Dubai World Cup undercard: Thursday notes

Dubai World Cup undercard: Thursday notes
Photo: Dubai Racing Club & Mathea Kelly

Ahead of Saturday's $12 million, Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse, the Dubai Racing Club provided notes and quotes about starters in races on the undercard. Click here for notes about the Dubai World Cup starters.

$5 million Dubai Sheema Classic (G1)

Berkshire Rocco (FR) - Jockey Jason Watson will once again be reunited with Berkshire Rocco but not before the race itself as the 4-year-old continued his preparations under regular rider Claudia Metaireau.

"We are very happy with the horse," reported Maddy O’Meara on behalf of trainer Andrew Balding. "Berkshire Rocco just did a normal canter on the turf at the main track this morning, quickening ever so slightly from the 200m to the winning post. Jason rides him again on Saturday but won’t sit on him before the race."

Channel Maker (USA) - Hailing from the barn of Bill Mott, the 7-year-old returned to the dirt track on Thursday morning with assistant trainer Neil Poznansky aboard.

"He galloped a mile and a half on the main track and we stood him in the gate," Poznansky said. "He looks good and now he just needs to run."

Mott won the 1996 Dubai World Cup with Cigar. His other Dubai runners include Del Mar Show in 2002 and Courageous Cat in 2010, who both ran in the Dubai Turf. The Sheema Classic has seen 18 USA runners, but no winners to date. Channel Maker will start from stall 2 on Saturday.

"I think we drew great. It’s no secret how he likes to run and with this post we don’t have to worry about crossing over the field to get on or near the lead," said Poznansky.

Chrono Genesis (JPN) - Had an easy workout for a lap on the dirt track at Meydan at 5am with her work rider Yasunaga Wada on board. "She is fit and ready," said Wada.

Dubai Future (GB) - Saeed Bin Suroor reported of his big-race runner: "He’s a tough horse, always tries his best and he’s in good form, always runs well in Dubai, the trip will suit him, Frankie Dettori will ride, it won’t be an easy race but we’re looking for a good run from him."

Loves Only You (JPN) - Will break from stall 9, and trainer Yoshito Yahagi said: "The draw is not my concern at all. I have been thinking about a few tactics, but honestly speaking the wider spot is preferred to inside. She may work in the trotting ring tomorrow as well, but I will see."

Mishriff (IRE) - Continued his usual routine of visiting Meydan’s turf course just after 7am supervised by Thady Gosden, who holds a joint training licence with his father John in Britain.

Big race jockey David Egan was aboard last month’s Saudi Cup winner and Saturday’s distance of 2,400 meters will be something of an unknown for connections.

"David was very happy with him this morning. I’d be hopeful he gets the trip, he won the French Derby over 10 and a half furlongs so hopefully the extra furlong and a half on Saturday won’t be a problem," said Gosden.

"He relaxes well in a race, even though he has a lot of natural speed. His mother won over a mile and a quarter and the second dam won over a mile and a half so there’s stamina in the pedigree. He’s really matured well into a 4-year-old, he’s gone the right way from three. And he’s got plenty of size and scope about him."

Mogul (GB) - The 4-year-old son of Galileo will try to emulate St Nicholas Abbey who won this race for trainer Aidan O’Brien in 2013. St Nicholas Abbey was a 6-year-old at the time and only eight 4-year-olds have won the race since 1998. After completing his spell in the quarantine barn, Mogul stepped out onto the dirt track at Meydan for the first time on Thursday morning.

"We hope that the fact Mogul ran in Hong Kong in December will be something of an advantage," said O’Brien. "We have got him as fit as we can at home for his first run of the year so he doesn’t have to do much now before the race."

Simsir (IRE) - Jockey Adrie de Vries is happy with the post position for the Fawzi Nass trainee. "We have a nice draw in four which I am very happy with as it gives me options but we know our horse has a bit to find with some proven international Group 1 horses," he said. "But our horse is in good form so should run a nice race."

$4 million Dubai Turf (G1)

Al Suhail (GB) - Made a very satisfactory seasonal debut to finish a close third in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta, the trial for the Dubai Turf. Trainer Charlie Appleby said: "We’re very pleased with his first start after returning from a layoff. He has shown the right signs that he has come forward for the run and hopefully will be competitive for us on the night."

Eqtiraan (IRE) - Trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi sent out Eqtiraan for a final run on Thursday morning and reiterated he will be hoping his 7-year-old Helmet gelding, who was headed by Lord Glitters 200 meters out in Super Saturday’s Group 1 Jebel Hatta, can dictate the pace.

Al Rayhi said: "Honestly, we would have preferred if he drew an inner draw or somewhere in the middle. He has done well in training throughout the week and looks good and ready for the race. He’s been in good form, but he will have to break well and do the running."

Felix (GB) - The Marco Botti-trained Felix is becoming very well acquainted with the Meydan turf course, going a touch stronger on Thursday morning, with wife Lucie Botti atop.

"He went well, it was a good canter on the turf. I’m happy. We went a nice canter, just stretched his legs," she said.

Drawn on the far outside in gate 13, Felix will have the entire backstretch to gain position before the swooping home turn brings the field in front of the grandstand.

Botti said: "The draw is always in the jockey’s (Oisin Murphy) hands, he will have to work it out. I would hope there is plenty of time before the bend so he can sort of get out."

Glen Force (IRE) - Jockey Adrie de Vries said of his big-race ride: "Obviously this is a big step up in class from the races he has been winning in Bahrain but we think he merits a crack in this company. His training has been very good and we think he can run a big race."

Lord Glitters (FR) - The Group 1 Jebel Hatta winner looks primed for his fourth start of the Carnival and after breezing under jockey Danny Tudhope on Tuesday morning, the smashing grey 8-year-old stepped out for an easier day on the turf at the training track today.

"He was back on the grass this morning and is ready for Saturday now," said David O’Meara. "He has had a good winter down there so fingers crossed we can finish on a high this weekend."

Lord North (IRE) - Frankie Dettori was aboard the 5-year-old as they worked on Meydan's turf course just after 7am. "Frankie said he was very happy with Lord North so we'll look forward to Saturday," said Thady Gosden, who holds a joint training licence with his father John in Britain.

Vin De Garde (JPN) -Schooled in the saddling area and paddock ring with Golden Shaheen contender Red Le Zele. The representative of trainer Hideaki Fujiwara, Kazuo Fujiwara said: "The draw in 5 will be suitable for him. He went to the saddling area and paddock ring to get familiarised with it in advance this morning. He is really switching on for the big race."

$1.5 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1)

Al Tariq (FR), Canvassed (IRE), Premier Star (USA) - Trainer Doug Watson ran the rule over his trio’s chances.

He said: "Canvassed overcame stall 12 on Super Saturday and will have to do so again. Hopefully it is not too much of an issue with him as we would not expect him to being racing handily.

"The one thing we did learn at Super Saturday, other than he is a smart sprinter, is that he is happy to face the kickback so that is a positive. He is in great form at home and we think he will run a big race.

"Al Tariq won the Jebel Ali Sprint and Al Shindagha without much of a break between races so that was very pleasing. He has now had a nice five-week break so goes there fresh and in really good shape. He is drawn in the centre which is better than wide so hopefully he goes there with a chance.

"Premier Star ran well first time up for us on Super Saturday when he would have needed the run and is a nice, new horse. He is only a 4-year-old and a horse we are delighted to have in the barn.”

Copano Kicking (USA) - Just hand-walked in the quarantine stable area. "No worries about his draw (11)," said trainer Akira Murayama.

Good Effort (IRE) - Frankie Dettori takes the mount for trainer Ismail Mohammed, who said: "We wanted a better draw than Super Saturday so clearly cannot complain with stall 1. That should really suit and, assuming he breaks well, we should be able to be positive on him which is the way he likes to race."

Jalen Journey (USA) - Jalen Journey will have a tough test ahead of him, as Steve Asmussen’s assistant trainer, Scott Blasi, explained: "It’s an obvious step up from who he has been running against. He’s been in against this company before."

The 6-year-old had plenty of races against Graded stakes company, so the possibility of a win on Saturday is not out of reach. "He galloped a mile today. He seems to be thriving right now," said Blasi.

Justin (JPN) - Remained at the quarantine stable and will work in the trotting ring tomorrow.

Matera Sky (USA) - Did not appear on the Meydan track on Thursday. His work rider Masaki Takano said: "He races close to the speed, so we’ve got a luck of the draw."

Red Le Zele (JPN) - Explored the saddling area and walked in the paddock with the Hideaki Fujiwara-trained Vin De Garde (Dubai Turf).

Work rider Keisuke Fujimaki said: "He was nice and settled. Everything has gone well so far. As the horses starting an from inside draw will be expected to go faster, he can watch them from behind, so it appears he has a good draw."

Yaupon (USA) - The highly touted Yaupon schooled before galloping around the dirt track on Thursday morning.

"He stood in the gate and galloped a mile. He felt really good going home. He’s a pretty straightforward horse," said assistant trainer Scott Blasi.

The colt has won 4 of 5 of his lifetime starts, all of which were run at 1,200 meters. The 4-year-old has drawn stall 2. "It’s a good post. He’s a horse that needs to establish position early. He had a rough run in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. He was bounced around pretty well throughout several stages of the race. But if he can get away from the gate cleanly, he can run his race," said Blasi.

Zenden (USA) - With just two days remaining, Zenden returned to the dirt track around 7 a.m. on Thursday.

"He did his usual routine. He jogged the opposite way, then I let him stand for a little bit and then jogged back past the 600-meter marker. He galloped aggressive and he looks like he wants to go. We’re just trying to rate him at this point. He’s geared up," said trainer Carlos David.

Local rider Antonio Fresu will be aboard the 5-year-old horse from stall 14. When asked how he felt about his draw, David said: "I know I wanted him somewhere on the outside, I just didn’t want to be on the extreme outside. At least he doesn’t have to wait a long time in the gate and I don’t have to worry about getting squeezed out of the race if we were in the middle. I think he has enough speed to break well and get over."

$1 million Al Quoz Sprint (G1)

Acklam Express (IRE) - Nigel Tinkler’s Acklam Express has enjoyed his time in Dubai, with two placings including a third in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint on Super Saturday on March 6, which was his first time running at 1,200 meters.

Acklam Express will spring from stall 2 and Tinkler said: "He has shown good form all along in Dubai and maybe he won’t want to come home. He has done everything right in Dubai and we’ll see how he goes in the race."

Cowan (USA) - Steve Asmussen’s entry, Cowan, who nearly walked out of the starting gate in the Saudi Derby, will be hoping for a cleaner break on Saturday.

Assistant trainer Scott Blasi explained: "He drew the 1 stall. With his running style, I don’t think the inside draw will be detrimental. He has speed and won’t have to cross over any horses."

Cowan has never won on turf but will be making the switch nonetheless. He continued his preparation with exercise over the dirt track on Thursday morning. "He stood in the gate on Tuesday, so he just galloped a mile today," said Blasi.

Final Song (IRE) - Winner of the trial for the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan on Super Saturday, Final Song is a filly that trainer Saeed Bin Suroor thinks a lot of. He said: "She’s a tough filly and can hold her own against the colts, she won her last race and came out of it in good shape, the filly is doing really well and went nicely in her last piece of work. We’re looking forward to a good run from her."

Motafaawit (IRE) - Trainer Doug Watson is aware that saddling his runner will be emotional. "Obviously he is a Sheikh Hamdan horse and we are all still digesting the news of his death because he has always been a massive supporter of Red Stables, both myself and Kiaran McLaughlin before," he said.

"It would mean so much to us all if we could win a race on the big night for him and Motafaawit should have a chance. The Meydan straight track is ideal for him because he does not handle bends particularly well. They are going to go quick which will suit him and he should be finishing strongly off that strong gallop."

Moss Gill (IRE) - Edward Bethell’s Moss Gill jumps out of stall 11 and the horse’s former trainer and Edward’s father James, who has been overseeing preparations in Dubai, is impressed with how he’s shipped and shaped.

He said: "He seems very relaxed and happy and has been going through the motions as we move towards race day. It’s a matter of keeping him ticking along because if there’s one thing we know that is Moss Gill likes a flat track and this should suit him."

Royal Crusade (GB) - This Group 3 winner had the subsequent Group 1 winner Glen Sheil behind him in Deauville last year. Trainer Charlie Appleby says the horse continues his prep for Saturday in pleasing fashion: "He had a progressive profile in 2020, was in need of his first run in Dubai and has come forward for it. If he produces the best of his form he should make a good account of himself."

Speak In Colours (IRE) - The Joseph O’Brien-trained son of Excelebration followed a similar routine again on Thursday morning at Meydan under rider M J Doran. The 6-year-old completed two canters, quickening up nicely on the second occasion.

"He has travelled over well and M J Doran is happy with him," O’Brien said from his base in Piltown, County Kilkenny. "The Al Quoz Sprint on Saturday looks a very good race as you would expect but I think Speak In Colours has come forward from his prep run at Dundalk and I’d be hoping he will run a solid race for us."

True Valour (IRE) - The moment 7-year-old True Valour sets foot on the turf track, he seems to grow in statue. Excited by the possibility of striding out, he cantered around on the bridle this morning.

Proceeding well past the track entrance, he pulled up on the turf backside. Standing there for a brief moment, the veteran runner soaked in the atmosphere, before returning to Graham Motion’s assistant Cat McGee, who has been overseeing his preparation.

$750,000 Godolphin Mile (G2)

Avant Garde (USA) - Ever consistent, Avant Garde comfortably cruised around the Meydan dirt track, going a casual 2400m followed by a look at the starting gates.

Assistant trainer Gustavo Delgado Jr. stayed in close proximity, monitoring the gelding’s progress.

"I like the way he travelled today. (Rider) Pedro is happy about it. He’s good. He said he had a hard time trying to pull him up, so that’s good. He went straight to the gate. He was perfect, very gentleman-like. Stood for a minute. There were no issues, no anxious moments. I think we’re good." Delgado said.

Avant Garde drew in gate 13 early in the week and Delgado continued: "I’m not as used to the chute or the mile here, I know it’s a bit different. I will leave it to Luis (Saez). At this time, he’s likely going to run behind the speed, that’s what I see him doing. I train him, Luis is going to ride him."

Blown By Wind (GB) - Cantered at his home track at Fazza Stables under the tutelage of trainer Salem Bin Ghadayer. "He won the Jebel Ali Mile impressively but his two subsequent runs were disappointing and maybe came too soon for him," the trainer said. "We have freshened him up now and if he shows his previous form, he’ll run well. We have put first-time cheekpieces on him – hopefully it will help to focus him, as will the fast pace I think."

Chiefdom (USA) - Salem Bin Ghadayer said of his trainee: “He had a little issue last November with a bad foot abscess, and he took time to come back from it so we didn’t rush him, this is why we’re late with him. He needed his first run back but the run on Super Saturday is when he showed some class. He was under pressure from early on but he rallied and we were very happy with that run. I like the draw, it will suit his racing style."

Golden Goal (IRE) and Midnight Sands (USA) - Trainer Doug Watson is excited about fielding his two contenders. "Midnight Sands just loves it at Meydan on the dirt and worked really well on Monday. He is drawn eight which is ideal so, fingers crossed, he goes there Saturday with plenty in his favour. We expect a big run," he said. "Drawing 6 looks a positive for Golden Goal because he never found any cover on Super Saturday when he ran well given the way things panned out. He has always been a horse we have really liked and there is plenty of ability there so, we hope, he is going to at least be competitive."

Snapper Sinclair (USA) - The 6-year-old son of City Zip schooled calmly in the starting gate before making a lap around the dirt track. But in the middle of the turn near the media area, the horse appeared to have tossed his rider, who did not lose hold of Snapper Sinclair and was immediately attended to by assistant trainer Scott Blasi, who legged him up on the horse in a matter of seconds.

Blasi asked one of the outriders to assist by galloping next to Snapper Sinclair once around the track. However, a few seconds later, the outrider appeared to drop the strap holding Snapper Sinclair. The exercise rider was quick to control his horse and continued to gallop, slowly and solo, to complete the 1,600 meters.

Snapper Sinclair returned to the barn with a bit of lather on his neck, but in good order.

"He’s a really difficult horse when he’s ready to go. We usually don’t exercise him without the pony the week of the race," said Blasi.

The layout of the chute on the dirt track may cause some concern for horses drawn toward the outside. Blasi said: "The 14 post isn’t ideal with the dog-leg turn going the one-turn mile. But hopefully he can break well and establish his position. It’s a long backstretch for him to do so."

Urban Icon (GB) – Due to make his dirt debut in the Godolphin Mile on Saturday night, he has been acquainted with the track and his jockey Oisin Murphy, with the pair completing a steady canter on the dirt track this week.

"Urban Icon had very strong form in the UK and ran a super race on turf last time, I’m really looking forward to riding him, it’s a great ride to pick up. Let’s see how he takes to the dirt, it’s a good opportunity," he said.

$750,000 UAE Derby (G2)

Fire Group (USA) - Musabbeh Al Mheiri’s Fire Group leaps out of stall 12 and had his last workout on Thursday. He went all out cantering and then galloping hard to the post. The 3-year-old Not This Time colt is winless after five starts, and Al Mheiri remains hopeful even though he feels Fire Group is a horse that will come good in his 4-year-old season.

Al Mheiri said: "His preparations have been spot on and we are happy with everything that he has done in training. His handling of the surface is good and we know he is a very good horse who has not had his day. He went around the track and did all that we asked him to do and if he can break well from his draw which is very wide, he could give a good account of himself. He is a big horse, but I still feel his best year is ahead of him."

France Go De Ina (USA) and Pink Kamehameha (JPN) - Neither of the Hideyuki Mori trainees came out on the main Meydan track.

Lugamo (USA) - Following his breeze from the day before, Lugamo visited the dirt track to gallop on Thursday at 5am. Assistant trainer and son to trainer Antonio Sano, Alessandro Sano, was there to observe.

"He basically just did an easy gallop today. He came out of the work happy, drinking water and walking well, so I thought he could go a slow lap and a half. It’s a 1 3/16 mile so other than being fit, we have to get our horse as much lung capacity as we can," said Sano.

Lugamo will be piloted from stall 5 by British champion jockey, Oisin Murphy.

"We love his post, we are lucky to be on the inside of, who I consider the favourite of the race, Panadol. Our horse has natural speed, so the game plan will be trying to get the rail before he [Panadol] does. Tomorrow will be similar to today, he’ll gallop a lap and a half and that’s it."

Mnasek (USA) and Speight’spercomete (USA) - Trainer Doug Watson said of his pair: "Mnasek came out of her UAE Oaks victory in flying form and has always been a nice filly. She broke on level terms for the first time that day so hopefully her issues with the stalls are behind her.

"She has a featherweight so Sam Hitchcott rides and he jumped her out of the gates the other day which went well. Four is a nice draw so she should be able to run a big race.

"Speight’spercomete is a horse who has literally improved daily since he arrived and with each piece of work. That has been reflected in his racecourse performances and we hope for another big effort on Saturday."

Mouheeb (USA) - Nicholas Bachalard’s runner is the mount of Ryan Curatolo, who said: "As a team we decided to miss the Saudi Derby and Super Saturday to keep him fresh for this. He showed such a willing attitude to win the UAE 2000 Guineas and everything suggests he will stay the extra 300 meters. it is very exciting to have the ride on a genuine UAE Derby contender."

Panadol (USA) - Trainer Salem Bin Ghadayer expects more to come from his charge, reporting: "He ran a big race in the Al Bastakiya from a wide draw on only his second start. He got a bit hot before the race – he still needs experience but has a very professional mind, there is still improvement to come. He has a nice draw and if he improves even 5 percent on his Super Saturday run then he should be thereabouts."

Rebel’s Romance (IRE) - The Dubawi colt boasts a three from four record coming into the UAE Derby on Saturday. Trainer Charlie Appleby said: "He ran a creditable race in Saudi, gaining more experience, and we always considered that a step up in trip in the UAE Derby would suit the horse. I hope that we see more improvement from him. He will be a nice horse for next year."

Soft Whisper (IRE) - Saeed Bin Suroor’s filly arrives after a fifth in the Saudi Derby. The trainer said: "She won two races here in Dubai and in England also. She came back well from Saudi, sometimes when horses travel to races they can go backwards, especially the 3-year-olds but she handled the trip very well and it didn’t seem to take much out of her, she is in good form. She’s in here with the colts but she’s tough, we’re not afraid to take them on. If she replicates her Guineas performance then we should go close."

$750,000 Dubai Kahayla Classic (G1)

AF Alwajel (UAE) - Ernst Oertel thinks distance should not be a problem for AF Alwajel, who placed third over course and distance in the PA Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 on February 25 as he finished five-and-a-quarter lengths behind Brraq, who also runs here.

For Saturday, AF Alwajel has been assigned the innermost stall 1 and his rider Tadhg O’Shea is confident of featuring at the finish. "He drew very well and we believe he will do well," said O’Shea. "His last good workout was Sunday over this distance at the dirt track. The Al Maktoum Challenge R3 was the first time he went over a mile and a quarter and we feel he will improve for it. He’s trained well over the trip again and is looking strong."

Al Zahir (UAE) - Trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi believes Al Zahir has taken to dirt well and is confident of a good run from the 8-year-old Madjani entire. Al Zahir jumps from stall 3 and Al Rayhi said: "He has come to run on dirt after a long time, but he seems to be enjoying it and he has done well with his work heading into the race. Now it’s over to raceday and about him having a good day at the office.

"He has a good draw and if he jumps well and keeps pace with the rest, he should have a definite chance. We are looking forward to him running on Saturday."

The Shadwell representative will be ridden by Jim Crowley in the race and the jockey said: "He is a very good horse. Some of his best form has probably been on turf. We are hoping that he will run a good race but his best form has been in Abu Dhabi on the turf."

Hajres (TUN) - Elisabeth Bernard was on the dirt track at Meydan on Thursday morning to watch Hajres jog and she said: "It’s very hot now and apparently it’s going to be even hotter on Saturday. Hajres worked yesterday and so this morning, he didn’t do much and because it’s so hot, he will do the same again tomorrow. I’m very happy with him though, he looks perfect to me."

Hayyan (FR) - French raider Hayyan did his usual routine when he came onto the dirt track on Thursday morning and his trainer Frederic Sanchez said: "Seeing that Hayyan worked yesterday under Richard Mullen, he only jogged this morning. He is in great form, very supple and ate up. Tomorrow he will go for a canter and then it’s the big day."

Mashhur Al Khalediah (KSA) - Came onto the dirt track on Thursday morning where he cantered once round the track and his trainer Philip Collington said: "He went back to the main track and just did a normal canter. It’s all good. He only went round once. We are drawn four, which is a good draw. Hopefully he gets out this time like he normally does. They are really happy with him. It’s hot, but he’s not having a terrible sweat, which is good."

Mutwakel Al Khalediah (KSA) and Mubasher Al Khalediah (KSA) - Steady canter on the main track for both yesterday. They moved well under jockey Eddie Castro who has just arrived into Dubai from his Riyadh base. "I’m always very happy to come to Dubai, we just hacked one round of the track with the two. All is going to plan." he said.

$750,000 Dubai Gold Cup (G2)

Away He Goes (IRE) - Trainer Ismail Mohammed knows his charge has a stiff task, reporting: "Obviously it is a strong race for the grade with some genuine Group 1 performers in opposition but he has worked well since his last run so is in good shape."

Global Heat (IRE) - Only beaten a short head by stablemate Volcanic Sky in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy last month over the Meydan turf. Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor said: "Frankie (Dettori) rides, the trip over 3,200 meters I think it will suit him, he shows all the signs that he will stay. We’re hopeful."

Red Verdon (USA) - The globe-trotting Red Verdon has looked well in himself at Meydan every morning this week under his groom Bernie Hutchinson but the admirable 8-year-old had a new jockey on his back this morning as big-race rider David Egan took over.

Trainer Ed Dunlop said: "Hollie Doyle, who rode Red Verdon in Saudi Arabia, isn’t here this weekend so we’ve gone with David Egan who is obviously riding very well at the moment. He had a sit on him this morning on the main track but he didn’t need to do anything much than just keep him ticking over as he has that run in Saudi Arabia under his belt."

Spanish Mission (USA) - Five-time winner Spanish Mission has drawn stall 8 this weekend and put the finishing touches to his raceday prep under Maddy O’Meara this morning.

O’Meara, who is overseeing the training of Spanish Mission and Berkshire Rocco for trainer Andrew Balding, was pleased with the 5-year-old today.

"Both horses went on the turf this morning and I rode Spanish Mission who feels and looks great. We quickened from the 400 meters to the winning post and I was happy."

Secret Advisor (FR) – The Dubawi 7-year-old is continuing his prep for the staying race on Saturday’s card. Charlie Appleby is happy with how the lead up has gone: "He ran a very gallant race in Saudi where he finished third. He has proven form around Meydan and goes into the race in good shape. We’re hoping for a big run on the night."

Subjectivist (GB) - Trainer Mark Johnston was in attendance this morning to see Subjectivist and gave a positive bulletin on the wellbeing of the Group 1 winner.

"Everything seemed absolutely fine," he said "Jane (Smits) said he had actually been a little keen the last couple of mornings but he settled well today and just did two 1200m canters on the training track and he will have a canter around the grass on the main track tomorrow morning just to let Joe Fanning have a sit on him and let the horse see the track."

Walderbe (GER) - The Ralf Rohne-trained Walderbe had a largely solo gallop on Thursday morning.

The German trainer explained: "Mickaëlle (Michel) said that she was very pleased with him, but obviously, you couldn’t really see how well he went. Walderbe seems in good form though."

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