really fight with her and I know that, so she is fine with me. You just have to be a bit careful.”

On Saturday, she will be partnered by Hong Kong-based Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira. 


HANAGAN MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME

HANAGAN MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME
Considering he missed over two months of the UAE season following a nasty fall at Wolverhampton in early November when he fractured a collarbone, Paul Hanagan has done well to partner 20 winners so far.
That was at the end of the season when he had won the Oaks at Epsom aboard Taghrooda, on whom he also landed the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, as well as winning the Eclipse on Mukhadram, runner-up in last year’s Dubai World Cup.

Both are owned by his main employer, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Hanagan timed his return to the saddle to coincide with the opening meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival and half of his seasonal tally has been achieved on the big nights at Meydan.

His ten winners at the international extravaganza was bettered only by James Doyle’s 13, while in the domestic championship Hanagan was sixth, registering victories at a healthy 15% strike rate.

He was in double form at Jebel Ali last Friday and has helped Sheikh Hamdan win the local owners’ championship for a tenth consecutive season.

The jockey has six booked rides on Saturday and would appear to hold serious claims on at least half of them.

“The Dubai World Cup Carnival gave me a real focus after the fall,” said Hanagan. “I was determined to get back in the saddle to take my place in the big Meydan meetings and things have gone well.”

Some may consider that last observation as something of an understatement; a Super Saturday double on horses he will ride again on the big night, having also won the prep for the Dubai Gold Cup, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, the previous week, is not a bad big race haul.

On Saturday, he starts off in the Dubai Kahayla Classic, empowered by IPIC and the Purebred Arabian equivalent of the Dubai World Cup, aboard Versac Py. The pair combined to win the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3, sponsored by Emirates Skycargo, over the same 2000m dirt course and distance, on Super Saturday, for Sheikh Hamdan and Erwan Charpy.

“The horse really deserved that win in a race he was second in last year and in 2013,” said Hanagan. “He was also second in the Kahayla Classic in 2013 and should run another solid race but it looks a strong renewal.”

Hanagan’s other Super Saturday winner was Sheikh Hamdan’s Tamarkuz, impressive winner of the Group 3 Burj Nahaar, sponsored by Emirates Holidays and over the same 1600m dirt trip as Saturday’s Group 2 Godolphin Mile, sponsored by Meydan Sobha.

“He has been a revelation,” said Hanagan. “Hopefully he is over the stalls issues which had affected him and he has won well on his last three starts.

“The 1600m on dirt really suits him and we have a nice low draw.”

The previous week, the Mike de Kock-trained Almoonqith appeared revitalised when stepped up in trip to 2810m (turf) for the Nad Al Sheba Trophy empowered by IPIC.

Also owned by Sheikh Hamdan and a 1600m winner in January, he relished the extra distance on that occasion and Saturday’s 3200m in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, should suit him.

“We knew he would stay,” said Hanagan. “It was just a case of if he was good enough stepped up in class. He clearly was and should go well on Saturday.”

He won the UAE 2000 Guineas, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, on Godolphin’s Maftool and maintains the association in the UAE Derby, sponsored by Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group.

Sheikh Hamdan duo Farmah (Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, empowered by IPIC) and Muarrab (Group 1 Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News) complete his book of rides.

“I am really looking forward to Saturday and have a few decent chances,” said Hanagan. “I am very lucky to have such a good job and grateful to Sheikh Hamdan for this amazing opportunity.”

Dubai World Cup Media Notice

Please find below the link to the updated saddlecloth list which shows the withdrawal of SKYHUNTER (GB) from the Dubai Sheema Classic field.
Dubai World Cup 2015 Saddle cloth List

Please note that tomorrow’s Dubai World Cup morning press conference will feature:
STARTS - 9:00am
Tom Dascombe – Trainer BROWN PANTHER (GB) – Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer
Alan Sherman – Assistant trainer CALIFORNIA CHROME (USA)  Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates
David Jacobson – Trainer SALUTOS AMIGOS (USA) – Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News

Simcok Strikes Thrice for Elusive Success


By Julian Muscat

British trainer David Simcock has savoured a vintage year since he saddled a pair of horses on Dubai World Cup night 12 months ago.

Those two horses, Trade Storm (GB) and Sheikhzayedroad (GB), subsequently won Grade 1 races on an unforgettable afternoon for Simcock at Woodbine, in Canada, on September 14. It was a maiden triumph for each of them at the highest level.

Simcock endorsed those gains when he saddled Madam Chiang to win the Group 1 British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot on October 18 - and he reaped a further bounty when Caspar Netscher (GB) annexed the Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes, also at Woodbine, 24 hours later.

Caspar Netscher now joins Trade Storm and Sheikhzaydroad in Simcock's three-pronged assault on Saturday. All three horses warmed up for their respective assignments at Meydan on Super Saturday, March 7 - and all three earned a healthy slice of the pie.

Caspar Netscher only gave best in the final strides of the Group 3 Meydan Sprint sponsored by Arabian Adventures over the same 1000m journey he will tackle on Saturday in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint empowered by IPIC. It was the six-year-old's first run for more than four months.

"I was delighted with that," Simcock said. "It is the first time we'd had a clear run with the horse since May last year. He had a pelvic problem which made the whole season particularly difficult. Everything was a rush, but he is now much better physically."

Sheikhzayedroad, for his part, made Sky Hunter work hard to land the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold sponsored by Emirates Skycargo, when he gave best in the last 200 of the 2400m journey. He, too, had not run since October.

"We didn't really know where we were with him before that race," Simcock reflected of the six-year-old.

"He is a hold-up horse who had to make an early move around the turn because there wasn't much pace in the race. Mind you, it doesn't look as though there will be much pace in Saturday's race either."

Last but not least is seven-year-old Trade Storm, who will be making his third consecutive start in the Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World. This is an ultra-competitive renewal of the 1800m Group 1 test but Trade Storm's late-closing style should serve him well.

Simcock has yet to saddle a winner on World Cup night and Caspar Netscher appears his brightest prospect. The six-year-old is certainly entitled to headline billing among eight European runners - although Simcock has a healthy respect for the Hong Kong raiders.

"We are really pleased with the way all three horses are coming into their races," he said. "Trade Storm and Sheikhzayedroad are both straightforward horses to deal with. All three are mature horses who you can't help but become attached to."

Connections of Simcock's three runners doubtless feel the same about their trainer, whose results continue to improve with time's passage.

Nothing would animate Simcock more than to pick up where he left off in 2014, when he posted a series of personal bests. A maiden winner on Dubai World Cup night would be the best yet.

PANTHER SUCCESS WOULD BE ICING ON THE CAKE


By Howard Wright

TOM DASCOMBE is guaranteed at least one celebration in Dubai this week and hopes to make it two after Brown Panther (GB) runs in the Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors on Saturday.

As well as breeder and joint owner Michael Owen and his family, supporters of the seven-year-old, who tasted Group 1 success for the first time in last September’s Irish St Leger, will include Dascombe’s mother Sue and father Bill.

“It’s my mother’s 70th birthday on Friday,” Dascombe explained, after touching down in Dubai on Monday, “so we’ll be having one party whatever happens. Let’s hope there will be another one on Saturday.”

Dascombe, who began training in late 2005 and four years later moved to the purpose-built stable in Cheshire belonging to ex-England football international Owen and his business partner Andrew Black, is no stranger to success on Dubai World Cup night.

He shared in the glory two years running while assistant to Mike de Kock in 2003-04, when the stable struck with Victory Moon, Ipi Tombe, Lundy’s Liability and the dead-heater Right Approach.

This year is different, though, as Dascombe plots victory on his own account at the world’s richest single raceday for the first time.

Brown Panther, who boasts career earnings of almost £700,000 and at 118 is the highest-rated runner in the Dubai Gold Cup, ended last year with an abortive expedition to Canada and a last-minute, unsuccessful switch to the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita, where he was unsuited by the sharp track.

“He’s had a good break and is very well,” Dascombe reported. “He came back from America in early November and we turned him out, other than putting him on the horsewalker and sending him swimming before Christmas. Then we had him cantering away from the first week of January.

“He’s done a lot of swimming, because we have to keep him busy as he thrives on being active, and we took him to Wolverhampton on March 2 for a day out. He went round with Angelic Lord, who was just touched off at Lingfield afterwards, so that was encouraging.

“The ground will be quick but it’s got a good covering of grass, so it shouldn’t ride too firm. He’ll love the long straight, which reminds me of Doncaster, where he was second in the St Leger, so in terms of the going, the track and the trip, everything’s perfect.”

Although Dascombe has sent runners to the Dubai World Cup Carnival in previous years, and dispatched Brown Panther for the Dubai Sheema Classic two years ago only to be thwarted by injury, this will be his first runner under his own name at the World Cup meeting, and the prospect is exciting him.
“I can’t wait,” he said. “I’ve had some fantastic times in Dubai, but everything else will be topped if Brown Panther wins the Dubai Gold Cup.”

DWC 2015 Trackwork Notes - Monday, March 23

Group 1 US$2m Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News – 1200m (Dirt)
Big Macher (USA) – Appearing on the Meydan track in the darkness before 5.a.m, the American Grade 1 winner accompanied California Chrome, one of the favourites for the Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates, for exercise. Looking alert, Big Macher jogged to the 1200m marker and then galloped about 1800m.
“I’m happy with that,” said trainer Richard Baltas. “He’s not a very aggressive horse and he looked around a little bit, but he went well.
“I think it’s good to go (to the track) early,” Baltas added. “It’s cooler and the track is tight because they put some water on it at night.”
Baltas is a good friend to Art and Alan Sherman, the father-and-son trainer team who condition California Chrome, and he said he is impressed by how well the 2014 Kentucky Derby winner has travelled and performed in his early training in Dubai.
“I hope they win and I hope my horse runs well,” Baltas said.
Cool Cowboy (USA) – Cool Cowboy made his first start for Doug Watson on Super Saturday, finishing fourth in the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal.
“Considering he missed a month due to sickness and had only galloped four times, we were delighted with him,” said Watson. “He understandably was a bit leg weary in the closing stages after a troubled preparation but we needed to run him.
“He has one more serious piece of work to do before Saturday, which should put him spot on. It is then a case of hoping for a good, low draw, so fingers crossed.”
El Padrino (NZ) – El Padrino is due to arrive in Dubai on Tuesday.
Krypton Factor (GB) –Fawzi Nass brought both of his Dubai World Cup night contenders to the track this morning for their final blowouts ahead of Saturday, with Krypton Factor bidding to win the 1200m Group 1 for the second time after scoring in 2013.
“It went very well and they worked over 900m on the dirt,” said Nass. “I was very happy with him and he will trot and swim between now and Saturday.
“We thought he would progress from his first run back here after spending last summer in England but he missed the break on his next start and it can be difficult to make up ground on the dirt. Hopefully he can bounce back on Saturday. He maybe isn’t where he was two years ago but he is still a battler.”
Lucky Nine (IRE) – Trainer Caspar Fownes said: “He’s been on more planes than most people so he took the travel in his stride as usual. He’s a very fit horse and he went well in a barrier trial at Sha Tin last week. He’ll be out on the main track later in the week, not on Tuesday.”  
Muarrab (GB), Shaishee (USA) – Musabah Al Muhairi is doubly represented and said: “Conditions suit them both and they are in good shape at home. We think they should both be competitive in a strong field.”
Rich Tapestry (IRE) – Trainer Michael Chang said: “He wasn’t in top form when he arrived. The vet said he lost weight and was a bit dehydrated.
“He has travelled to Dubai and America before and never had this problem but he seems to be recovering OK and I am hoping we can get him onto the main track on Tuesday morning for trackwork.”     
Salutos Amigos (USA) – David Jacobson and Southern Equine Stables' Salutos Amigos, who has been on the grounds since March 17, galloped 2400m of the Meydan main oval on Monday in preparation for Saturday’s Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News.
“The horse shipped over perfect last week and that was a big concern that we had,” trainer Jacobson said. “Generally I don’t think arriving so many days before a race makes much of a difference, but travelling this far, I do feel comfortable that we came as early as we did.”
According to Jacobson, the gelded son of Salute the Sarge will breeze 600m on Wednesday.
“He doesn't need much,” Jacobson explained. “He's been running consistently once a month for the last year. He's dead fit. That's one of the benefits of coming over here.”
Salutos Amigos enters the Dubai Golden Shaheen on a four-race winning streak. All of those recent scores have come at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York.
“It (Meydan dirt) is the same track for everybody,” Jacobson said. “I don't have a concern about it at all. He's getting well over it. We're confident he'll run his race.”
Cornelio Velasquez, who has all three times he’s been aboard Salutos Amigos, is named to ride on Saturday.
Secret Circle (USA) – Ridden by Dana Barnes, the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner breezed about 800m over the Meydan dirt track, finishing his work in :47 4/5 according to timing by trainer Bob Baffert’s former assistant, Eoin Harty, who will saddle My Johnny Be Good in the UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group.
Barnes was smiling as she rode Secret Circle off the track. “He went really well,” she said. “He’s doing great here. He’s eating everything in sight and seems really happy.”
Baffert texted Harty soon after the work to obtain the time. The famous white-haired American trainer, who saddled Dubai World Cup winners Silver Charm and Captain Steve, won’t be making the trip to Dubai this time, trusting Barnes to “fly solo” with Secret Circle, she said.
A six-year-old son of Eddington, Secret Circle has been a model of consistency in his 15-race career, winning seven times, finishing second six times (including a runner-up effort in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Sprint) and third once while earning US$2,470,790. He is owned by Captain Steve’s owner, Michael Pegram, in partnership with Karl Watson and Paul Weitman.
Speed Hawk (USA) –Twice placed at Group 3 level during the Carnival, the Robert Cowell-trained four-year-old did not appear on the main track this morning.
Super Jockey (NZ) – Trainer Tony Millard said: “My wife Bev is with him and she said that he coped with the travel nicely. He is eating up well and seems pretty nicely hydrated, so no problems. Touch wood, he remains the same.”
United Color (USA) – Dhruba Selvaratnam saddles United Color, the mount of Oisin Murphy. “He ran well when second on Super Saturday,” said Murphy. “The blinkers helped him and we were staying on very strongly.
“They went very fast up front that day which was ideal for him and hopefully there will be plenty of pace in Saturday’s race.”
Group 2 US$1m Godolphin Mile sponsored by Meydan Sobha – 1600m (Dirt)
Bradester (USA) – The American multiple graded winner galloped 2400m on the Meydan dirt track under exercise rider Julie Stormfelt.
“He’s enjoying it here,” Stormfelt said of the five-year-old. “He’s handling everything with no problems.”
Trainer Eddie Kenneally, who sent out Kelly’s Landing to win the 2007 Dubai Golden Shaheen, may opt to breeze Bradester at Meydan this week but Stormfelt said she did not yet know what his final decision would be.
Dark Emerald (IRE) – Dark Emerald had an easy morning on the main dirt course. Foreman Andrew Bubb said the horse was “just ticking over” after his successful lead-up campaign and did not need any fast gallops leading into Saturday’s race.
Forjatt (IRE) – Dhruba Selvaratnam saddles Forjatt, the mount of Oisin Murphy. “This will only be his fourth run of the season and he has yet to disappoint,” said Murphy. “This is the toughest test he has faced but he deserves his chance.”
Gold City (IRE) and Surfer (USA) – Trainer Satish Seemar sent his duo out for 800m workouts at his Zabeel Stables base and reported later during a news conference at Meydan that Surfer drilled the distance in ‘46 and change’ while Gold City, a less lively worker, completed his move in ‘48 and change.’
“I’m very pleased. Surfer gave his usual sparkling work,” Seemar reported, adding that Gold City has never been quick in the mornings but usually follows up with a good effort in his races. Surfer is the trainer’s best chance, he advised, but Gold City should not be overlooked
“He’s very genuine,” Seemar added of Surfer, a six-year-old chestnut who won the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 over the Godolphin Mile distance in January and “loves” the new Meydan dirt surface. “I’m going in (to the race) very confident. As of this morning, the horse is in top form.”
While Gold City has never won a major race, Seemar has never felt disappointed by the gelded six-year-old. “He’s a horse that, if given the right pace, could surprise,” Seemar said.
Layl (USA) – The Doug Watson-trained Layl has progressed from the domestic handicap ranks to get here.
“The draw is going to be crucial in this race,” said Watson. “Hopefully we get a low berth and, if we do, he should be competitive.
“His run on Super Saturday was his third outing in less than a month but we had to run him to get him in this race. He ran well enough and we have freshened him up since.”
Pylon (SAF) – “He ran as well as we could expect on Super Saturday,” said Pylon’s trainer Mike De Kock.
“We knew he was going to need that outing and he has thrived since then. He should be more competitive this time and, whatever he does on Saturday, he is a horse to look out for next year.”
Quadrivium (USA) – Stablemate to Dubai Sheema Classic contender Main Sequence, Quadrivium has had his activity to date confined to the training track according to assistant trainer Alice Clapham.
“Graham (trainer, Motion) gets in this afternoon and we’ll decide if we will do something more with him,” she said.
Group 2 US$1m Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors – 3200m (Turf)
Almoonqith (USA), Mushreq (AUS), Star Empire (SAF) – “I was really impressed by Almoonqith’s win in the prep race,” said Mike De Kock who trains the Dubai Gold Cup trio. “Remember, he had the speed to win over 1600m in January and, for a stayer, he has a very valuable turn of foot. He is a big runner.
“Mushreq needs to prove his stamina, while Star Empire ran better behind Almoonqith last time. He was third in this last year and can hopefully collect another cheque.”
Bathyrhon (GER) – The Pia Brandt-trained Bathyrhon was galloping on the grass track at Meydan on Monday morning. He left his stable together with fellow French representative Flintshire, but galloped on his own on the grass.
Joaquim Brandt, husband of the trainer, said: “Everything went well. He seems in really good form and things are going along just as planned. He really seems to like it here.”
Brass Ring (GB) – Wayne Smith will be riding Brass Ring for Ismail Mohammed. “He will have needed his first start for us on Super Saturday,” said Smith. “He has been going well since and the step up in trip should suit him.”
Brown Panther (GB) – At 118, Brown Panther is the highest-rated runner ever to turn out in the newest race on the card. The Irish St Leger winner arrived safely in Dubai on Sunday and his general well-being was recorded in a 20-second video sent out on Twitter by travelling head groom Chris Ely.
He reported that the seven-year-old had lost “only 8kg” on the journey. Like the other band of British-trained contenders who flew out on Saturday, he will exit quarantine in time to work on the main track on Tuesday morning.
Cooptado (ARG), Meandre (FR) – Trainer Doug Watson said: “Things did not really pan out for him last time when the ground was pretty quick and he did not really stride out on it.
“The two miles (3200m) should be ideal and we are hopeful of a good run. Pat Dobbs will ride.
“We are stepping Cooptado up in trip and trying him in a ring bit and shadow roll to try to help him concentrate better in his race. Adrie De Vries rides a lot for the owners in Europe and takes the ride. He has won on the horse.”
Dormello (IRE) – Dhruba Selvaratnam steps Dormello up in both class and trip.
“He has won both his two most recent starts,” said the trainer. “It was a 2200m Group 3 he landed at Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi Championship) last time so this will be a different test.
“He has to prove his stamina but can quicken well and they tend to not go too quick in these races at Meydan which should help him.”
Dubday (GB) – Qatar will be represented by Dubday, trained by Jassim Al Ghazali. “He is unbeaten in Qatar,” said the trainer. “He was badly hampered in the Dubai Sheema Classic last year and we hope for more luck this time. The extra distance should suit him and we are looking forward to running him.
Havana Beat (IRE) – The British stayer warmed up for his big-race engagement with a fourth-place finish in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy Empowered by Ipic but did not appear on the main track this morning.
Marzocco (USA) – Trainer John Gosden’s only Dubai World Cup night runner arrived on Sunday morning and is due to clear quarantine tomorrow.
Group 2 US$2m UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group – 1900m (Dirt)
Dear Domus (JPN) – The colt cantered at a pace of 15 seconds each 200m on the Meydan turf track on Monday.
Trainer Yutaka Takahashi said: “The quality of dirt seems to be different from the one at home, so I try to use both dirt and turf course.
“Travelling abroad for racing is a new experience for me and my horse, so I came here with him. He travelled safely, and I am happy with his good condition.”
Faithful Creek (IRE) - The Brian Meehan-trained three-year-old arrived in Dubai on Sunday and is due to clear quarantine on Tuesday.
Golden Barows (JPN) – The three-year-old Tapit colt had an easy canter on the Meydan dirt track on Monday.
Assistant trainer Kazutomo Mori said, “He came out on the track for the first time today since he has arrived, so I just cantered him to get familiarised with the new surroundings. He was a bit tense but I do not worry.  He will move into a high gear.”  
Mubtaahij (IRE) – The Al Bastakiya winner represents Mike De Kock.
“We were pretty confident before Super Saturday,” said the trainer.
“We knew the step up in trip would really suit him and he won the Al Bastakiya well. This is a stronger race with two or three big dangers but our horse is fit, well and proven under the conditions.”
My Johnny Be Good (USA) – Trainer Eoin Harty watched from the Meydan grandstand as My Johnny Be Good was put through a 400m workout under exercise rider Nick Bush, who met the colt in the tunnel heading to the track after having just got off the Dubai Turf contender Mshawish.
Harty clocked the son of Colonel John in “47 and change.”
“He galloped out good,” added the trainer.  “He shipped over well and has been doing well since he got here.  I’ve been here plenty of times so I know what works – or at least I think I do.”
The three-year-old colt is coming in from an eighth-place run in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby in Florida, in which he was beaten nearly 30 lengths over 1800m.  
Harty knows the horse is better than he showed in that effort: “In my opinion he was short a workout heading into that race and he ran like he was short,” he said. “The schedule didn’t go according to plan.”
Tap That (JPN) – The runner-up in a local Grade 1 at NRA-Kawasaki last December did a piece of easy work for one and a half laps of the Meydan dirt track on Monday.
Assistant trainer Yuya Shiozu said, “He gets familiarised with the new surroundings and is getting relaxed every day. We will gallop him on Wednesday.”
Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint empowered by IPIC – 1000m (Turf)
Ahtoug (GB) – Ahtoug represents Charlie Appleby.“The 1000m at Meydan really suits him,” said Appleby. “Obviously it is going to be a competitive race but he should produce a big performance under his optimum conditions.”
Amber Sky (AUS) – Trainer Ricky Yiu: “He’s experienced with the travel having won this race last year and the boys in my team said he took it well again. He will be out on the main track on Tuesday hopefully.”  
Bundle of Joy (AUS) – Trainer David Hall: “Reports are there were no complications with the trip. I’ll be there myself on Tuesday, although he will stay in the quarantine area then. I’m happy enough with the news so far.”
Caspar Netscher (GB) – One of three intended runners from David Simcock's British stable on Dubai World Cup night, the six-year-old entire completed one circuit of the main dirt track. He is scheduled to round off his preparation with some sharper exercise on Tuesday.
Caspian Prince (IRE) – Caspian Prince has had four runs during the Dubai World Cup Carnival and managed to make all and win in handicap company. Trainer Tony Carroll is due to overcome his fear of flying to be in Dubai for the race and his six-year-old did not appear on the main track on Monday morning.
Farmah (USA) – The François Rohaut-trained Farmah came onto the main track at Meydan on Monday morning. He was ridden by Doric Binot, who said: “We did a slow canter and then just quickened progressively. He worked on Saturday under Paul Hanagan, who was very pleased with that piece of work. All is going well.”
Green Mask (USA) – The Wesley Ward-trained Green Mask had a strong workout over the Meydan turf course Monday morning, restricting his main activity to the turf chute over which the 1000m race will be run.  Ward is still in the United States and leaving his Florida base on Wednesday.
The horse is under the care of longtime Ward assistant Jose Robles who has worked for the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice rider-turned-trainer for 25 years.
Green Mask has finished second in both of his starts this year – one at Gulfstream Park and one at Tampa Bay Downs.
Hototo (GB) – Fawzi Nass galloped Hototo with stablemate Krypton Factor over 900m on the dirt surface, and said: “They worked together and I was very happy with both of them.
“Hototo will trot at home and go swimming at the quarantine centre between now and the race. He had two starts during the Dubai World Cup Carnival, finishing first and second, and we have kept him fresh for the big race as he likes gaps between his races.
“We have freshened him up and hopefully he is in top condition. He had three runs here last year but lost his condition before the big night, which is why we didn’t run him, but I am much happier with him this time.”
Lancelot du Lac (ITY) – The five-year-old son of Shamardal, who ran consistently at the Dubai World Cup Carnival for trainer Dean Ivory, was not seen out on the main track.
Mirza (GB) – Rae Guest’s Mirza looked fit during a hit out on the main dirt course.
Peniaphobia (IRE) – Trainer Tony Cruz said: “He lost a little bit of weight on the flight and the guys say he is a bit quiet, but it’s nothing that you would be too worried about. I expect he will be on the main track in the morning. I arrive early on Tuesday and hope to see him out then, too.”
Sole Power (GB) – Eddie Lynam, trainer of Sole Power, said: “Sole Power went to the training track this morning. He is used to working on that surface and did a routine canter.
“He will go to the grass track on Wednesday morning. He is in good form. He was a bit disappointing on Super Saturday, but hopefully will do better this Saturday.”
Stepper Point (GB) – Trainer William Muir and his son-in-law and big-race jockey Martin Dwyer caught up with the stable’s star performer of 2014 in the quarantine area on Monday morning.
Muir said: “Martin gave him a good trot round the exercise area and I’m very pleased with him, because he lost hardly any weight on the journey.
“He had a spin round Lingfield just over a week ago and is exactly where I want him to be, a lot fitter than this time last year, when he surprised me by winning first time out.”
Via Africa (SAF) – Via Africa will be having her second local start for Mike De Kock.
“We were very pleased with her run on Super Saturday,” said De Kock of the 6-year-old mare who finished ninth after stalking the leaders early.
“She would have needed it but showed a lot of speed before really battling on in the final 200m. She has improved a lot since that outing and should be a player in an open race.”
Group 1 US$2m Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News – 1200m (Dirt)
Big Macher (USA) – Appearing on the Meydan track in the darkness before 5.a.m, the American Grade 1 winner accompanied California Chrome, one of the favourites for the Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates, for exercise. Looking alert, Big Macher jogged to the 1200m marker and then galloped about 1800m.
“I’m happy with that,” said trainer Richard Baltas. “He’s not a very aggressive horse and he looked around a little bit, but he went well.
“I think it’s good to go (to the track) early,” Baltas added. “It’s cooler and the track is tight because they put some water on it at night.”
Baltas is a good friend to Art and Alan Sherman, the father-and-son trainer team who condition California Chrome, and he said he is impressed by how well the 2014 Kentucky Derby winner has travelled and performed in his early training in Dubai.
“I hope they win and I hope my horse runs well,” Baltas said.
Cool Cowboy (USA) – Cool Cowboy made his first start for Doug Watson on Super Saturday, finishing fourth in the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal.
“Considering he missed a month due to sickness and had only galloped four times, we were delighted with him,” said Watson. “He understandably was a bit leg weary in the closing stages after a troubled preparation but we needed to run him.
“He has one more serious piece of work to do before Saturday, which should put him spot on. It is then a case of hoping for a good, low draw, so fingers crossed.”
El Padrino (NZ) – El Padrino is due to arrive in Dubai on Tuesday.
Krypton Factor (GB) –Fawzi Nass brought both of his Dubai World Cup night contenders to the track this morning for their final blowouts ahead of Saturday, with Krypton Factor bidding to win the 1200m Group 1 for the second time after scoring in 2013.
“It went very well and they worked over 900m on the dirt,” said Nass. “I was very happy with him and he will trot and swim between now and Saturday.
“We thought he would progress from his first run back here after spending last summer in England but he missed the break on his next start and it can be difficult to make up ground on the dirt. Hopefully he can bounce back on Saturday. He maybe isn’t where he was two years ago but he is still a battler.”
Lucky Nine (IRE) – Trainer Caspar Fownes said: “He’s been on more planes than most people so he took the travel in his stride as usual. He’s a very fit horse and he went well in a barrier trial at Sha Tin last week. He’ll be out on the main track later in the week, not on Tuesday.”  
Muarrab (GB), Shaishee (USA) – Musabah Al Muhairi is doubly represented and said: “Conditions suit them both and they are in good shape at home. We think they should both be competitive in a strong field.”
Rich Tapestry (IRE) – Trainer Michael Chang said: “He wasn’t in top form when he arrived. The vet said he lost weight and was a bit dehydrated.
“He has travelled to Dubai and America before and never had this problem but he seems to be recovering OK and I am hoping we can get him onto the main track on Tuesday morning for trackwork.”     
Salutos Amigos (USA) – David Jacobson and Southern Equine Stables' Salutos Amigos, who has been on the grounds since March 17, galloped 2400m of the Meydan main oval on Monday in preparation for Saturday’s Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News.
“The horse shipped over perfect last week and that was a big concern that we had,” trainer Jacobson said. “Generally I don’t think arriving so many days before a race makes much of a difference, but travelling this far, I do feel comfortable that we came as early as we did.”
According to Jacobson, the gelded son of Salute the Sarge will breeze 600m on Wednesday.
“He doesn't need much,” Jacobson explained. “He's been running consistently once a month for the last year. He's dead fit. That's one of the benefits of coming over here.”
Salutos Amigos enters the Dubai Golden Shaheen on a four-race winning streak. All of those recent scores have come at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York.
“It (Meydan dirt) is the same track for everybody,” Jacobson said. “I don't have a concern about it at all. He's getting well over it. We're confident he'll run his race.”
Cornelio Velasquez, who has all three times he’s been aboard Salutos Amigos, is named to ride on Saturday.
Secret Circle (USA) – Ridden by Dana Barnes, the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner breezed about 800m over the Meydan dirt track, finishing his work in :47 4/5 according to timing by trainer Bob Baffert’s former assistant, Eoin Harty, who will saddle My Johnny Be Good in the UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group.
Barnes was smiling as she rode Secret Circle off the track. “He went really well,” she said. “He’s doing great here. He’s eating everything in sight and seems really happy.”
Baffert texted Harty soon after the work to obtain the time. The famous white-haired American trainer, who saddled Dubai World Cup winners Silver Charm and Captain Steve, won’t be making the trip to Dubai this time, trusting Barnes to “fly solo” with Secret Circle, she said.
A six-year-old son of Eddington, Secret Circle has been a model of consistency in his 15-race career, winning seven times, finishing second six times (including a runner-up effort in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Sprint) and third once while earning US$2,470,790. He is owned by Captain Steve’s owner, Michael Pegram, in partnership with Karl Watson and Paul Weitman.
Speed Hawk (USA) –Twice placed at Group 3 level during the Carnival, the Robert Cowell-trained four-year-old did not appear on the main track this morning.
Super Jockey (NZ) – Trainer Tony Millard said: “My wife Bev is with him and she said that he coped with the travel nicely. He is eating up well and seems pretty nicely hydrated, so no problems. Touch wood, he remains the same.”
United Color (USA) – Dhruba Selvaratnam saddles United Color, the mount of Oisin Murphy. “He ran well when second on Super Saturday,” said Murphy. “The blinkers helped him and we were staying on very strongly.
“They went very fast up front that day which was ideal for him and hopefully there will be plenty of pace in Saturday’s race.”
Group I US$6m Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World – 1800m (Turf)
Cladocera (GER) – Cladocera is trained by Alain de Royer Dupre at Chantilly in France and on Monday morning came onto the main track at Meydan, together with Dolniya and the Freddy Head trained Solow.
Travelling head lad Antoine Creton said: “All our horses are well and will continue with a routine gallop, like this morning, over 1200 or 1400m.”
Euro Charline (GB) – The Marco Botti-trained filly arrived in Dubai on Sunday and is due to clear quarantine on Tuesday.
Farraaj (IRE) – Oisin Murphy is looking forward to riding the local debutant. “He is a nice new horse in the yard,” said Murphy.
“He has good form in Europe and Australia so deserves a chance in this company. It is a strong race but I am looking forward to riding him in a race.”
Limario (GER) – Trainer Doug Watson said: “He was perhaps a little bit disappointing last time when well beaten on Super Saturday.
“We expected better and are hoping for more on Saturday in a very strong race.
Mshawish (USA) – The Todd Pletcher-trained entire took to the Meydan dirt track shortly before 7 a.m. for an easy gallop one and a half times around the 1800m oval under exercise rider Nick Bush.
Ginny De Pasquale, who will be supervising the son of Medaglia d’Oro, was pleased, remarking: “He was very relaxed. Unbelievably relaxed. He seems to be enjoying himself.”
Monday marked the horse’s third trip to the track since arriving in Dubai last week.
De Pasquale said that Mshawish, who comes into the Dubai Turf off three straight wins at Gulfstream Park in Florida, will school in the Meydan paddock Monday night.
“He’s usually pretty good but we’ll let him look around tonight so he’s focuses on the job on the big night. I’m going to walk over to the paddock myself before we bring him over so I can re-familiarise myself with it,” she said.
Solow (GB) – The Freddy Head-trained grey Solow was leading fellow French trained Dolniya and Cladocera onto the main track at Meydan on Monday morning.
He cantered over 1400m and Regis Babedette, travelling head lad of Freddy Head, confirmed: “I’m very happy with him. He is in really good form and has adapted well to his surroundings. Freddy Head will be here tomorrow but as I said, everything is very well.”
The Grey Gatsby (IRE) – This top-class turf runner, trained in Britain by Kevin Ryan, arrived in Dubai on Sunday and will be eligible to exercise on the main track when he clears quarantine on Tuesday.
Trade Storm (GB) – The globe-trotting seven-year-old, runner-up in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta sponsored by Emirates Airline on March 7, completed two laps of the main dirt track at a steady canter. He is due to stretch out with greater purpose on Tuesday morning.
Umgiyo (AUS) – “He won well on his first start and we have stepped up in trip and class in two subsequent outings,” said trainer Mike De Kock. “He has improved with each run and is very fit now. Hunter’s Light is out of the race. He would have been a major player and we were not that far behind him the last twice.
“Johnny Geroudis will ride and we are hoping they go a good gallop, which should help us.”
Group 1 US$6m Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines – 2410m (Turf)
Dolniya (FR) – Dolniya, trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, came onto the main track at Meydan on Monday morning together with stable companion Cladocera and fellow French-trained Solow. Dolniya did a slow canter for about 600m and then cantered for 1200m.
Antoine Creton, travelling head lad for the yard, said: “Dolniya is in good form and we are very happy with her.”
Flintshire (GB) – Richard Lambert, travelling head lad for the Andre Fabre yard, was watching Flintshire work on the grass track at Meydan on Monday morning. He said: “Flintshire cantered on the grass track over 1400m. He has travelled well and is in good form.”
Harp Star (JPN) – The winner of the 2014 Group 1 Japanese 1000 Guineas (Oka Sho) did an easy canter on the Meydan dirt track on Monday.
The assistant trainer Tsuyoshi Matsuda said: “I asked her to run at the pace of 15 seconds each 200m yesterday, so I put her in an easy canter this morning. I would like to say thank you for all the help from Dubai Racing Club, everything went well so far, and she fits very well.”
Main Sequence (USA) – Main Sequence, the Eclipse Award-winning victor in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita Park in November, has adapted well to his surroundings at Meydan, according to Alice Clapham, longtime assistant to trainer Graham Motion.
“He took to the flight well and has been training well. We’ve been keeping him to the training track,” Clapham said.
“Graham gets in this afternoon and we’ll decide if we will do something more with him. If we do anything (with regard to more serious work) it will be tomorrow. We may bring him over to the main track on Wednesday to gate train.”
One And Only (JPN) – The 2014 Japanese Derby winner cantered easily for a lap on the Meydan dirt track on Monday.
Assistant trainer Shinsuke Hashiguchi said: “We drove him a bit strongly on the home stretch yesterday, so we just stretched his legs this morning.  
“He keeps his good condition, as he is at home. Everything went smoothly including the travelling. He has not lost any weight. This will be his first race since last December, but there is no concern about it. He will gallop on Wednesday.”
Sheikhzayedroad (GB) – Runner-up in the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold sponsored by Emirates Skycargo on March 7, the six-year-old cantered for one circuit on the main dirt track. "He's fine," said trainer, David Simcock. "He has become a stable favourite and his last run was good.”
Group 1 US$10m Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates – 2000m (dirt)
California Chrome (USA) – Steven Coburn and Perry Martin's California Chrome, the likely international favourite for the Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates, continued his preparation for Saturday's race by galloping 2400m over the Meydan dirt oval on Monday morning.
According to assistant trainer Alan Sherman, the four-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit will breeze a 400m Tuesday morning at approximately 5 a.m.
"He seems to be handling the track well but we will know a little more after the work," Sherman said. "He has run well on every track he has ever been on so it's not a big concern."
A nine-time winner with Grade 1 scores in the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes and Hollywood Derby on his resume, California Chrome would eclipse the US$10 million mark in career earnings with a win on Saturday.
"I'm just glad the owners decided to run him another year," Sherman said. "The Dubai World Cup has always been on Perry's (co-owner Martin's) radar."
Steve Coburn and 77-year-old trainer Art Sherman are scheduled in Dubai tonight with Perry Martin slated to arrive on Wednesday.
"It's a long flight for Dad, but he'll be alright. He's not flying coach (class),” Sherman said with a chuckle.
Candy Boy (USA) – Doug Watson saddles Candy Boy who will be making his local debut in the Dubai World Cup.
“He is really well and we are delighted with him,” said Watson. “We missed Super Saturday to bring him straight to this race and are glad we did.
“We were warned he is quite lazy at home, and he has been, but we are learning about him all the time. He has been to Meydan to work three times but will do his last piece here at home.
“He is a big horse – weighing in about 540kgs – and hopefully the turns at Meydan will suit him more than the tighter American tracks.”
Epiphaneia (JPN) – The 2014 Japan Cup winner started jogging and had a canter on the Meydan dirt track on Monday.
Assistant trainer Norihiko Kishimoto said: “It was his third day to come out on the track this morning, and he was very relaxed and in a good form.
“Thanks to all the support from people of Northern Farm, vets and Japan Racing Association, he travelled nicely during the flight and arrived here safely.  As for the dirt surface, I felt that once the horse went fast, he got grip of the track.  I think Epiphaneia will suit the surface.”  
Hokko Tarumae (JPN) – The winner of last year’s Champions Cup (former Japan Cup Dirt) cantered over 1600m to 1800m over the Meydan dirt track before getting familiarised with the starting gate on Monday.  
“He is full of beans,” said assistant trainer Masakazu Nishiura. “I wanted to keep him fresh, and I gave him only an easy canter today. He went through the travelling very well.  He will gallop on Wednesday.”  
Lea (USA) – A top contender for Saturday’s Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates, Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschemeider’s Lea galloped 2400m over the Meydan main oval on Monday morning.
“He went through his normal routine but he also stood in the gate, and that went very well,” said assistant trainer Riley Mott. “He’s had three gallops here and is moving very well over the track but you can't fully get a gauge on how much he likes it until you run over it.”
The 23-year-old son of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, Riley was just a young child when Cigar won the inaugural running of the Dubai World Cup for his dad in 1996.
“I don’t have much recollection obviously, but I do know how significant this race is to my father and the owners.” Mott said. “Not only does the (US$10 million) purse stand out, but the prestige is growing by the year.”
According to Mott, Lea will have a blow out on either Wednesday or Thursday.
“The boss (father Bill) gets into town tomorrow morning and he’ll decide exactly what the horse will do,” Mott said. “He’ll likely go a quarter mile (400m).”
Jockey Joel Rosario, who been aboard for Lea’s most recent starts, is slated to ride on Saturday.
Long River (USA) – Salem bin Ghadayer saddles Long River. “It is exciting to have a runner in the Dubai World Cup and we are really looking forward to it,” said the trainer. “He has improved fitness-wise since Super Saturday and can hopefully run a nice race.”
Side Glance (GB) – Andrew Balding’s globetrotting eight-year-old shipped into Dubai on Sunday and is due to appear on the track for the first time on Tuesday morning, as he prepares for a third assault on the race in which he has twice finished fourth.

Media Notice

Martin Talty, Dubai Racing Club International Manager said: “We are very happy with the fields that have been lined up for races on Dubai World Cup day this year. In the Dubai World Cup race alone there are eight Group or Grade 1 winners from five countries. Across the entire card we have 31 Group or Grade 1 winners from 12 countries and we look forward to a huge day of racing for the 20th renewal of the world’s richest race day."
Dubai World Cup day carries prize money of US$30m with the Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World and Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines getting a boost from $5m to $6m to mark the 20th renewal while the Dubai Kahayla Classic empowered by IPIC, a race for Purebred Arabians is now worth $1m.

Kylie Minogue to Perform at 2015 Dubai World Cup

Thursday, 16 March, 2015
United Arab Emirates, Dubai:  The 20th renewal Dubai World Cup on Saturday March28, 2015, will feature a concert performance by global superstar, Kylie Minogue.

The world’s richest day of horse racing with prizemoney of US$30million, and highlighted by the $10m Dubai World Cup, will close with the multi-talented Kylie Minogue performing a range of hits that span her phenomenal career.  The 90-minute performance will begin at approximately 10pm, following the closing of the Dubai World Cup that will include a 15-minute presentation from 9:30 to 9:45pm.
Kylie Minogue said: “Growing up in Melbourne, horse racing is a major and exciting part of our annual calendar.  So to be able to bring my show to the Dubai World Cup is something I’m very much looking forward to. It will certainly be an unforgettable experience.”
Kylie is an award winning singer whose acclaim includes television and film. She is one of the most recognizable voices in music with worldwide record sales of more than 70 million. Her music transcends any musical boundaries as her range of styles includes pop, dance and contemporary disco. Her concert tours have been critically acclaimed and she is one of the most successful recording artists in history.
Minogue’s distinctions include: the first artist on the US Billboard chart to claim two songs in the top three simultaneously, the recipient of both Brit and Grammy Awards, and has also been appointed as a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Additionally, she has Guinness World Records citation for most consecutive decades with top five album rankings and the list of recognition goes on.
Admission to the post-race concert is exclusive to 2015 Dubai World Cup day ticket holders.
Numerous hospitality ticket packages are available for the Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline, the biggest social and sporting event on the UAE calendar. Ticket holders gain access to the nine races that make up Dubai World Cup day, as well as the spectacular Dubai World Cup Opening Ceremony and fireworks display and Minogue’s high-octane concert, which will take place following the $10m Dubai World Cup - the richest horse race in the world.
Public gates open at 12pm and hospitality gates open at 2pm. The first race starts at 4:30pm.
For more information about hospitality packages, please click on

  Dubai World Cup(20th Running)

This will mark the 20th running of the Dubai World Cup, March 28, 2015. Known as the "world's richest day in racing" Dubai World Cup race day will offer total prizemoney of US$29,250 million as both the Dubai Sheema Classic, sponsored by Longines, and Dubai Duty Free, each offering Group 1 status, have been increased to US$6 million. They are part of the showcase of nine races that lead up to the concluding US$10 million Dubai World Cup.

The world's richest horse race is back to bring together equestrians and others for a day of ultimate excitement.
Date:Saturday, 28th March 2015 4:00 PM
Gates open one and a half hours before all scheduled post times.  Dubai World Cup Day gates open at NOON.
Duration:1 day
Category:Sports    
Venue:Meydan Racecourse
Admission:General Admission- AED 25, more ticket offers are available on the link below.
Telephone:+97143270077

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