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2019 Dubai World Cup Workouts


Gunnavera (Dubai World Cup) in front of the unique grandstand at Meydan on Sunday morning
Date: 03/24/2019

On Sunday morning in Dubai, entrants for the $12 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 low 80's during training hours before climbing to the high 80'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's show will start at 12:30pm.

Here are photos and comments for 37 horses that were out Sunday morning. Please click the smaller photos to see a larger version.


Audible (Dubai World Cup), third in last year's Kentucky Derby (G1) comes here off a 5th place finish in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Gunnevera (Dubai World Cup) comes here off a 6th place finish in the Pegasus World Cup after finishing second in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).

KT Brave (Dubai World Cup) is winless since the JBC Classic last April and was 2nd in the Kawasaki Kinen last out.

North America (Dubai World Cup) worked 7f in 1:27 under jockey Richard Mullen on Tuesday at Zabeel Stables. Trainer Satish Seemar said, "He's had his big work and will have an easy work next week, five or six days out. When our horse has run a proper race, no horse has been a problem for him. We missed the break last year and had no chance, but this horse—when he runs, he really runs and it doesn't matter which horse is going against him. If he gets that right run without any glitches, I think we have no problem." Mullen added, "He's such a big-striding horse. People don't think he's going as fast as he is, because he looks like he's half-pacing it while he's actually moving along quickly. That's his powerhouse—his stride—he just kills horses off with it."

Pavel (Dubai World Cup) galloped on Sunday. Trainer Doug O'Neill said, "He really has a lot of class. He covers a lot of ground and has a tremendous amount of stamina. On top of that, he has a lot of speed, so he can place himself. Those three — class, stride and stamina — really separate him from the average horse of his calibre. I'm really excited about him. He's in a consistent place right now and he's very fit and ready. He's acting like he's going to run the best race of his life and he would need to in order to win the Dubai World Cup. He's a proven shipper who eats well and you need a horse who takes his track with him like he does. He checks all the boxes and has the characteristics you look for when shipping to Dubai and could be very successful. Horses of that quality, sometimes it's just a matter of staying happy and healthy during the trip."

Seeking the Soul (Dubai World Cup) galloped on Sunday. Trainer Dallas Stewart said, "I had a great time last year in Dubai and we are coming into the race in great shape. He's a horse who got hurt last year in the (2018) Pegasus, so it took us a while to get him back to his best. He started to really show his best when he won the Ack Ack at Churchill Downs and then came back and was second in the Breeders' Cup (Dirt Mile). He ran a good third in the Clark Handicap and then ran huge in the Pegasus."

Yoshida (Dubai World Cup) was a disappointing 6th in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational after finishing 4th in the Breeders' Cup Classic for trainer Bill Mott.

Cheval Grand (Sheema Classic) is winless since the 2017 Japan Cup, finshing 4th in the 2018 edition followed by a 3rd place effort in the Arima Kinen Grand Prix (G1).

Desert Encounter (Sheema Classic) won the Pattison Canadian International (G1) at Woodbine and then finished third in the Dubai City of Gold (G2), the main local prep for the Sheema.

Rey De Oro (Sheema Classic) won the Tenno Sho Autumn (G1) and then was 2nd in the Arima Kinen Grand Prix (G1).

Suave Richard (Sheema Classic) is winless since the Osaka Hai (G1) last April. He comes here off a 4th place finish in the Nakayama Kinen (G1) after finishing 3rd in the Japan Cup (G1).

Almond Eye (Dubai Turf), winner of the Japanese Filly Triple Crown, galloped on Sunday. Trainer Sakae Kunieda said, "She is training great. Her weight is up to 493kg. As we push her more in training and after her trip to Dubai, she should be at her best. With the big sweeping one turn, I think the 1800m (Dubai) Turf is a suitable easy distance for her first start of the year."

Deirdre (Dubai Turf) finished third in this event last year. She finished 6th in the Nakayama Kinen (G2) last out.

Majestic Mambo (Dubai Turf) has not raced since finishing 4th in the Durban July (G1) at Greyville.

Southern Legend (Dubai Turf) galloped on Sunday. Trainer Caspar Fownes said, "The Dubai Turf is going to be a strong race, no doubt, but he has shown he can travel and perform. Perhaps his best performance of all was in the Kranji Mile, when he had to travel and also go left-handed. I'd be hoping for a big run."

Vivlos (Dubai Turf) won this race in 2017, has not won since, and finished 2nd last year. She was 2nd in the Hong Kong Mile (G1) last out.

Yulong Prince (Dubai Turf) is unraced since winning the Daily News 2000 (G1) at Greyville in June.

Fight Hero (Golden Shaheen) is winless since the Jau To Shan Handicap at Sha Tin in June. He finished 12th in the Leighton Handicap also at Sha Tin last out in January.

Imperial Hint (Golden Shaheen) won the Vosburgh (G1) then finished third in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs and the Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

Matera Sky (Golden Shaheen) is winless since the Procyon Stakes (G3) at Chukyo on July. He was a disappointing 13th in the Negishi Stakes (G3) last out at Tokyo.

Promises Fulfilled (Golden Shaheen) galloped on Sunday. Trainer Dale Romans said, "There are $2.5 million reasons to come back in that race. He's a fast, fast horse, that's the bottom line, nothing else really matters. He came off the layoff and he ran huge in the Fountain of Youth last year. I thought about getting a prep into him (before the Golden Shaheen) and then I thought about that and I said we'll just train right into it if we're going to go. I think the sprint is America's race. I think the Americans will be the horses to beat there and I think he'll be one of the horses to beat."

Roy H (Golden Shaheen) has won the last 2 editions of the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), and was 3rd in last year's Golden Shaheen. He won the Palos Verdes (G2) last out at Santa Anita.

Switzerland (Golden Shaheen) is winless since last year's DeFrancis Memorial Dash (G3) at Laurel. He was 5th in the Mahab Al Shimaal (G3), the main local prep for the Shaheen.

X Y Jet (Golden Shaheen) finished 2nd in the last 2 editions of the Shaheen. He was 4th in the Sunshine Millions Sprint then won an allowance at Gulfstream for his final prep.

Derma Louvre (UAE Derby) was 3rd in the Hyacinth Stakes last out at Tokyo, which is part of the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Gray Magician (UAE Derby) is winless since breaking his maiden at Del Mar in November, finishing 2nd in the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel last out.

Plus Que Parfait (UAE Derby) finished a disappointing 13th in the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds.

Stubbins (UAE Derby) comes here off a 3 race win streak, in a maiden, an allowance, and the Pasadena Stakes all at Santa Anita.

Belvoir Bay (Al Quoz Sprint) is 2 for 2 so far in 2019, the Las Cienegas Stakes and the Wishing Well Stakes both at Santa Anita.

Caribou Club (Al Quoz Sprint) was originally going to run in the Kilroe Mile (G1) at Santa Anita but when that race was rescheudled, the connections decided to ship him here. Craig Bernick, president and CEO of owner Glen Hill Farm said, "(Trainer) Tom (Proctor) and I were really on the fence between the Kilroe Mile and Dubai and we actually decided on the Kilroe Mile because it was March 9 and we were just anxious to run the horse. But then when all of the issues happened at Santa Anita and they pushed the race back, the Kilroe Mile became the same day as Dubai and he's probably a little better sprinting than he is going a mile. The horse can do both. But we thought the horse is doing so well, we might as well try. I know it's a tough race, but he can go from cruising to top speed probably as fast as any horse we've ever had," Bernick continued. "I think he'll kind of suit a straight course and we think a lot of the horse. We're really looking forward to running him."

Stormy Liberal (Al Quoz Sprint) won the last 2 editions of the Breeders' Cup Sprint and was 2nd in last year's Al Quoz. He finished 2nd in both starts so far this year, the Joe Hernandez (G3) and an allowance, at Santa Anita.

Viddora (Al Quoz Sprint) galloped on Sunday. Trainer Lloyd Kennewell said, "For me as a trainer I'm preparing her like I would for any race except it's in another country. For me personally, I've got to be excited about having my first runner in another country on a night where there is $35 million in US dollars being distributed. he's been working well and she'll have a good gallop on Tuesday morning. If things go well for her in the next seven days I'm expecting a good run. Most of her races have been at Group 1 level in the past year or so and she's won a couple and this is another one." Regular rider Joe Bowditch gets the call Saturday.

African Ride (Godolphin Mile) won the Crystal Lagoon Trophy at Meydan on February 28th.

Coal Front (Godolphin Mile) comes here off a 2 race win streak, the Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream and the Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn.

Nonkomo Yume (Godolphin Mile) galloped on Sunday. Trainer Yukihiro Kato said, "He is Training really well right now. I couldn't be happier with his progress. I think Dubai will fit him well. The course will be closer to Tokyo Racecourse in size and I think having a gate boy will help him start better than he often does. We also have (Joao) Moreira riding him this time, so I'm looking forward to it."

True Timber (Godolphin Mile) galloped on Sunday. Assistant trainer Neil McLaughlin said, "He's travelled well. The mile is the best distance for him. The Pegasus (World Cup at Gulfstream) was a terrible track for him. We want to see a nice dry track here. We'll find out. Maybe this summer we can stretch him out."

Platinum Warrior (Dubai Gold Cup) galloped on Sunday. Trainer John Sadler said, "We got him in the summer and he looks like a real stayer. He won at a mile and a quarter in the Grade 2 the other day and I think he has a lot more there. He's already won well in Europe as a 3-year-old and just took a bit of time once he got here. He ran off the plane when fourth in the Secretariat (G1) at Arlington and was unlucky not to be third that day," Sadler continued. "He shipped to California and was unlucky again in a couple races and then ran really well. We saw that he's a very good horse."

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