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Sunrise at Meydan on Thursday morning.
2011 Dubai World Cup Workouts

Date: 03/24/2011

The $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) is the world's richest horse race, and will be contested on Saturday night, March 26, at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. On Thursday morning, most of the horses were out of quarantine so even more of the World Cup Day entrants were out on the Tapeta all-weather main track at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. It was a lovely, clear morning with temperatures in the low 80's.

2011 Dubai World Cup Entries and Post Position Draw
Dubai World Cup Horses Slide Show (8 of the horses entered in the World Cup)
Tuesday and Wednesday Dubai World Cup Workout Photos (28 horses)

Here are photos and comments for 17 horses that galloped Thursday with no repeats except for World Cup favorite Twice Over. Please click the smaller photos to see a larger version.

Twice Over, favorite for the Dubai World Cup, galloped again on Thursday morning under big-race jockey Tom Queally. Queally said, "I could not be happier with the way he has gone. He is drawn wide again in the race in stall 12, like he was last time out when he quickened well and put up a nice performance. In the [Dubai] World Cup last year he was also drawn wide, got a bump going into the first turn and was never happy. Hopefully this time I will be able to get him in a bit and keep him happy."

Cape Blanco made his first excursion on to the main track Thursday morning after clearing quarantine. Cape Blanco is rated by many as the main danger to Twice Over and appeared on the course just after 6am with jockey Jamie Spencer aboard. Spencer said, "He had a steady canter just to stretch his legs, which is just what Aidan wanted. We are here now and there are two days to go so we'll just have to see how we get on."

Ahlaain (UAE Derby) went around the All-Weather track under trainer David Simcock's wife, Jenny, without being asked any serious questions.

Alexander Pope (UAE Derby) cleared quarantine and spent half-an-hour on the track soaking in the Meydan atmosphere in company with trainer Aidan O'Brien's Dubai World Cup hope Cape Blanco.

Al Shemali, winner of the Duty Free last year, was out for a gallop. Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe said, "It was wonderful to win the Dubai Duty Free last year with Al Shemali, a great thrill on the night. So far as this year was concerned our plan was to run in the Dubai World Cup, but his runs this year have been a little below par so we went for the Sheema Classic instead. He's drawn in 13, which is no problem over 2400m. It has taken a couple of runs to get him back, but he's worked hard over last 15 days."

Laaheb (Sheema Classic) worked on the All-Weather track this morning with jockey Richard Hills aboard. "He kept improving last year and won two races at the backend of the season," said Hills. "He stays very well, loves fast ground and worked extremely well at Lingfield 10 days ago."

Marinous (Sheema Classic) was one of the first horses to come out onto the main track this morning. He went for a canter and Freddy Head confirmed, "He did a canter over 1600m and seems to be in great form. This is all he will do between now and the race. I'm happy with the draw on the outside, as he is a horse that takes a bit of time to find his balance."

Master of Hounds (UAE Derby) cleared quarantine and spent half-an-hour on the track soaking in the Meydan atmosphere in company with trainer Aidan O'Brien's Dubai World Cup hope Cape Blanco.

Premio Loco (Mile) went for a steady canter over 1000m. Kevin Parsons, who rode him, said: "He is really well and we are very pleased with him. All the new arrivals were a bit fresh this morning, but for Premio Loco it's all business as usual."

Red Jazz (Mile) cleared quarantine this morning and took a spin around the All-Weather track under jockey Michael Hills. He moved in company with stablemate Redwood and Hills senior has no issues over the 1600m trip for a horse who has yet to win beyond 1400m. He said: "We know he gets the [1600m] as was a close third in the QEII Stakes at Ascot last year and if he handles the surface then I think he has a good chance. He is the top-rated horse in the race and I think he is a better horse this year than last."

Redwood (Sheema Classic) debuted on the main track after clearing quarantine this morning and was given a very positive appraisal by his trainer. "He had a leg stretch and went once round the track," said Hills. "He has travelled very well and travelled a long way last year by going to Hong Kong and Canada so he is used to it. He has had a very good preparation and was pretty good in his runs last year. I don't think he has ever produced what he is capable of as he has never had a strong gallop. He is rated 115 and with a strong pace I think you will see that go up."

Royal Bench (Duty Free) was one of the last horses to arrive in Dubai and only stretched his legs on the main track on Thursday morning. His trainer Robert Collet said: "He didn't do anything. He only went once around the track. He has only just arrived and looks like he always does." As to the draw he only said: "I'm not bothered by the draw as you can't change it anyway."

Sole Power (Al Quoz) was out for a gallop on Thursday morning. Trainer Eddie Lynam said, "Just doing the bare minimum with him this morning because if we go any faster he will take off on us. He is only a small horse but he has done well over the winter putting on about 15 kilos in weight. You could have fit him into a suitcase last year he was so small but he still won a Group One despite it."

Stradivinsky (Al Quoz) entered the main track Thursday morning around 7:00am and cantered 2000m with Michelle Nevin aboard. Assistant trainer Michelle Nevin will check-in with trainer Rick Dutrow, who has remained in the U.S., for Friday's training plans. She said, "We'll probably just have to talk to Rick. Most likely he won't do a lot, probably jogging."

Sweet Ducky (UAE Derby) was ridden by jockey Tom Queally on the All-Weather track at Meydan for the third consecutive day. Following an easy gallop, new trainer Herman Brown seemed more positive about the Pulpit colt than he had earlier in the week, when Sweet Ducky was still unsettled following the long journey to Dubai from Florida. "All is good; I'm happy with the horse," Brown said. "He's relaxed really well in the last couple of days. Now it's going to be a question of how he handles the surface." Recently purchased by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, Sweet Ducky has never raced on an All-Weather track, with his previous six starts on dirt in the United States.

Tazeez (Duty Free) was out this morning and his trainer John Gosden made his first appearance of the week at the track today. He played down Tazeez's chances, saying "Both of mine were out on the track at around 6am and had a nice canter around after they jogged yesterday. Tazeez is in good form and is like an American horse in that he works on his own. He has something to find on the formbook and while he may run well I think he will be outgunned."

Victor's Cry (Duty Free) had an easy gallop over 2400m (about 1 1/2 miles) on Thursday with his owners, Michele and Bob Billings of Equilete Stable, watching. The six year old son of Street Cry has dazzled onlookers ever since he arrived in Dubai, and his owners said his striking appearance, attitude and condition including a dappled coat give them more reasons to be optimistic about the Dubai Duty Free. "We'll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best," said Bob Billings. "He does look beautiful," exclaimed Michele Billings as Victor's Cry passed her with his neck arched.

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