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2017 Dubai World Cup Workouts


Thursday morning was windy with periods of heavy rain, but horses still came out when they could.
Date: 03/24/2017

The week of bad weather continued on Friday morning at Dubai's Meydan Racecourse as participants who took to the main track were greeted by heavy rain with temperatures in the low 70's and wind gusts near 35 MPH. More intermittent rain is expected to fall on Saturday but should end before the start of the Dubai World Cup (G1) card, with the temperature in the low 80's. The races will be run Saturday evening (Saturday morning in North America), with the World Cup going to post at 8:45pm local time (12:45pm ET). The races will be shown live in North America on TVG in the U.S. and HPI-TV in Canada, as well as at racetracks and simulcast sites. In addition, for the first time NBC Sports Network will show the four Group 1 races in a special telecast starting at 10:30am ET.

Here are photos and comments for 9 horses that were out on Friday morning. Please click the smaller photos to see a larger version.

Arrogate (Dubai World Cup) went out to the main track at 5am. Trainer Bob Baffert, seen (right) bowing to his stable star, said, "We try to keep him as quiet as we can. He knows that, with the way we've been bringing him along, that he's getting close to a race, and he thought maybe he was going to work today. "If he could talk to me and tell me, ‘Bob you might want to do this, it would be a lot of help,' that would be one thing, but he can't, so it's up to me and my team, Jimmy and Dana Barnes, who helped me get this horse here. "It's a huge challenge; I don't think it's going to be easy. There are some really nice horses here, and you've got horses from Japan and everywhere and you just don't know who is going to do what in the race. There is a lot of speed and all that, but (the winner will be) whoever shows up that night. I do believe I have the best horse. My job is to make sure that I give him that chance (to win). The pressure comes from making sure that I do everything in my will to let him be at the top of his game."

Gun Runner (Dubai World Cup) went to the main track at 5:05am under exercise rider Carlos Rosas for a one lap (9f) gallop, with assistant trainer Scott Blasi accompanying aboard a pony.

Highland Reel (Sheema Classic) led the 9-horse Aidan O'Brien string for their usual single file walk the wrong way following by a 1 lap canter. Anne-Marie O'Brien, wife of Aidan said, "They have travelled well. Now let's hope they all run well." Assistant trainer Pat Keating added, "Everything has gone very well since we arrived early on Tuesday, and we're very happy with all of them."

Heshem (Dubai Turf) walked and jogged on the main track on Friday. His trainer Christophe Ferland said: "The horse worked yesterday on the grass, so he just jogged this morning. He doesn't need anything else. He is fine and seems ready for the race tomorrow. There is a lot of wind, so the track is going to dry out quickly. I'm not worried about the ground." 

Kafuji Take (Godolphin Mile) galloped on the main track Friday. Assistant trainer Hirofumi Yamamoto said: "He is in really good condition. Right where he needs to be. Regarding the draw, we wanted an outside post so we are very happy."

Not Listenin'tome (Golden Shaheen) went out on the main track. Trainer John Moore said: "He is very well, in peak condition and has enjoyed himself on the dirt track in a canter this morning. If he can finish in the first four I would be delighted. He is capable of that on his best form but the wide gate in 10 is a concern."

Lancaster Bomber (UAE Derby) was among the 9-horse Aidan O'Brien string for their usual single file walk the wrong way following by a 1 lap canter. An autumn revelation, when runner-up in the Dewhurst Stakes, to stablemate Churchill, and the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Turf, he will tackle dirt and be ridden by Ryan Moore, both for the first time, on Saturday. He has an entry Britain's first colts' Classic, the 2000 Guineas, at Newmarket  in early May.

Sheikhzayedroad (Dubai Gold Cup) galloped on Friday morning. Trainer David Simcock said: "Everything has gone to plan. Very straightforward prep with him."

Long on Value (Al Quoz Sprint) galloped 1 lap (9f) on the main track. Riley Mott, assistant and son of trainer Bill said, "We just sent him off the right way and had a regular gallop, about 9f, and that's that. We're just going to have a little bit of a light day tomorrow, jog at the quarantine center, and then lead him over there and run him. He'll most certainly get outrun the first 3f or so like he does back home. We just hope Joel (Rosario) will get him relaxed and make one run. In a sprint race, especially on the turf, there isn't as much you can do with tactics. You try to break well and place your horse and get him comfortable. Joel knows the horse and that makes us comfortable."

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