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.
$5 million Dubai Sheema Classic (G1)
Channel Maker (USA) - After two days of light exercise in the barn area, Channel Maker returned to the dirt track on Wednesday morning to gallop 2,400 meters under rider and assistant trainer, Neil Poznansky.
"He’s got to run a mile and a half (2,400 meters), so you can’t go too easy with him. But he’s not a sprinter so we don’t want him too sharp, either. I’ve been galloping him a mile and a half every two or three days and then giving him light exercise for a day. That’s been our routine. He was full of himself today when we galloped over the track. He looks good, he feels good and he has plenty of energy. Now we just have to get him to Saturday," said Poznansky.
Channel Maker will train over the dirt at 7a.m. on Thursday and will possibly school in the starting gate.
Chrono Genesis (JPN) -The Takashi Saito-trained mare just had an easy morning in the quarantine area.
"She jogged in the trotting ring this morning. She is sound and healthy after the breeze. She will have a piece of work on the dirt track tomorrow," said representative Yasunaga Wada.
Loves Only You (JPN) - A full sister to Real Steel, the 2016 Dubai Turf winner, Lovess Only You continues to please his trainer Yoshito Yahagi, the handler of the two, and galloped on the dirt track at 5 a.m.
Yahagi said: "I asked Oisin Murphy to start working from the 800 meters mark and drive a bit stronger for the last 200 meters. Oisin said magnificent! For me as well, I am very pleased to see how good she is at the moment. I think she is fit and ready.
"Actually, we had options to gallop her on both dirt and turf, and in consideration of her condition, track condition and everything, we decided to work on dirt today. She won’t come out on the main track tomorrow and probably will work in the trotting ring on Friday.”
Murphy said: "Loves Only You galloped five furlongs (1000m) this morning. It was not very strong because she is very fit already, but at the last furlong I gave her a little bit of a squeeze. Her lead-changes and everything were good, and she feels really good.
"She is coming into the race after a Group 2 victory, and Mr Yahagi has done very well over the last couple of years having numerous champions like Lys Gracieux and Contrail, so it’s great to have a chance. The dirt is good for training, I didn’t feel she needed to go on the turf track this morning."
Mishriff (IRE) - Big-race jockey David Egan, who rode Prince Abdul Rahman Abdullah Faisal’s home-bred to win last month’s Saudi Cup, was in the saddle as the 4-year-old went around Meydan’s turf course this morning.
"He takes everything in his stride. He seems to like the routine of going out onto the track and going back in," said Thady Gosden, who holds a joint training licence with his father John.
"It’s a long way to go out to Saudi, go home, and then fly out here a month later but he seems to have taken the traveling well. We will find out on Saturday."
Mogul (GB) - Aidan O’Brien’s Mogul was hand-walked around the quarantine barn this morning and will have an easy day on the track Thursday. The son of Galileo will be O’Brien’s sole representative on Saturday.
Simsir (IRE) - Jockey Adrie de Vries said of his big-race mount: "He is a nice horse who won the big Bahrain race well but then ran a bit flat next time before not handling the dirt in Saudi Arabia. He should run well but obviously it is a very strong race and he has a bit to find."
$4 million Dubai Turf (G1)
Eqtiraan (IRE) - Trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi wasn’t very happy with stall 12 and said Eqtiraan will have to show real character to get himself into the mix. A final run-out is likely on Thursday morning, with Al Rayhi looking to give him a good feel of the surface.
"We would have liked an inner draw or something in the middle but this is very wide and we can only hope he steps up and shows what he is made of," he said. "He is a horse that’s in good form, that much we know, but it’s all up to him and we will have to hope he can break well and dictate the pace. He likes doing that and if he’s able to do that he should finish in a strong position."
Felix (GB) - An easy canter on the turf track was in store once again for the European Felix, with regular rider Lucie Botti aboard. Wife to trainer Marco Botti, she has been overseeing the 5-year-old’s preparation since arrival in Dubai. She said: "The horse is good, I am happy with him, he’s eating and drinking. He had a good look again at the grass today."
First Contact (IRE) - Trainer Satish Seemar said the horse was fit and well, adding: "It is a first for myself and my team to have a turf runner and I think this is the beginning of many more to go. I’ve always felt there should be a lot of local representation on the turf."
Glen Force (IRE) - Big-race jockey Adrie de Vries said: "This horse has been a revelation in Bahrain and could be a lively outsider in what looks a very strong renewal of the race. Hopefully he can surprise a few with a big run."
Lord Glitters (FR) - Following a breeze on the grass yesterday morning, Lord Glitters just did a routine canter this morning.
"All is good. Danny Tudhope sat on him yesterday as he breezed on the grass and we’re happy with the horse and where he is at," trainer David O'Meara said on Wednesday morning.
Lord North (IRE) - Accompanied Mishriff to Meydan’s turf course just after 7 a.m. "He’s got solid enough form and he seems to love racing. His mind is good so we hope for a good run on Saturday," said Thady Gosden, who holds a joint training licence with his father John in Britain.
Regal Reality (GB) - The Sir Michael Stoute-trained 6-year-old has been mixing visits to the training track and Meydan’s turf course this week as he prepares for Saturday’s big race. This morning he went to the turf training track just after 8 a.m.
Vin De Garde (JPN) - Breezed for 600 meters on the turf track under jockey Yuichi Kitamura.
"I picked up and drove him in the stretch. He moved comfortably, relaxed, not keen to go. He felt really good. He is a straightforward and very talented horse. When asking him, he answered me very well,” said Kitamura.
His regular work rider Kazuo Fujiwara said: "He was breathing well while he was galloping. He will explore the paddock tomorrow, and then jockey Mickael Barzalona will give him a piece of work on Friday."
$1.5 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1)
Copano Kicking (USA) - Had a piece of work on the dirt track under the exercise rider Yoshiki Shibata with his handler Akira Murayama supervising him.
Murayama said: "William Buick rode him once last week and he said he couldn’t be happier with him. He is always overexcited and temperamental, so like he has done in Saudi Arabia, he has been training in the trotting ring over the week. As for today, he was scheduled not to gallop steadily, just work comfortably. There is no worries for his condition."
Justin (JPN) - Worked for 800 meters under jockey Ryusei Sakai.
"His movement was really correctly from back to front, activating his hindquarters to produce his energy. I am very pleased to see such nice and powerful movement. He will stay and work in the quarantine area in the rest of the days towards Saturday," said handler Yoshito Yahagi.
Matera Sky (USA) - Started to gallop from the 800-meter mark on the dirt track under jockey Keita Tosaki who said: "I have no worries about his condition and movement. He is a veteran horse and has settled into the surroundings without an issue. I could feel he was very sound and healthy even when I was riding."
Red Le Zele (JPN) - Warmed-up for a lap before breeze on the dirt track.
Work rider Keisuke Fujimaki said: "Before heading to the Group 1 February Stakes he was training to suit the 1,600-meter distance, so I asked the jockey to sharpen him up to switch him back to the 1,200-meter trip. He answered quite well when the jockey was urging him. I think he will go into the race a fit horse. He will go to the paddock ring to familiarize himself with it tomorrow."
Switzerland (USA) - Zabeel Stables trainer, Satish Seemar, said: "Tadhg O’Shea has worked him and is very happy with him. He ran a terrible race on Saudi Cup day and the track didn’t favor him as the rain changed the going on the deeper side.
"However, he came back from Saudi Arabia very well and he’s doing well. He’s a very honest horse and ran a very honest race in Saudi but when I saw him on the deep part of the track, I knew it wasn’t his night. All the winners came from the middle of the track which was the fastest part of the track."
Wildman Jack (USA) - W C Racing’s Doug O’Neill-trained Wildman Jack had an easy circuit of the Meydan dirt on Wednesday morning at 5am.
"He’s doing great right now – I can’t say that enough," said Leandro Mora, assistant trainer. "He’s the kind of horse who gives you confidence."
Zenden (USA) - Recovered from his breeze on Tuesday well enough to continue training forwardly on Wednesday morning. Trainer Carlos David commented on his progress: "He came out of his work really well. He went to the training track and he galloped over the synthetic just fine.”
Zenden is expected to return to the dirt track to train at 7 a.m. on Thursday.
$1 million Al Quoz Sprint (G1)
Acklam Express (IRE) - Nigel Tinkler’s Acklam Express has done well over his two starts here and stepped up in trip well as he took third in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint on Super Saturday.
Acklam Express drew gate 2 and Tinkler doesn’t know what to expect. "I’m concerned about who will set the pace in the race, as I don’t know who it will come from. Otherwise we’ve been happy with the way he’s been doing in Dubai."
Extravagant Kid (USA) - Drew post 8 in the straight 1200m turf affair. On Wednesday morning, the dark bay 8-year-old trotted at the small track adjacent to the international quarantine area under Charlie Lynch. Trainer Brendan Walsh is not expected to make the trip to Dubai, as he is overseeing a string in the USA including Godolphin stars Prevalence and Maxfield.
Moss Gill (IRE) - Edward Bethell’s Moss Gill runs out of gate 11 and connections feel they couldn’t have asked for a better starting position with James Bethell, who is representing his son in Dubai, also reporting Moss Gill had tuned up fine heading into the race.
Bethell said: "We are very happy with the draw and we didn’t want a low number as now he’s not far away from the pace. He’s a good horse and (rider) Daniel Tudhope was on him this morning and said he’s in a very relaxed and happy mood. He did routine work this morning and we will keep him ticking all the way into Saturday. We will look to get him into the race in one piece and he will go around the track once more for his final workout."
Speak In Colours (IRE) - As Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien seeks a first success in Dubai, Speak In Colours continued his preparations by completing two laps of the track under regular rider M J Doran. David Egan will ride Speak In Colours this Saturday for the first time.
"A bit like yesterday morning we were back on the main track and did two canters around there, letting him go a bit quicker on the second canter," said Doran. "He’s well in himself."
True Valour (IRE) - Was one of four who got the chance to experience the Meydan pre-parade ring Tuesday evening, with Graham Motion’s assistant trainer Cat McGee by his side.
McGee said: "He did wonderful, he was perfect. He’s been doing great. He settled really nicely, he’s very happy here. He kind of likes to look around at everything."
The turf specialist went 1,600 meters on the dirt track, having breezed on the turf two days ago. "He’s definitely more settled out here (main track). It’s nice to put him out here, without having the intensity of being on the turf," McGee continued.
$750,000 Godolphin Mile (G2)
Ambassadorial (USA) - David Egan, who rides Ambassadorial on Saturday, had his first sit on the horse since he arrived in Dubai, going around Meydan’s dirt track this morning.
"David said he gave him a good feel so we look forward to Saturday,” said trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam, from her British base. “I am sorry not to be in Dubai but I can tell from the photos and videos that the horse is thriving out there. We would rather have not been drawn 1 but the horse is usually quick out of the gates and David knows him well."
Avant Garde (USA) - It was an easy morning for Kentucky-bred Avant Garde, who remained in the quarantine area, jogging around the small training oval after breezing the day before.
Assistant trainer Gustavo Delgado Jr. has been on hand every step of the way, whilst his father, Gustavo Delgado, oversees the home team in Florida. News did emerge this morning of a change in ownership for the 4-year-old, having been sold to Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuami’s RRR Racing.
Gustavo Jr. said: “For this race (Godolphin Mile) we will continue to train him. He will be running under our care."
The Claiming Crown Rapid Transit Stakes winner will be sporting the orange and black silks of his new owner come race day.
Blown By Wind (GB) – The 2021 Jebel Ali Mile winner was finishing off his prep at his trainer Salem Bin Ghadayer’s Fazza Stable close to Meydan Racecourse. "He came off a busy season in Europe and we are happy with how he has acclimatised," the trainer said. "The first time out for the season he ran well and then went on to win the Jebel Ali Mile beating Secret Ambition."
Parsimony (USA) - Reddam Racing’s Doug O’Neill-trained Parsimony had a strong canter over the Meydan dirt course at 5am on Wednesday. The son of Dominus comes into the G2 Godolphin Mile as a visually impressive specimen, appearing stronger than the version of himself in 2020 that won the listed Curlin Stakes.
"He’s a better horse now," said Leandro Mora, assistant trainer. "He had a really good prep for this at Santa Anita, running in a very good allowance race over six furlongs with some Graded Stakes horses. He’s the type of horse who looks for the leader to tell him what to do, so it’s good that he’s drawn well and outside. He’ll jump running and get right up there, but he’s the type who waits sometimes.
"With him, lately, we have started only working him by himself so that he can feel more comfortably than going in groups. Sometimes when you work them in groups or pairs, they have a tendency to stay with the other horses and sometimes not pass them, so we started doing everything by himself, so that he knows ‘it’s just me, I have to do what I have to do’ and it’s helped."
Secret Ambition (GB), Roman Rosso (ARG), Tuz (USA), Rodaini (USA) - Trainer Satish Seemar confirmed all his Godolphin Mile runners are fit and well and ticking over nicely at his Zabeel Stables base where they are having easy work in the run-up to Saturday.
"Secret Ambition is the most experienced and ridden by Tadhg O’Shea, who knows the horse well and knows the race well," he said. "We have the last-minute addition of Rodaini, who I’ve always thought highly of but who never had the opportunity to participate in all the right races before. Now he’s won his way in and earned his place.
"Tuz is a hidden talent for me and not many know how good he is. I personally think he could be the dark horse in the race. He’s had a few minor problems last year but showed talent and by the time he got 100% it was the end of the season, so I’m very excited to see what he can do.
"In the case of Roman Rosso a lot of people might think he’s going over the wrong distance but I will say that I’ve never had this horse in better shape."
$750,000 UAE Derby (G2)
Fire Group (USA) - Fire Group leaps out of stall 12 and trainer Musabbeh Al Mheiri felt a better draw would have suited. "All his preparations have gone well and we are happy with the way he’s been handling the surface and the training," he said. "He is a brilliant horse, whose just not had his day so far but we will rest him after tomorrow’s blow out, which we hope he will handle well. After that he’s over to race day. We would have preferred a better draw, but as things stand a lot will depend on how he breaks – if he can break well he should be able to get himself in the mix."
France Go De Ina (USA) - Galloped steadily starting from the 800m mark on the dirt track.
Work rider Masaki Takano said: "He has accomplished all he needed even before the trip and he has trained well since he has arrived, so he showed his flexibility and moved nicely, breathing well during the gallop. He is going into the race a fit horse."
Lugamo (USA) - Stretched his legs over a brisk 800m this morning for assistant trainer, Alessandro Sano.
"We were happy with his exercise," he said. "We weren’t surprised to see him start off quick, being that he hasn’t run since November. We timed him in 50.12s from the finish line to the 1,000-meter marker. He stopped the clock right where we wanted him to, between 50 and 52s."
The colt walked back to the barn with a light lather between his legs, but hardly any other indication that he had just breezed. In spite of the fact that Lugamo will be racing first up after a spell and facing the toughest test of his young career, he certainly appeared to be fit.
Sano said: "He came back really well. We checked his respiration and his nostrils were wide open. He seemed happy and was on his toes. He’s hungry for a race."
Mouheeb (USA) - Trainer Nicholas Bachalard said: "He went very well in his final work and I am very happy we made the right decision to miss the Saudi Derby and Super Saturday.
"We always thought the 1,600 meters of the UAE 2000 Guineas would suit him but that he would stay further so, I guess, we will find out on Saturday. I could not be happier with him though."
New Treasure (IRE) - As on Tuesday, the Saudi Derby third headed to Meydan’s dirt track ahead of Saturday. "The Saudi race was not as good a race as the UAE Derby by any stretch of the imagination," said Thady Gosden, who holds a joint training licence with his father John in Britain. "But New Treasure comes into Saturday in good form and we hope he goes well."
Panadol (USA) - Trainer Salem Bin Ghadayer is based at Fazza Stables and confirmed his Dubai World Cup horses were finishing off their prep at home including the Al Bastakiya winner, Panadol.
"Panadol is ready now. When he first came to us he needed time to fill out a bit and we gave him the time. He has shown in his two starts that he has class."
Pink Kamehameha (JPN) - Galloped for 800 meters on dirt with his jockey Keita Tosaki on board.
"It was my first time galloping on him, so I tried to get a feel for him," Tosaki said. "My focus was for him not to be edgy. He moved nicely and answered me well when I asked him towards the end of the gallop. My impression about the dirt track here is it is a more solid and more gripping track than the dirt track in Saudi Arabia. The sand itself does not have a big difference, but I think it is easier and more suitable for him to run over the dirt here."
Speight'spercomete (USA) - Owner/breeder Charles Fipke said: “It is great to even be here because it has not been an easy trip to arrange but we did a Covid test and managed to get a direct flight to Dubai from Seattle.
"This horse has done nothing but improve. Doug Watson and his team always liked him and told me he was a nice horse, he was very disappointing first time but ran better second time. His two starts this year have been much more promising and he has had a clean preparation since Super Saturday, having had a small issue before that race which affected his schedule.
"Obviously he has ground to make up on Panadol, who beat him then, and there are strong American and Japanese challengers this time but he should run well."
$750,000 Dubai Kahayla Classic (G1)
AF Alwajel (UAE) - Rider Tadhg O’Shea is happy with the gate drawn by AF Alwajel, who did his last piece of work last Sunday. O’Shea reported he rode the horse in training like he would ride him when tackling the big race. He said "Stall 1 is a good draw for him and we believe he will do well as he had a good workout last Sunday over this distance at the dirt track.
"The last time he ran it was the first time he was going over a mile and a quarter and we feel he’ll improve for it. He’s trained well over the trip again and is looking strong. During that workout he cantered before picking up pace as he entered the stretch."
Al Zahir (UAE) - Trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi reported Al Zahir was happy and that his preparations had gone very much according to plan. He is expected to just be kept ticking along ahead of his run out of gate 3.
Al Rayhi said: "The draw is a good one and if he jumps well and keeps pace with the rest he will have a definite chance. He runs on dirt after a long time, but he seems to have adapted well to conditions and we are looking forward to running him Saturday."
Hayyan (FR) - Trained by Frederic Sanchez, a former jockey who had a ride in the race in 2002, Hayyan came onto the dirt track at Meydan on Wednesday morning where he cantered once round the track and then quickened over the final 400 meters.
His trainer said: "We are only a small yard, so I ride him myself here in the morning. This morning we met up with Richard Mullen, who took over. The horse is in very good form. He is a very good traveller, as he already travelled as a 4-year-old and is used to it. The question remains how he will adapt to the track as he hasn’t run on it yet."
RB Money To Burn (USA) - Trained by Eric Lemartinel in Abu Dhabi, the filly is preparing for her start at home and her trainer said: "She won in February and since then she has been ticking over nicely. She is not going to be doing any more work between now and the race. She has been drawn on the outside, but that is not a problem."
$750,000 Dubai Gold Cup (G2)
Red Verdon (USA) - The Dubai World Cup fixture attracts horses from around the globe but few will be as well travelled as the Ed Dunlop-trained Red Verdon, who will have his first start in Dubai this Saturday.
The 8-year-old was last seen finishing fourth in the Red Sea Turf Handicap in Riyadh last month but has also raced in Italy, France, Australia, Hong Kong and Ireland as well as recording eight victories in the United Kingdom.
"All is good with Red Verdon. He trained this morning around the main track and Bernie (Hutchinson) has told me he has settled in well," trainer Ed Dunlop said this morning from his Newmarket base.
"Red Verdon knows his way around the world at this stage but we were pleased with him in Saudi Arabia where he ran a fine race. The UAE is actually one of the few countries he has never raced in even though he has a fairly full passport so we are very much looking forward to Saturday. He is drawn a little bit wide but it is two miles so we will take what happens."
Subjectivist (GB) - A bold front running performance from Subjectivist in the Prix Royal-Oak in France last October earned the Mark Johnston-trained son of Teofilo Group 1 honours and Britain’s winning-most trainer is hoping there is more to come from his sole representative in Meydan this weekend.
"He is a progressive horse as he showed in France and that did appear to be a career best so we are looking forward to seeing him line up on Saturday," Johnston said on Wednesday.
"The race in France was obviously on soft ground and Subjectivist has some very good form on soft ground but he has just never raced on quick ground so there is nothing to say that he won’t handle it. Jane Smits has been happy with the horse in Dubai and I will travel with one of my assistants Hayley Kelly today."
Walderbe (GER) – The only German raider at the meeting arrived in Dubai on Saturday and reunited with his jockey Mickaelle Michel on Wednesday morning on the dirt track at Meydan.
Trained by Ralf Rohne in Düsseldorf, the 5-year-old is going to tackle the 3,200-meter distance for the first time and his trainer said: "Walderbe is in great form. He travelled really well to Dubai and this morning he cantered over 2,000 meters together with the English horses. He looks good and I am very happy with him. He will do some work tomorrow and then it’s a question of waiting for Saturday."