'A good start' sought for Walking Thunder in Dubai return

Dubai Racing Club
December 03, 2019 12:33pm
'A good start' sought for Walking Thunder in Dubai return
Photo: Dubai Racing Club

One of the top 3-year-olds in Dubai will end his sophomore year in an interesting spot when the Phoenix Ladies Syndicate’s Walking Thunder rolls into Thursday’s $72,000 Garhoud Sprint against older horses.

One of two of his generation in the field of eight, the son of Violence will break from post five under in-form jockey Connor Beasley. While giving up noteworthy seasoning, he also must dip down to 1200m (about six furlongs) for the first time in his five-race, three-win career.

“He’s doing very well at the moment and I think this race will be to his liking,” said trainer Ahmad bin Harmash. “He’s a very fast horse, even though he hasn’t raced over 1200m. Don’t forget — he was running very well at seven furlongs last year and we tried to go more distance than a mile with him because of the UAE Derby, but I’m not sure he likes more than a mile.”

The emblazoned bay won his first three starts by a combined 18 ¾ lengths over Meydan’s dirt oval, including a nine-length thrashing of subsequent Al Bastakiya winner
 Manguzi and Group 1 winner Royal Marine in the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial. He finished his 2018-19 UAE season with a second to Godolphin blueblood Estihdaaf in the UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) before finishing seventh in the UAE Derby (G2), in which Manguzi was third. His victories were over 1400m (in his maiden romp) and 1600m, twice.

“This will be a good start for him,” Bin Harmash continued. “He’s been training well and — like most of these horses — he will need the run."

The Jan. 9 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 could be the next target, the trainer added, "if he runs very well."

Bin Harmash also harped upon Hamdan Sultan Ali Alsabousi’s New Trails , who makes his first start since a 10th in the Dubai World Cup (G1) when going in the $72,000 The Entisar over the same 2000m. One of the logical choices in the seven-horse field, the five-time-winning son of Medaglia d’Oro is pointing toward another stab at the World Cup.

“He’s doing great,” he said. “On the big day, he got a big cut in his hoof. Since then, he’s come back very well and is training well. I’m hoping for a good run.”

The multiple group stakes-winning conditioner concluded with a brief note on promising juvenile filly
 Majhoola, who takes on the boys in the first major juvenile race of the season, the $65,000 Jebel Ali Port over 1600m. A sizable daughter of Trappe Shot out of a Bellamy Road mare, she exits a good second to UAE’s current top-rated 2-year-old, filly Rio Angie, over 1400m in her lone start.

Majhoola steps up 200m in distance and breaks from post four in the nine-horse conditions heat and major prep for the rich Dubai World Cup Carnival program for sophomores.

“She’s a big filly we think she’ll like the distance,” he said. “We decided to run in this race because we think she could be an (UAE) Oaks filly. We’ll try this. It’s not too strong of a field and we think it’s a good spot. She also gets two kilos, so it’s a good spot before all the Godolphin juveniles come.”


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