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Trainer Michael Dickinson, who invented the Tapeta synthetic surface is used at Meydan, tests the course with a penetrometer.
2010 Dubai World Cup Workouts

Date: 03/23/2010

The $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1), now worth $4 million more than previous years, is the world's richest horse race, and will be contested on Saturday night, March 27, at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. Tuesday morning at Meydan was clear, warm, and sunny as the fog from Monday had cleared up. Many of the horses expected to run in the Dubai World Cup card on Saturday were out on the track to stretch their legs. Many horses went a lap around the main dirt track, which is a distance of 1800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles). This morning trainer Mike De Kock, who has several horses going on Saturday, had his stable out on the main track so quite a few of the ones below are his.

Wednesday workout photos - 12 horses
2010 Dubai World Cup Entries and Post Position Draw
2009 Dubai World Cup card results and photos - Well Armed won the big race

Here are photos and comments for 39 of the horses. Please click the smaller photos to see a larger version.

The grandstand at the new Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. Looks a bit like it has airplane wings, eh? The new facility is the largest racetrack grandstand in the world, stretching 1 kilometer (about 5 furlongs) and includes a hotel on the clubhouse turn, with balconies that overlook the track and seating capacity of about 60,000.

Looking down the grandstand at Meydan you can see the hotel that overlooks the track next to it. To the right is a view of the gigantic saddling enclosure which isn't quite finished yet. Meydan replaces Nad al Sheba Racecourse which hosted the World Cup since its inception in 1996, and was demolished within days of the 2009 World Cup. Meydan features a 1 1/2 mile turf course surrounding a 1 1/8 mile synthetic main track with a Tapeta surface. Also new for this year, an 8th race has been added, the Al Quoz Sprint (G3), which had been run earlier in the meet, will now be run on World Cup night, and is a 6 furlong sprint on the turf straightaway.

Gio Ponti galloped 5 furlongs and schooled in the starting gate on Tuesday morning. The Eclipse champion older male and turf horse is coming off a 2nd place finish to Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Classic and is a favorite in the World Cup. Christophe Lorieul, assistant to trainer Christophe Clement has been riding the horse since their arrival in Dubai. He said, "As soon as I took him over to the rail, he was all about business. I am very pleased with him. He is back to his normal routine now. We didn't want to work him but we wanted to do a little something so he could stretch his legs. He is looking better and better. So far, so good."

California Flag, the top U.S. hope in the Al Quoz Sprint, worked 3/8 mile on Monday morning under exercise rider Umberto Gomez, but no time was taken. Gomez said the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint champion is "the kind of horse you just have to get along with. You don't fight him, then he starts relaxing."

Furthest Land breezed 1/2 mile in 50.56 on Monday morning. Exercise rider Barry Walsh said of the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner, "He was fresh (Tuesday) morning. We put him out in the sand pen and he went crazy. He was bucking and rearing and he got down and rolled about 12 to 15 times. He never gets to do that and home and he enjoyed it. Lazaro Guerra, assistant to trainer Mike Maker, added, "He likes this track. No, he loves it."

Kinsale King cantered 1 1/8 miles over the all weather track at Meydan Tuesday morning. The outing included a visit to the starting gate, where the typically good gate horse stood nicely. Trainer Carl O'Callaghan was aboard the Golden Shaheen hope, saying afterwards "He's starting to get back on his toes. I might just walk him into the race from here. Going into the Palos Verdes I walked him nine days in. He walked eight days into the Underwood. He hasn't missed any oats, no temperature. He's gentle, has a kind look. He's spoiled rotten."

Richard's Kid worked a bullet half mile in 47.97 on Monday morning under exercise rider Janell Gruss. Jim Barnes, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert said, "He did it very nicely, He galloped out really well," Barnes said. "Janell said she had to pull him up because he didn't want to stop. We'll do our best to win (the World Cup). Whatever happens, happens, but we're going to do our best to pull it off."

Take the Points cantered 1 1/4 miles both Monday and Tuesday in preparation for the Duty Free. Ginny DePasquale, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher said, "He looks good. He's relaxed. The first day walking up there the sun was just coming up and reflecting on all the chrome and glass and then he wasn't sure what he was in for but the minute he walked on the track you could hear him let his breath out, and he figured out where he was."

The Usual Q.T. cantered 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Melanie Cassidy, wife of trainer Jim Cassidy, and then schooled in the starting gate. Jim Cassidy said of his Dubai Duty Free entrant, "The Usual QT was his usual self. The stalls are narrower here. I was thinking I would have a handler on race night, but maybe not." He will breeze 1/2 a mile Wednesday morning for his final work.

All Silent galloped on the main track Tuesday morning under exercise rider Sean Murphy. Trainer Grahame Begg said of his Al Quoz Sprint hope, "I know he's a straight track specialist but I think I'd rather work him around the turn tomorrow because there's too much work going on along the straight to distract him."

Al Shemali went out for a gallop under jockey Royston Ffrench, who said of the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained Duty Free longshot, "He will need to improve to have a realistic chance but he is working well and deserves to take his chance."

Buena Vista had a routine canter over the main track on Tuesday in preparation for the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic (G1). Trainer Hiroyoshi Matsuda said of the filly, "She looks well, and she will breeze tomorrow." Exercise rider Tsuyoshi Matsuda added, "She travelled really smoothly to Dubai, with no hint of a temperature after such a long flight on the airplane. I am very happy with her surroundings and the facilities here in Meydan."

Cat Junior worked out on Tuesday morning. Trainer Brian Meehan said, "Patrick McEwan, my assistant, tells me that Cat Junior also worked well, clocking 47.37 over four furlongs." Cat Junior may breeze again on Friday, a day before the Godolphin Mile.

Consul General galloped on the main track Tuesday morning. Trainer Mawaf Al Mandeel said, "He has been impressive in his three starts here in the Dubai International Racing Carnival. The horse to beat in the Godolphin Mile is Desert Party. He is a Group 1 horse and should be the favorite. The other good horse (in the Godolphin Mile) is Cat Junior. He had a good win here. But the first time he ran in the Maktoum Challenge my horse beat him. That does give me some confidence and this being my first time here I am hoping for a good result."

Courageous Cat breezed 5 furlongs on Monday morning with assistant trainer Neil Poznansky in the saddle in preparation for the Duty Free. He was clocked the final 800 metres in 49.28 seconds. The full brother to Jalil and After Market worked around the markers set at 24 metres. Trainer Bill Mott is expected in Dubai on Wednesday. Poznansky described the workout, "He was very comfortable. It was what we were looking for. Hes very good feeling. Once hes doing his thing hes very comfortable, very generous. He's kind of like in your fingertips."

Crowded House worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.37 on Tuesday morning under jockey Richard Hills. Trainer Brian Meehan said, "Richard was very pleased with Crowded House, who was clocked at 60.37s and looked sharp. He has been there two months now and has settled down well I definitely think that it is an advantage sending the horses out early. Since we made our minds up to run in the World Cup rather than the Duty Free, we have kept Crowded House to the All Weather, and he seems to love the surface. I am not surprised as he really pointed his toe out when he won on the Polytrack at Kempton as a 2-year-old."

Eagle Falls worked on the main track Tuesday in preparation for the Golden Shaheen. Trainer David Hayes said, "I'm happy with his condition and this morning he just went over five furlongs and home the last two in about 24 (seconds). He's got a much better chance than my last runner here, Niconero, and he finished an unlucky fifth in the Duty Free last year against one of the best fields in years." After the Dubai Golden Shaheen, Eagle Falls will be heading to Singapore for the KrisFlyer Sprint at Kranji in May.

Gloria de Campeao cantered with a pony one lap of the track. Owner Stefan Friborg said, "Gloria can whip around quite quickly, as he did on Monday morning, so we thought it better to give him a pony today. And it worked, he was much more relaxed and that is what we want. We just want him ticking over nicely."

Glorious Noah worked 3/8 in 37 seconds flat on Tuesday morning under jockey Shinchiro Kobayashi. Trainer Yoshito Yahagi said of his Godolphin Mile hope, "My horse lost no weight at all during the long trip from Japan, and that was a pleasant surprise. He's really eating up well. Looking at him here, I think his condition is better than it has been at home. Yesterday he was taken out for a school in the paddock and he was a bit nervous. But that was a good education for him. He breezed well and put up a good performance in the home stretch this morning, and I am also happy that his stride is fluid when he is cantering. The all-weather track is exactly as I expected, and I think my horse will enjoy the surface as much as the dirt in Japan, so there is no concern about the track. Tomorrow morning he will have a quiet morning at the stable area and go to the swimming pool, which is his regular routine at home." Behind him is another Japanese horse, Buena Vista, who will go in the Sheema Classic.

Imbongi went out for some light work on Tuesday. Trainer Mike de Kock said of the Duty Free hope, "He has run three solid races at this year's Carnival and is a tough campaigner. He won in the UK for us also and this was his target 12 months ago when we failed to get an invitation. So at least we are here this year but he probably needs to improve again."

Jet Express galloped on the main track Tuesday in preparation for the Godolphin Mile on Saturday. Royston Ffrench will be in the irons for trainer Al Rashid Al Raihe, and drew post 9.

Judd Street went out in company with War Artist on Tuesday morning for a regulation canter ahead of their Al Quoz Sprint assignment. Neither was asked to do too much, but both looked well, and as winners already at this year's Dubai International Racing Carnival, both should be ready to run their races on Saturday.

War Artist was out with Judd Street on Tuesday. Their respective trainers James Eustace and Eve Johnson Houghton are expected in Dubai on Wednesday.

Laurel Guerreiro cantered on the Tapeta track with trainer Mitsuho Kon watching, in preparation for the Golden Shaheen. He said, "He is a type of horse who does not change wherever he is. He copes with any surroundings. He has a good appetite and he's in good condition. So far, so good."

Lizard's Desire (left) and Mr. Brock form a double barreled challenge for Mike de Kock in the Dubai World Cup, with the trainer saying, "Both have won twice at the Meydan Carnival already and have progressed. They both ran well on Super Thursday and deserve their chance but would realistically require career bests. Kevin (Shea) has chosen Lizard's Desire so Ryan Moore partners Mr. Brock."

Lucky Find represents trainer Mike de Kock in the Godolphin Mile and the trainer said, "He has no secrets from anyone and has been a good Dubai horse for us. He has contested a Dubai World Cup and he should put up a good show." He will be ridden by Kevin Shea on Saturday.

Mariol cantered on the main track at Meydan on Tuesday morning. Joel Segoin who accompanied the Al Quoz Sprint entrant from France, said "He is fine with the heat, which he already encountered last year. He just did a little canter today in preparation of some more serious work tomorrow on the turf."

Musir and Mr. Brock work in company for trainer Mike de Kock. Musir is de Kock's best hope in the UAE Derby. He said, "He has a touch of class and I am hopeful he will stay. He was Champion Juvenile in South Africa and has a real high cruising speed so stamina may be an issue but jockey Christophe Soumillon is very confident he will stay." Mr. Brock is one of two de Kock charges in the World Cup, and will have Ryan Moore in the irons for owner Serge Seenyen.

One World cantered on the Meydan All Weather track on Tuesday. George Moore, son and assistant to trainer John Moore said: "We don't want to do much with him as he uses up a lot of energy on the way down here. He's very much on his toes he's absolutely bouncing. I wish he could settle down a bit, to be honest. We plan to work him tomorrow with Darren Beadman riding." He will break from the rail in the Golden Shaheen.

Pan River flies the flag of Turkey in the Sheema Classic on Saturday, and was out for a gallop Tuesday morning. He is coming off a close second in the Dubai City of Gold, the main local prep for this race.

Presious Passion cantered 1 1/2 miles on Tuesday under assistant trainer Fernando Espinoza. Trainer Mary Hartmann said of her Sheema Classic hope, "I saw the same horse that I saw when he left Gulfstream. He is doing extremely well. He is a happy guy. He doesn't carry a lot of weight. The weight he's got on him now is about as fat as he's ever been in his life. There's a long stretch here. That concerns me. I didn't look but I don't think anybody has his speed. Mile and a half turf horses aren't supposed to do what he does. I feel he'll take people out of their game. You have to adjust a little bit or he's gone."

Presvis worked 6 furlongs on Monday morning under exercise rider Charlie Henson. Trainer Luca Cumani said, "He seems in very good form, and that will have put him spot on for the (Duty Free). His prep-race, where he quickened up impressively, confirmed that he is back to the same sort of form he was in last year, and, while it was disappointing that Ryan Moore, who gets on so well with Presvis, cannot ride, we were very lucky to be able to secure the services of Christophe Lemaire, who has always done so well for us."

Quijano was ridden as usual by assistant trainer Ilke Hildebrand on the all weather track at Meydan in preparation for the Sheema Classic. He cantered once around and Hildebrand said: "He just cantered as he doesn't really need any more work. He is a real gentleman on the track, always attentive. A real pleasure to ride."

Red Desire is looking to be the first female winner of the Dubai World Cup. She jogged 1 lap and then worked 5 furlongs, getting the final 3 furlongs in 36.20 seconds and the final furlong in 10.80 second. Trainer Mikio Matsunaga said, "She is in a good condition. This will be her second run since last November (third in the Japan Cup), and the prep race in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (G2) was a good preparation for the Dubai World Cup. I told my exercise rider not to give her too much work in her gallop today, and the reason why she had an interval between her jogging and galloping was to make her relax. She will have a leisurely time of it in the stable area for next two days. The field for the Dubai World Cup is stronger than the previous time, but I hope she can run her race and produce her brilliant late-kick."

Rocket Man cantered on the Meydan All Weather track Tuesday. Jockey Robert Fradd said of the Golden Shaheen hope, "He loves it here. He's looking around, taking it all in but he'll get serious come race night and we think he's a serious chance. He has travelled very well, acclimatized as you would hope and from his number six barrier I expect I'll ride him close to the pace and cut him loose in the straight. He seems to have come back from his injury better than ever and his form last year in the KrisFlyer when he was touched off by Sacred Kingdom is obviously rock-solid, so we have every reason to be hopeful of a big run. It's exciting."

Siyaadah is one of three fillies looking to beat the boys in the UAE Derby. She comes to this race off a third place finish in the UAE Oaks for owner Godolphin Racing and trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

Timely Jazz is Irish bred but flies the flag of Norway in the UAE Derby. He comes to this race off a second place effort in the Meydan Classic.

Uncle Tom was out on the main track with stablemate Oroveso on Tuesday morning. Owner Stefan Friborg said of his UAE Derby team, "They both went well, there are no complaints. They will not do any more serious work and it will be interesting to see how they do on Saturday." Trainer Pascal Bary added, "Uncle Tom and Oroveso are two very different horses. Oroveso likes to run with the pace, while Uncle Tom likes to sit behind. Both of the horses did their last serious work on Saturday and now it is just a question of maintaining them until the race."

Vision d'Etat cantered twice around the main track on Tuesday. Trainer Eric Libaud said, "He completed his main work in France as he always does. He won't need to work again before Saturday. It is a new challenge to run him on a surface he has not encountered before, but the European horses did well during the Carnival, so I don't see any reason why he shouldn't do well either."

Youmzain is famous for finishing second in the Arc de Triomphe three consecutive years. This will be his fourth straight year in the Sheema Classic, and his 18th straight Group 1 race. Trainer Mick Channon said, "In one of these races, he'll turn up. He's won Group 1 races, and you want to win a big race. To be second in three Arcs is unique. It's a funny thing that he didn't win one, but he's a bit of a character."

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