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2021 Dubai World Cup Workouts

This is the 25th running of the Dubai World Cup. Subjectivist (Dubai Gold Cup) in front of the starting gate on Friday morning.
Date: 3/26/2021

On Friday morning in Dubai, entrants for the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1) and its rich undercard were at Meydan Racecourse on the main track, turf course, and training tracks. Conditions were typical for late March in the Emirates, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 80'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's show will start at 12:30pm.

Here are photos and comments for 15 horses that were out Friday morning. Please click the smaller photos to see a larger version.

Mystic Guide (Dubai World Cup) came out to the Meydan dirt track at 7am and had an easy gallop around the track before gate schooling for the second consecutive day. "He had a nice easy gallop," trainer Mike Stidham said. "That was the plan and he went well. Yesterday he was a little anxious in the gate, but today was better. He walks right in as soon as they put the strap behind him." Lightly raced, the homebred 4-year-old colt makes just his eighth start on Saturday. "He just has flourished here," Stidham continued. "Every day Iíve been watching his weight and seeing if his coat was changing, but heís been perfect. Iím amazed at how well heís taking all of this."

Chuwa Wizard (Dubai World Cup) cantered for half a lap on the dirt track with his regular work rider Kota Kato on board. "He feels great. I think he can go into the race a fit horse," Kato said. "He will put on toe outer rim (shoes) with 2mm spikes for the race, as the 1 1/4 mile has two turns, and will get familiarised with them in the trotting ring tomorrow. Everything is all set and fingers crossed."

Sleepy Eyes Todd (Dubai World Cup) took a steady turn around the Meydan dirt track. Trainer Miguel Angel Silva watched the grey from his customary spot on the apron. Silva said: "He went very mildly, stretched his legs. We are ready. Hopefully we will go home with the prize-money. Itís been a great learning experience and I love it. I would change nothing about the trip weíve had." Five weeks ago Sleepy Eyes Todd appeared in Saudi Arabia, a first ever international venture for team Silva. "Heís been running every month. This is the perfect timing to be back running at 100%," Silva continued. "It is a dream come true for every trainer. Every person that works in this business is looking for a horse like this. There are only 14 horses in the race so there are very few people that can really come and enjoy this moment. We are really fortunate to be here, to be one of the few."

Jesus' Team (Dubai World Cup) had an easy gallop on Friday morning, going two steady laps on the dirt track. Former Venezuelan leading trainer Jose Francisco DíAngelo watched his every move and was pleased with what he witnessed. DíAngelo said: "He went slower than yesterday. When he finishes and you go slow heíll try to jump where the lights are. So I told my rider (Willo Mercado) to keep him going. Iím very, very happy. I am ready. A little nervous for sure, but we are ready. I canít express this feeling. Not just to run, but to be running with a chance is amazing for me. Today he looked focussed, better than yesterday. The rider said heís 100%. My plan has gone well. Weíre ready to rock and roll."

Magny Cours (Dubai World Cup) was one of the last foreign raiders to come onto the training track on Friday morning, where he did a slow canter. Richard Lambert, his travelling head lad, said: "We are happy with him. He is handling the heat really well. It is quite late when we come out in the morning, but he has adapted well to the heat."

Great Scot (Dubai World Cup) cantered one lap of the track and just stretched out over the final 200m of his work this morning. Saud Alkahtani, speaking on behalf of trainer, Abdullah Mishriff, said: "Heís training very good, he likes the track, itís different compared with the Saudi track, here itís sharper in comparison but he loves it." Reflecting on the third-placed spot in the Saudi Cup, he continued: "Thatís what makes us think very highly of this horseís chances tomorrow, he was beaten by two good horses in Charlatan, one of the best in America, and Mishriff - a Group 1 winner in the French Derby and the Saudi Cup now - so I think our horse has a good chance tomorrow."

Chrono Genesis (Sheema Classic) stretched her legs for one and a half laps over the dirt track at 5am. Trainer Takashi Saitoís representative Yasunaga Wada, the work rider, said: "She keeps her good form and feels good."

Mishriff (Sheema Classic) cantered once around the turf. Assistant trainer Thady Gosden said, "Heís very versatile and obviously 2400m tomorrow will be different but itís a lovely galloping track at Meydan and the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic will give us a pointer of where to go for the rest of the season. He relaxes well in a race, even though he has a lot of natural speed." Jockey David Egan added, "Going for the (2400m) Longines Dubai Sheema Classic rather than the (2000m) Dubai World Cup is something (owner) Prince Faisal and Mr Gosden thought about a lot. Obviously in the back of their minds is what he will do for the rest of the year, whether he can run over 2400m or drop back in trip. Perhaps if Saturday goes well then the Arc could be an end-of-season target. I was only born in 1999 but ever since I was a young boy, watching the Dubai World Cup day was a huge thing. Itís just fantastic to be part of it."

Channel Maker (Sheema Classic) galloped easily around the Meydan dirt track this morning at 7am. He was ridden by assistant trainer Neil Poznansky, who commented on his progress: "He hasnít missed a beat, if anything heís better than he was in Saudi Arabia. Heís a lot of fun. Heís always bright and alert and is always looking at stuff. Every day is a new day with him. He keeps things interesting."

Lord North (Dubai Turf) had his final prep before Saturdayís race by doing a circuit of Meydanís turf track just after 7am. "He seems to love his racing and has a very good mind," said Thady Gosden, who shares a training licence with his father John in Britain. "He came out last year for three days when the meeting was cancelled due to Covid but heís been in similar form so we thought weíd bring him out. Hopefully he can run well."

Zenden (Golden Shaheen) swapped his usual 7am exercise for an earlier start at 5am on Friday. Trainer Carlos David said: "We came out here just to stretch his legs a little bit and to let him look at the lights. He hasnít been out here this early in the morning yet, so this is good for him." The chestnut colt galloped 5f under his rider, and uncle of trainer Carlos David, Jason Gracia. When asked how Zenden handled the Meydan lights, David replied: "He didnít mind them at all. He didnít even look at them." David then radioed his rider, Gracia, to confirm how the horse reacted. Gracia replied: "Everything was normal. Heís a pro."

Pink Kamehameha (UAE Derby) put in a light canter over the dirt track at 5am and pleased his trainer Hideyuki Mori who said: "He is fresh and in good form. He goes fit and ready."

Extravagant Kid (Al Quoz Sprint) went for an easy canter around the main dirt track at 5am under Charlie Lynch. "He always shows up," trainer Brendan Walsh said. "On turf and dirt, he never really runs a bad race. I always thought Dubai might suit him. I think the straight six (furlongs) will suit him. In the Breedersí Cup, he finished a very good fourth after drawing 14 of 14 and losing a lot of ground around the turn. He has a really high cruising speed and shouldnít be too far out of it."

Walderbe (Dubai Gold Cup) returned to the dirt track on Friday morning where he did a light canter. His trainer Ralf Rohne confirmed: "He took his work yesterday really well and this morning he only did a slow canter. Everything is going well. He looks good and now itís just a question of waiting for tomorrow."

Urban Icon (Godolphin Mile) galloped once around. Trainer Saud Al Kahtani spoke of his horseís chances tomorrow night. "Itís a good race, there are some good local horses, Satish Seemarís runners and the Japanese," he said. "Ours is a good horse but we just donít know yet if he will like the dirt as much as the turf. He is training very well so weíll know tomorrow for sure if he takes to it. His first time out for us was in the Turf Sprint on Saudi Cup day and he finished a close third behind Space Blues, one of the best sprinters in Europe."

The unique Meydan grandstand with Mogul (Sheema Classic) on the track. "He is a very solid horse who has a lot of experience of travelling and he seems to thrive from that really," trainer Aidan OíBrien said. "Mentality he has a great mind but we are not under any illusions about how competitive the race will be on Saturday with a lot of highly-rated horses in it."

Pony love!

A model of the Meydan grounds in the lobby of the hotel.

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