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Hollywood Derby Day
Invasor gets a pat from his exercise rider Wednesday morning
Wednesday was another busy day on track at Nad al Sheba as more of runners for the Dubai World Cup card on Saturday continued their final preparations. Most are just jogging or galloping at this point, but a few are still doing timed works. Many horses went a lap around the main dirt track, which is a distance of 2200 meters (about 1 3/8 miles).
Post positions were also drawn today and are available along with free past performances here.
Dubai World Cup contender Invasor went out for a maintenance gallop on Wednesday morning at Nad al Sheba. Exercise rider Barry Downes said, "He's just real special. It's a pleasure to ride him. He's very smart, he's really too smart at times. He tries to get away with things. If you're not paying attention, he might just bite you. As last year went on, he started getting his confidence up and he started to show off. He knows what he's done, he knows he's good." After he drew the outside post 7, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "It's a good position for us, it's outside and hopefully out of trouble. We're happy there are only seven in there. We would have liked to have had more in there to have a faster pace, but then we've only got six to beat." Asked if he expected to win, he said, "Yes, I do."
Hong Kong's Dubai World Cup hope Bullish Luck drew post 3. Trainer Tony Cruz said, "The draw is not a problem, and he's in really great form. Invasor and Discreet Cat are going to be the two to beat and we'll be delighted if we finish right behind them. I'm very happy with the horse. Cody Mo, who always rides the horse in his final piece of work, tells me that the horse is as good as he's ever been. He traveled to Dubai much better than he did to anywhere else he's gone to."
World Cup entrant Vermilion worked 600 meters (about 3f) in 33.7 seconds. Trainer Sei Ishizaka said: "I had a plan to work with the easy pace of 15 seconds per furlong and to finish strongly to cheer him up. He wanted to go from the beginning, but that's because he is so well. He is getting better than I saw him 10 days before, when he had just traveled over." After drawing the 2 hole Ishizaka said, "It's better than being drawn one and it's better than being drawn seven."
Duty Free contender Lava Man was out again on Wednesday morning for a maintenance gallop for trainer Doug O'Neill. Exercise rider Tony Romero said that the California-bred gelding has been training with pads on his troublesome feet, and on race day, he will wear earplugs while in the paddock in hopes he will not become too jumpy in the crowd.
Hong Kong based Sheema Classic entrant Vengeance of Rain worked 800 meters (about 4f) in 48.23 seconds around the far turn and through the homestretch.
Sheema Classic entrant Bellamy Cay galloped 7 furlongs on the main track.
Sheema Classic entrant Youmzain galloped 1 3/8 miles on the main track.
Sheema Classic entrant Sir Percy galloped 1 3/8 miles on the main track and then 1 1/4 miles on the turf course on Wednesday morning. Jockey Martin Dwyer, aboard for the work, said, "Sir Percy is in very good form. The most important thing is that he's traveled out here and is relaxed in these surroundings. Some horses don't do that when they come out from England, and that hurts their chances."
Sheema Classic entrant Pop Rock went out for a maintenance gallop on Wednesday morning. Exercise rider Norihiko Kishimoto said: "The response was very good when I drove him in the last furlong. The gate number 10 is very good for him. I wanted outside even number. The horse will not run on the track tomorrow, and just walk in the stables area."
Golden Shaheen entrant Nightmare Affair galloped 1 mile on Wednesday morning. Co-owner Ron Borghese said, "He rules the shedrow back home, nice horse to be around, got a big heart. Everybody goes into the race doing the best with their own horse but you need a bit of luck. Nightmare Affair is in good shape. We're not used to straight runs like this but I think he'll handle it OK, and we have a great jockey from Florida in to ride (Eddie Castro)." Asked about the horse's flight over from Fort Lauderdale, he said "It was an aircraft full of millionnaires, we had all the Todd Pletchers with us, and Invasor. All eight of them got off the truck and walked on the plane just like they do it all the time. Everything went without a hitch."
Golden Shaheen entrant Agnes Jedi worked 600 meters (about 3f) in company in 35 seconds flat. Trainer Hideyuki Mori said, "Agnes Jedi will be a much better horse than what you saw last time he ran (on March 1 at Nad Al Sheba) as had just arrived and was not in the best condition."
Golden Shaheen entrant Harvard Avenue from trainer Doug O'Neill's barn went out for a maintenance gallop on Wednesday.
Japanese horses Fusaichi Richard (Mile, front) and Daiwa Major (Duty Free) worked in company going 600 meters (about 3f) in 32.1 seconds. Hiroyuki Uehara, trainer of Daiwa Major, said, "I told the jockey to finish strongly from the last six furlongs. The movement was superb, and that was Daiwa Major all over. His weight was 540kg yesterday - it's almost the same as he was in the training center in Japan." Fusaichi Richard's exercise rider Takumi Matsuda said, "Though he was behind the other horse, it is no problem. His condition is good."
Duty Free entrant Admire Moon worked 600 meters (about 3f) in 35.7 seconds. Trainer Hiroyoshi Matsuda said: "All things are going very well. I was thinking to train him as usual, so the track rider drove him just in the home stretch. He went to Hong Kong last year, and that experience has had a good influence on him. I don't know about other horses, but as far as Admire Moon is concerned, he is a very good horse."
Duty Free entrant Mystical worked 1000 meters (about 5f) in 1:02 flat and will represent India at the races. Jockey Martin Dwyer, aboard for the work, said, "He's a nice ride to have, and he felt good today." Co-owner Zavaray Poonawalla added, "He's a Mystical horse, by name and nature. He's got a great attitude and always tries his best. You wish they were all like him!"
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