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The Godolphin horses come out on the training track at Al Quoz on Wednesday morning.
A Visit to Al Quoz Stables

Date: 03/25/2009

On Wednesday morning, Godolphin Racing hosted its annual media event for Dubai World Cup week, where they can showcase some of their runners not only for their World Cup day entrants but also for horses they have pointed at major races worldwide the rest of the year. Al Quoz Stables is the headquarters for Godolphin's international operations, and was opened in 1992. The facilities include a series of state-of-the-art stables, extensive exercise rings, an equine swimming pool and a private training track.

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

  • Thursday workout photos - 13 horses
  • Friday workout photos - 17 horses

    Here are two views of the entrance to Godolphin's Al Quoz Stables. It is beautifully landscaped with lots of grass, trees, and flowers. You would never think it was in the middle of a desert. Most Godolphin horses come to Al Quoz every winter to enjoy the excellent Dubai climate. After spending the winter in Dubai, the Godolphin team transfer at the end of April either to Newmarket or the U.S. before returning to Dubai the following autumn.

    The view across the Al Quoz training track which has a pond in the center with swans, flamingos, and other birds in residence.

    On the left is Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor being interviewed by the international media. On the right are jockeys Frankie Dettori and Ted Durcan who will be riding for Godolphin in the Dubai World Cup races on Saturday.

    Below are photos and comments for 13 of the Godolphin horses, all different from previous days. Please click the smaller photos to see a larger version.

    My Indy won the first two rounds of the Maktoum Challenge, earning him an entry in the Dubai World Cup on Saturday. Frankie Dettori gets the call. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said, "We have been delighted with his form this season, but obviously the Dubai World Cup represents a major step up in class for him. He is up against it, we hope he can acquit himself well."

    Rio De la Plata was a brilliant two-year-old in 2007, winning the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Grand Criterium). Best performance last season came when third to Tamayuz and Raven's Pass in the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly, after finishing second in the French 2,000 Guineas.

    Kirklees goes in the Dubai Sheema Classic with Frankie Dettori aboard. He was third in the Al Rashidiya then won the Xpress 2000 Handicap, both on the turf. Showed he did not like the dirt when he finished fourth in the Maktoum Challenge Round 3, so returns to the turf on Saturday. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said, "This will be the first time Kirklees has attempted a mile and a half, though he gives us the impression he will be suited by the distance. It's a step up for him on Saturday, but we hope he can be competitive in what is always a good race."

    Creachadoir is entered in Saturday's Duty Free under jockey Ted Durcan, a race he finished 8th in last year. He went on to win the Lockinge at Newbury, but sustained a fracture to his off-fore while being prepared for the Queen Anne Stakes. Saeed bin Suroor said, "He has been off since just before Royal Ascot so he will need the run on Saturday. We have been pleased with the way he has been training, though, and it will be great to see him back in action."

    Diabolical takes another shot at the Golden Shaheen with regular rider Frankie Dettori in the irons. He won 8 races in America and was narrowly beaten in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said, "He is a very talented sprinter and we would love to win a big sprint with him. The Golden Shaheen is always really difficult to win but we hope he has place prospects."

    Lady Marian is one of three Godolphin runners in the Duty Free. She won the Prix de l'Opera and the Prix de la Nonette and was second in the German Oaks last year. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said, "She is a very nice filly and the Duty Free is a good place to start her off for the season. The plan is to aim her at the fillies' programme later in the year." Frankie Dettori gets the call aboard the German-bred on Saturday.

    Two Step Salsa is one of two Godolphin runners entered in the Godolphin Mile and then will ship to Belmont Park for the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) on May 25. He won 4 of 8 starts last year in the U.S. and was 3rd in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said, "He has been pleasing me all winter and he won really nicely over 6 furlongs at Nad Al Sheba. He won at up to 9 furlongs in the U.S. so the return to a mile on Saturday will suit him and I hope he can run a big race." Regular rider Frankie Dettori will be in the irons in the Godolphin Mile.

    Gayego will join stablemate Two Step Salsa in both the Godolphin Mile and the Met Mile. He won the Mahab al Shimaal in his 2009 debut. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said, "We were pleased that he was able to win over the shorter trip first time up, especially as we thought he would come on for the run. The step back up to a mile on Saturday will be in his favour." Ted Durcan gets the call on Saturday.

    Desert Party won the UAE 2000 Guineas, the major local prep for the UAE Derby on Saturday. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said, "I have been very pleased with him throughout the winter, he has continued to progress." He is the only Godolphin runner with the Kentucky Derby as a target. Racing manager Simon Crisford added, "In the Kentucky Derby, he would take on horses who have equally good or better form than he does so that is going to be the key moment." Regular rider Frankie Dettori will be aboard.

    City Style won both starts at Nad Al Sheba this winter in impressive style, most recently easily beating stable companion Liberation in the Meydan Classic. Raced in the US last year, winning 2 of 3 starts before being finishing 4th behind Donativum in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. He may run in the Craven at Newmarket or Greenham Stakes at Newbury next month.

    Donativum won his last 3 juvenile starts including the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita. However, he has not had a start since shipping over to Dubai, and no plans have been announced yet.

    Hatta Fort is a talented sprinter who won the Marju Trophy at Nad Al Sheba last month and was subsequently runner-up to J J The Jet Plane in the Al Quoz Sprint. Raced in the US last year, he is likely to go to the UK this season with the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket a possible early target.

    Tam Lin won the Scottish Monk and the Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park, and was second in the Poker Handicap to Kip Deville last year, but disappointed in both of his Dubai starts so far this year, 7th in the Zabeel Mile and then 13th in the Jebel Hatta.

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