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Looking over the racecourse grounds at the Burj Dubai, the world's tallest building at 2,684 ft.
2009 Dubai World Cup Workouts

Date: 03/26/2009

Thursday morning at Nad al Sheba was damp and dismal with periodic heavy rain, which you can see in some of the photos for today. The weather forecast shows the rain continuing through the races Saturday, but track management says the surface has good drainage and can handle it. Despite the nasty weather, many of the horses entered in the $21 million total Dubai World Cup card on Saturday were out on the track at Nad al Sheba.

Dubai World Cup card results and photos - Well Armed won the big race
2009 Dubai World Cup Entries and Post Position Draw
Monday workout photos - 29 horses
Tuesday workout photos - 13 horses
Wednesday workout photos from Al Quoz Stables - 13 horses

  • Friday workout photos - 17 horses

    Here are photos and comments for 13 of the horses. Please click the smaller photos to see a larger version.

    Dubai World Cup favorite Albertus Maximus galloped strongly around the track in the rain under exercise rider Rob Massey. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "That was good." When asked if he thought Albertus Maximus could handle the 10 furlong distance, McLaughlin said, "No, I'm not worried about the distance. He's working very well and we think he'll get the ten furlongs."

    Well Armed, who will go in the Dubai World Cup on Saturday for trainer Eoin Harty, galloped Thursday morning. Harty said, "He galloped a mile and a half; he's doing really well." When asked about the rain, Harty said, "I'm not worried yet."
    Muhannak, who will go in the Dubai World Cup on Saturday, was ponied around the track and then galloped this morning. His trainer Ralph Beckett said, "This horse has tested our patience like no other, and he hasn't been happy since he arrived. Dubai is a wonderful place and the facilities are magnificent, but it isn't Whitsbury and he knows it. We have so much variety at home, but he has become bored over here and it has all been a bit frustrating."

    Muhannak drew the dreaded post position one which has not been a favorable one in the Dubai World Cup. Only one horse has ever finished in the top three from that post and that was Electrocutionist who won in 2006.

    Gloria de Campaeo took and easy gallop this morning in preparation for the Dubai World Cup on Saturday. The Brazilian-bred was a well beaten 8th in the Dubai World Cup last year and went winless in 2008. So far this year he has one win in three starts in Dubai, which was the Meydan Hotel Trophy in his last race.

    Vodka, the big Japanese hope for the Dubai Duty Free, did a lap of the dirt course at an easy canter followed by 30 minutes of walking exercise this morning. Trainer Katsuhiko Sumii said, "I didn't want her to risk injury or find trouble with the softish track condition brought about by last night's rain, so I told the exercise rider to check the track and give her an easy canter." Vodka's racing manager, Keita Tanaka commented, "Our horse has settled very well. Even after she breezed, she's eaten up so well. She will make an appearance on the dirt course for a canter tomorrow."

    Paco Boy will break from the 13 stall in the Dubai Duty Free on Saturday, a draw which trainer Richard Hannon was quite upset about and said that jockey Richard Hughes would have to "drop him out and hope he gets the breaks." Apart from the draw, everything has gone smoothly with Paco Boy's preparation, and Hannon said, "You don't get a horse fit in three days, so all the fast work was done at home, and he has just cantered on the track since he came here. He is not very big, but he is a hardy little fellow and, though Hughesie and Ryan (Moore) are adamant that he will stay, I am not so sure. The fact that he is unbeaten in five races over seven furlongs suggests there has to be doubts."

    Kip Deville, who goes in the Dubai Duty Free on Saturday, returned to Nad al Sheba after a day off on Wednesday. He came out late and had the dirt track all to himself as he jogged once around the wrong way. He was a bit frisky as he came back and tried to canter down the horse path on the way back to the quarantine barn area.

    Charlie Farnsbarns will be sent out by trainer Brian Meehan in the Dubai Duty Free on Saturday. He was out on the track this morning and Meehan said, "I am very happy with the horse, he's been trained for the race, and everything has gone well so far. I just want him to settle in and keep himself happy over the next few days. It's a tough race, but he's got ability."

    Cat Junior will make his first start of the year in the Godolphin Mile on Saturday night. With only one win in seven lifetime starts, he would have to be considered a longshot. His last start of 2008 was a second place finish in the Challenge Stakes (G2) at Newmarket.

    Indian Blessing will have to defeat males for the first time in her career if she is to win the Dubai Golden Shaheen on Saturday. She will also have to overcome the far outside post in the field of 12 but assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes did not seem very concerned. Barnes said, "That's fine. (Trainer) Bob (Baffert) said she'll probably just break and relax a little bit out there." Barnes added, "I would think they will sort themselves out in the first quarter mile; I'm not sure where she'll be sitting," he said. "We'll see how the race develops, but she'll be fine."

    Marchand D'Or will make his second try at the Golden Shaheen on Saturday, having finished 8th in 2007. Trainer Freddie Head (right, watching from trackside this morning) said, "I think he's a real super horse. I took him to Hong Kong and he was beaten there and we brought him here and he didn't do so well. I want to see him against the Americans and I want to see him against the best and I'm sure he can prove he is a real champion."

    Change Alley goes in the Golden Shaheen on Saturday with only one victory in four starts so far this year in Dubai. After his breeze on Tuesday, his jockey Royston Ffrench said, "He went well and is flying at home but this is by far his toughest test to date."

    Doctor Dino, who goes in the Sheema Classic on Saturday, had another routine canter on the main track under his regular work rider Eric Gandon. Trainer Richard Gibson said, "He won't do any fast work between now and Saturday, the work was done back home, and he'll just be kept ticking over."

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