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2021 Dubai World Cup Workouts


Looking over the training track toward the Meydan grandstand with the Burj Khalifa (left) and the DAMAC Towers by Paramount (right) in the distance.
Date: 3/23/2021

On Tuesday 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 both days, with clear skies and temperatures in the mid 70'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 42 horses that were out Tuesday morning. Please click the smaller photos to see a larger version.


Mystic Guide (Dubai World Cup) walked and grazed a day after blowing out 3f on Sunday under William Buick. Regular rider Luis Saez gets the call Saturday. Ben Trask, assistant to trainer Mike Stidham said, "He came out of the work in great shape. It’s been great to be here. I have no complaints."

Chuwa Wizard (Dubai World Cup) hit the Meydan dirt track after 5am and cantered lightly to warm-up for tomorrow’s final gallop under his regular work rider Kota Kato. "He is very fresh this morning and is in good condition. Jockey Keita Tosaki will ride tomorrow to breeze," Kato said.

Jesus' Team (Dubai World Cup) galloped 1 1/2 laps around the Meydan dirt track with his customary draw reins and blinkers applied. Trainer Jose Francisco D’Angelo watched from the rail. "We went to the track with him very early, because I want him to know the lights when we’re going to run," he said. "It will be his first time running under the lights. Jesus did it perfectly. The horse is 100%. He loves Dubai, the weather, the water and the environment. I think he’s ready with that last work at Palm Meadows over 7f under his belt. With Jesus, I’ve learned a lot about travelling all over the United States, especially in the truck. Travelling on an aeroplane is very different, but he arrived well. I liked the experience."

Magny Cours (Dubai World Cup) arrived in Dubai last Friday after travelling from France via Belgium and the UK. However, despite the long travel, the 6-year-old was in fine form, as confirmed Richard Lambert, the travelling head lad of the French handler. "He travelled really well and took the trip in his stride," he said.

Salute the Soldier (Dubai World Cup) galloped once around. Trainer Fawzi Nass said, "We are looking forward to it and his season has gone as we had hoped, probably better! He showed last year he handled the Meydan dirt so that was not an issue but we needed to test his stamina. The Godolphin Mile was always an option but he has earned his place in the big race and proved he stays. His work has been good and we are very pleased with him so just hope for a reasonable draw."

Military Law (Dubai World Cup) galloped once around. Regular rider Antonio Fresu, who retains the mount for the Dubai World Cup, said that Military Law is a stronger and improved horse this year as compared to last year.

Berkshire Rocco (Sheema Classic) accompanied stable companion Spanish Mission (Gold Cup) again this morning. "Both horses did a lap and a half of the training track this morning at a sensible canter," stable representative Maddy O’Meara reported. "I led Berkshire Rocco on Spanish Moon and Claudia Metaireau who rides Berkshire Rocco is thrilled with how he has settled in here."

Loves Only You (Sheema Classic) worked on the dirt track under jockey Oisin Murphy at 5am. "I have asked Oisin to get a feel for her and he said she was very fresh and sound," said trainer Yoshito Yahagi. "I want her to put on a bit more weight as she lost some weight while she was isolated in Japan. But her flight experience last year when she came to Dubai helped her a lot this time. Since she arrived in Dubai, she has settled in well and her appetite has been back, and I hope she keeps improving her condition for Saturday’s race. Oisin will give her a gallop either on dirt or turf tomorrow. He can choose whichever he likes."

Mishriff (Sheema Classic) put in an appearance on Meydan’s turf course this morning, following his visit to the training track on Monday. "Mishriff just had a spin around the turf track with Lord North," said Thady Gosden, who holds a joint training licence with father John in Britain. "David Egan, who rides him in Saturday’s race, will sit on him later in the week. "We thought the turf track was in brilliant condition, it’s been watered well and is a great credit to everyone at Meydan."

Felix (Dubai Turf) tested the turf track on Tuesday morning with trainer Marco Botti’s wife, Lucie Botti, in the saddle. She said: "I went a lap around. He seemed nice and relaxed. He had a little jump coming into the straight, feeling happy. During the first couple of days he needed to get to know his box and his new surroundings. Now I think it’s easier, he is taking everything really well. I couldn’t be happier with him."

Lord Glitters (Dubai Turf) took to the turf training track this morning. The Group 1 Jebel Hatta winner quickened nicely to conclude his fast work for the week. Trainer David O’Meara said: "Lord Glitters did a nice breeze over 400m on the grass this morning. That will be his final piece of fast work before the weekend and he is in good order."

Lord North (Dubai Turf) worked on Meydan’s turf course in the company of stablemate Mishriff.

Regal Reality (Dubai Turf) went around the turf training track just after 8am. Speaking from his Freemason Lodge Stables in Newmarket, trainer Sir Michael Stoute said: "We are just freshening him up and will take him out on the training track most mornings ahead of Saturday's race. He seems to have settled in well at Meydan and we are pleased with how he's travelled over."

Vin de Garde (Dubai Turf) cantered for two laps on the dirt track under the assistant to Hideaki Fujiwara, Kazuo Fujiwara. He is scheduled to gallop with jockey Yuichi Kitamura on dirt tomorrow.

Zainhom (Dubai Turf) drew into the Dubai Turf on entry day. Antonio Fresu gets the call for trainer Mohammed Al Mheiri.

Justin (Golden Shaheen) cantered on the dirt track under jockey Ryusei Sakai. Trainer Yoshito Yahagi said: "He has definitely switched on. I will not do bullet works with him tomorrow as he put in a strong gallop in terms of both speed and the amount of work he needs last week. I think he is already fit and ready. My focus with him is not to be over-excited towards the race."

Matera Sky (Golden Shaheen) schooled in the paddock ring before cantering for one and a half laps over the dirt track with jockey Keita Tosaki on board. Connections are happy with his condition.

Red Le Zele (Golden Shaheen) worked easily on the dirt track. Work rider Keisuke Fujimaki said: "Everything has gone well so far. He is getting more familiarised with the surroundings. Jockey Yuichi Kitamura will give him a breeze on dirt tomorrow."

Zenden (Golden Shaheen) breezed over the main track. Trainer Carlos David said, "I was really happy. The idea was to do an open gallop, a 'two-minute lick' in 1:58 with the last 600m in 38 seconds. He did it in 37.1 seconds. I think he handled it really well. He was breathing a little heavier coming back to the barn, so I think he needed the blowout. For his breeze today he was wearing a ring bit, which is what he uses for the race. I didn’t put blinkers on because that would have made him too keen this morning. He will run in them on Saturday. I need him to be sharp during the race."

Acklam Express (Al Quoz Sprint) was made to breeze on turf under rider Rowan Scott and put in a performance that has his trainer Nigel Tinkler suitably impressed. Speaking from his base in the UK, Tinkler said: "Acklam Express worked this morning and he worked very nicely as he followed Lord Glitters during his gallop. He has been doing very well in Dubai and seems to like it there."

Equilateral (Al Quoz Sprint) paid his regular visit to the training track under work-rider Nicola Dowell.

Extravagant Kid (Al Quoz Sprint) galloped a circuit of the dirt track under Charlie Lynch. The nearly black 8-year-old gelding will be making his 50th start on Saturday in the turf dash. Trained by Brendan Walsh for DARRS Inc., he has finished in the top three 36 times, including 14 victories and eight stakes wins. He has finished second in five of his past six efforts. Four starts back, he was fourth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

Khaadem (Al Quoz Sprint) worked on the turf training track under big-race pilot Jim Crowley and trainer Charlie Hills is hopeful that Saturday can kickstart a productive season for His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s 5-year-old. "We think he’s a very talented horse as he showed when he was fourth in two Group 1s last season,” said Hills, speaking from his stables in Britain. "He lost weight after the July Cup and then the ground went against us later in the season. He went to Shadwell Stud for a break and has thrived over the winter, he’s come back a lot heavier. This has been the plan since the end of last season, we knew he’d get his ground here, and hopefully he should have a good year."

Moss Gill (Al Quoz Sprint) looked sound as he went through the motions, running steadily during his workout over the training track. Trainer Edward Bethell said: "Moss Gill has travelled over really well and all reports have been very good. We are very happy with him and I think he’s thriving out there in the heat. We expect a big run from him on Saturday. He’s been working only on the training track and it’s just been a steady canter all along. All of his fitness work has been done and he’s just ticking nicely going into the race."

Speak in Colours (Al Quoz Sprint) returned to exercise on Tuesday as rider M.J. Doran slightly increased his work. Doran said: "We just upped things a little with Speak In Colours this morning and he did two steady canters on the main track and was very well in himself. He is a very straightforward horse to deal with and do anything with and travelling doesn’t bother him. He’s loving it here."

Avant Garde (Godolphin Mile) worked on the dirt track this morning, with assistant trainer Gustavo Delgado Jr. watching on from the apron. "I’m really pleased with what I saw today. Better than the last couple of days. We wanted him to do an open gallop and he seemed to like it." Delgado Jr. said. Avant Garde is in the very capable hands of rider Pedro Velez, who is employed by trainer Dallas Stewart. Delgado Jr. added: "He (Pedro) came here with Seeking the Soul and Forever Unbridled. He knows the drill. It’s his third year here. I wanted that guy (to ride my horse). The feedback he gave me is that this horse is feeling really good. That is what we’ve been seeing in the morning as well."

Dieu du Vin (Godolphin Mile) cantered 2f before working tandem with his yard mate Takeru Pegasus (UAE Derby) for 5f at the pace of about 12 seconds for the last furlong. "I wanted to get a feel for him with his work today, because he did almost all he needed to before we brought him here," said the exercise rider Hideaki Asar. "He moved nicely and picked up smoothly by himself. He is in very good condition now. The wide 15 gate is very welcome as he has no worry about being trapped. He will be able to show his staying power when he picks up with his own pace."

Ambassadorial (Godolphin Mile) galloped once around the main track.

France Go De Ina (UAE Derby) will be lining up for the first time outside of Japan. He explored the paddock ring and cantered for one and a half laps on the dirt track. Assistant to Hideyuki Mori, Masaki Takano, said: "Everything has been under control. He feels very good. He will gallop abreast Matera Sky tomorrow."

Lugamo (UAE Derby) was out for a light gallop at 5am on Tuesday. The colt concluded his trackwork with a schooling session in the starting gate as assistant trainer, Alessandro Sano, looked on. "We jogged the opposite way to the finish line and then galloped a lap and a half to the 5f marker," he said. "At the end of the workout, we went to the gate to school him a little bit to go in and outside of the gate. He’s a very calm horse. Nothing bothers him and we like that. He loaded into the gate and backed up perfectly. That’s what we like to see because he’s a front runner, so he needs that good gate mentality."

New Treasure (UAE Derby) had his first try on Meydan’s dirt track this morning and connections seemed happy. "We just cantered him around the dirt track and he seemed to handle the surface well," said Thady Gosden, who shares a training licence with his father in Britain.

Pink Kamehameha (UAE Derby) went to the paddock ring for schooling and cantered for one and a half laps over the dirt track. The assistant for Hideyuki Mori, Masaki Takano, said: "He is feeling really good and is sharpening up towards the race. He will breeze tomorrow. "He has not received a luck of the draw in 14. My only concern is the first corner comes shortly after the start, but it’s good for him not to be crowded on the outside."

Takeru Pegasus (UAE Derby) had a warm-up canter for 2f before breezing accompanied by his yard mate Dieu Du Vin for 5f at the pace of about 12s for the last furlong. Work rider Hideaki Asari said: "He has kept good condition since he has left Japan. He was breathing well during the breeze and moved as good as I expected. The gate 7 is very suitable for him, watching horses on both sides of him. If he runs with his rhythm, the draw is not his concern."

Mekong (Gold Cup) galloped twice around the main track. Owner Khalid Mishriff, speaking from his home in Riyadh, will unfortunately not be able to travel to see Mekong on Saturday. "I’m very much looking forward to seeing Mekong run this weekend, unfortunately it will have to be on TV this time as travel from Saudi is difficult these days," he said. "The race maybe just wasn’t run to suit him the last day here (Red Sea Turf Handicap) but he came out of the race fine. He went back to the UK, Jamie freshened him up and did a great job getting him back here in good form. We think he is more than capable of representing himself very well on Saturday. Jim Crowley rides, he knows the horse well, has won on him and is obviously very good around Meydan. Jamie’s head lad Jimmy McCarthy is here with the horse doing a wonderful job and now we just need some luck on our side for Saturday."

Spanish Mission (Gold Cup) returned to the training track this morning with stable companion Berkshire Rocco. Maddy O’Meara, who travelled to Saudi Arabia with Spanish Mission last month, said: "Spanish Mission felt good. Both horses did a lap and a half of the training track this morning at a sensible canter. The plan is for both Spanish Mission and Berkshire Rocco to go to the main turf track tomorrow (Wednesday) morning."

Subjectivist (Gold Cup) will be the youngest horse in the field this Saturday. Trainer Mark Johnston will fly to Dubai on Wednesday to oversee the final preparations. "All is fine with Subjectivist," Johnston reported. "He arrived on Friday spent a couple of days walking around the quarantine barn and yesterday was his first day on the track. He is in good form and we will just have a couple of easy days on the track. We will change his exercise rider on Thursday morning but he still won’t need to do anything other than what he has been doing. I look forward to seeing him on Thursday morning."

Away He Goes (Gold Cup) has been far from disgraced in three Dubai World Cup Carnival outings this year. Trainer Ismail Mohammed said: "Obviously this is a tough race but he deserves to take his chance, is in good form and should run a good race."

Red Verdon (Gold Cup) galloped twice around on the main track.

Walderbe (Gold Cup) galloped twice around on the main track.

Deryan (Kahayla Classic) spent the weekend in quarantine before coming onto the dirt track on Monday morning, where he did a slow canter. It was a routine he repeated on Tuesday morning. "He only just ran in Riyadh," explained his trainer Didier Guillemin. "So it’s a question of keeping him nice and loose. He travelled over really well and my daughter who looks after him said he was in better form than last time when he went to Riyadh. I guess he is getting used to the travelling."

Hajres (Kahayla Classic) arrived in Dubai on Friday and seemed in very good form on Tuesday morning when he came onto the dirt track at Meydan. "Yes, he has travelled really well," said his trainer, who was on the way to the airport to make her way to Dubai. "He is full of himself and in really good form. Everyone is happy with him. I think with age they just get used to travelling and take it in their stride. He jogged for a round this morning and then did another round cantering."

Hayyan (Kahayla Classic) galloped once around the main track.

Break time for the pony buddies.

The entire gigantic Meydan grandstand.

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