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2018 Dubai World Cup Workouts

Cloth of Stars (Sheema Classic) and Talismanic (World Cup) gallop early Monday morning.
Date: 03/26/2018

On Monday morning in Dubai, entrants for the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) and its rich undercard were at Meydan Racecourse on the main track. Conditions were typical for late March in the Emirates, with clear skies and temperatures in the high 70's during training hours before climbing to the mid 90's during the day. The races will be run Saturday evening (Saturday morning in North America), with the World Cup going to post at 9:40pm local time (1:40pm ET). In North America the full card will be broadcast live on TVG in the U.S. and HPI-TV in Canada. In addition, NBC Sports Network will broadcast the four Group 1 races from 9:30am-12:30pm.

Here are photos and comments for 19 horses that were out Monday morning. Please click the smaller photos to see a larger version.

Awardee (Dubai World Cup) had an easy canter on the Meydan dirt track around 5:00AM. "My staff told me that he has settled in well and eats up like he does at home," trainer Mikio Matsunaga said. "Jockey Yutaka Take will gallop him on Wednesday morning."
Forever Unbridled (Dubai World Cup) with trainer Dallas Stewart (right). She went to the track at 5:30AM and galloped twice around. Stewart said, "We know she's gifted. She knows how to win. We got the invitation, so we decided to take a shot. Mr Fipke is pretty game for trying new things, so here we are. She's never missed a day of training. She's been training great. Her works have been great. We have video of her bucking and kicking. We're happy to see that. Her energy is good. She knows her job. We just need to get her over there."

Gunnevera (Dubai World Cup) rolled through an easy gallop around the Meydan dirt track just after 7:00 on Monday morning. Jesus Prada, assistant to trainer Antonio Sano said, "The horse is doing very well. He feels very nice and he likes the track, the barn and all the attention from the people here. This is a major place—very different from Gulfstream Park (in Florida where Gunnevera has been based). We came here to win the Dubai World Cup and he has a real chance to win."

Mubtaahij (Dubai World Cup) galloped once around under exercise rider Dana Barnes. Trainer Bob Baffert said, "We're going to go easy from here. They won't come out on the track tomorrow. They'll just walk and then jog and gallop up to the race on Saturday. We're looking forward to it, but this race is a real challenge for a trainer, for me. It's totally different (from racing in America). You have to really know your horse and understand how they're responding. It's not easy, but to win the big prize is really exciting and I feel good about both horses."

Pavel (Dubai World Cup) was out just after 7:00 for an open gallop over the Meydan dirt track under exercise rider Amir Cedeno. Leandro Mora, assistant to trainer Doug O'Neill said, "He had some early issues, so we put him away and stopped on the (Kentucky) Derby dreams with him and I believe we now have a better 4-year-old. He's a good traveller, so he's the perfect horse to move around with. He loves what he does and he's adapted pretty well. So, now we pray that he'll do well on the evening. He's facing some tough runners, but he's training well and a good trip will help him. The last race he ran, he lacked room, but the ability is there."

Talismanic (Dubai World Cup) came out to the Meydan dirt track just past 5:00 a.m. with exercise rider Claude Scialacqua aboard. He was accompanied by his stable companion Cloth of Stars, ridden by exercise rider Amelie Foulon, who is going to line up at the start of the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic. Travelling head lad Joel Pouchin was on hand to watch the Breeders' Cup Turf winner Talismanic work with Cloth of Stars over 1400m. Talismanic led down the back stretch and was then joined by Cloth of Stars for the final straight. "Both horses worked well," Pouchin said. "We are very pleased with them."

West Coast (Dubai World Cup) galloped once around under exercise rider Dana Barnes. Trainer Bob Baffert said, "West Coast is a big, tough, horse and he shipped well and is carrying his weight well. I gave him a little easy half-mile (800m) and he looked great doing it. He's happy and doing great and that's all you can ask for at this stage. He should be the favourite based on what he's accomplished. He's run into some pretty nice horses and Gun Runner (second to Arrogate in 2017) is not in there and there's no Arrogate. I've been very fortunate. Every time I've gone over with the favourite I've been lucky to win it. Hopefully, that trend continues, but you still need racing luck."

Poet's Word (Sheema Classic) made a leisurely first acquaintance with Meydan racecourse, having completed his obligatory 48 hours in quarantine after landing from Newmarket. The 5-year-old, runner-up in two Champion Stakes last year before disappointing in Hong Kong in December, walked and trotted over 1200m of the turf course under regular work rider Charles Robertson. He finished his most serious homework pre-departure last Thursday under Frankie Dettori, who will be in the saddle in public for the first time on Saturday. Owner Saeed Suhail's racing manager Bruce Raymond reported to the UK media: "He's going great guns and sprinted clear of his lead horse."

Mind Your Biscuits (Golden Shaheen) came to the Meydan Racecourse main track this morning just after 6 a.m. After jogging backwards, the chestnut son of Posse visited the saddling paddock before returning to the track for a gallop of about 2000m. Paddock schooling is important to the two-time Grade 1 winner as he has been known to get worked up on race day when in the saddling enclosure and trainer Chad Summers hopes it helps him come race night. "Race day gives him an edge," Summers explained. "Everything you can do to help, you help. He schooled great today. Last year he was on his toes, looking around. He's different this year. More mature," Winless in his last four starts, Mind Your Biscuits will be reunited with Joel Rosario who piloted him to victory in 2017.

Muarrab (Golden Shaheen) galloped twice around. He was 2nd in the Dubawi Stakes (G3) and then 5th in the Al Shindagha Sprint (G3).

Roy H (Golden Shaheen) winner of his last three races including the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), continued to make a stellar impression in his morning training in Dubai when he took an easy tour of the dirt track under the lights just after 5AM. With exercise rider Amber Chapman up for trainer Peter Miller, Roy H arched his neck and powered off his massive hind end, striding out in a beautifully muscular frame. "‘Roy' loves this track," Chapman said later. "He's feeling great. I love the way he trained today. The first time he came up here (to the Meydan dirt track), he was a little bit anxious. He relaxed today, walked back great to the barn and cooled out really well."

Musawaat (Godolphin Mile) travelled from trainer Fawzi Nass's stable to work on dirt track at 6:05 a.m. with stablemate Los Barbados. He's going to run in a visor on Saturday and we hope it will make a difference," said Nass.

Dal Harraild (Dubai Gold Cup) did a steady over 1000m on the turf course just after 7 a.m.

Janszoon (Dubai Gold Cup) was 11th in the Dubai City of Gold (G2), the main local prep for the Sheema Classic, then wheeled back in 7 days to finish second in the Abu Dhabi Championship (G3).

Los Barbados (Dubai Gold Cup) travelled from Fawzi Nass's stable to work on dirt track at 6:05 a.m. with stablemate Musawaat.

Conquest Tsunami (Al Quoz Sprint) galloped once around. The Peter Miller trainee comes here off a 2 race win streak including the Daytona Stakes (G3) last out at Santa Anita.

Ertijaal (Al Quoz Sprint) galloped once around. Trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi said, "He's a genuine sprinter who loves the dirt track here at Meydan. His record of seven times on it speaks for itself. He's like any racehorse, who has good days and bad days. But he tries very hard. The Nad Al Sheba Sprint was a messy race and things did not go to plan. But we learnt a few things. He's come out of the race well, he takes his races well, and has been training well. He's fully fit and we're looking forward to seeing him run a big race on Saturday. It's a strong race, but a lot can happen in a sprint and we're hoping that he breaks well and gets into a rhythm from which he can pounce at the finish."

Faatinah (Al Quoz Sprint) had a steady canter around the main track at 7:20 a.m.

Trainer Bob Baffert poses in front of the grandstand at Meydan He will send both Mubtaahij and West Coast in the Dubai World Cup.

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