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2022 Dubai World Cup Workouts

Country Grammer with assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes on Wednesday morning at Meydan.
Date: 3/23/2022

On Tuesday and Wednesday 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 both days enjoying clear skies and temperatures in the mid 80's during training hours rising to the low 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 31 horses that were out Tuesday or Wednesday morning. Please click the smaller photos to see a larger version.

Life Is Good (Dubai World Cup) galloped 1 1/2 miles on Wednesday and also schooled in the starting gate in company with stablemate Colonel Liam (Turf). Trainer Todd Pletcher said, “Both horses were very relaxed and while I don’t anticipate them having any issues it was good to see.” About Life is Good he added, "He really looks like he has settled in well. I’ve learned some things over the years of coming here and one of them I think is to do all your work at home. I’ve breezed horses here in the past and I think maybe its been a little counter-productive so we will just have some gallops with him and participate in the night schooling session tonight and go from there.”

Hot Rod Charlie (Dubai World Cup) galloped both Tuesday (left) and Wednesday (right) for trainer Doug O'Neill. “We were so happy to be able to run him as a four-year-old and glad we came over here when we did,” assistant trainer Leandro Mora said. “He is doing so good right now, he loves this track. He is very calm and quiet when making the walk to the track in the mornings but as soon as he steps on the track and the rider sits on his back he knows it is go-time and can get a little excited, but in a good way. Although he did give us a little scare last week when he and the pony were bucking and feeling too good by the wire launching himself in the air.”

Midnight Bourbon (Dubai World Cup) galloped on Tuesday (left) and Wednesday (right). Owner Ron Winchell said, "If you look just at his Ragozin Sheets (speed figures), without the name, and I asked you how many races has that horse won lately, you would never, never say zero." Trainer Steve Asmussen added, "For him to run at this high level so successfully for so long without reward is truly amazing. I have so much respect for it. It's something he finds within himself. To say you appreciate that type of durability mentally and physically is not quite a strong enough word for it. It's so rare. He is an Adonis to look at. He is another outstanding example of Stonestreet's breeding program."

Chuwa Wizard (Dubai World Cup) galloped twice around. Trainer Ryuki Okobo said, “This time, Chuwa Wizard has travelled overseas before and so it is something he is familiar with,” Okubo said. “I was a little bit worried after he lost weight on the trip over, but now I think he is in similar condition to last year. Last year, he went to Riyadh for the Saudi Cup before coming to Dubai and that didn't suit him, the ground wasn't right for him and the one-turn 1800m didn't allow him to show his best. We saw last year that the two turns of the Dubai World Cup was more suitable and I think the Kawasaki Kinen will help him to produce his best here.”

Aero Trem (Dubai World Cup) galloped once around on Wednesday. Trainer Antonio Cintra Pereira said, “Aero Trem is fit and is doing very well. He returned very well from the Saudi Cup and has continued his preparation for the Dubai World Cup and so far everything is going according to plan. So we are looking forward to him running in the big one.”

Country Grammer (Dubai World Cup) schooled in the starting gate on Wednesday and then galloped 1 1/2 miles, supervised by assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes. Trainer Bob Baffert said via text message, “Jimmy Barnes is very happy the way he is coming into the race. [The World Cup] distance is better for him." Barnes added, "Country Grammer is a horse who will run all day and will definitely appreciate the two turns and the 1 1/4-mile distance of this race. He has always been a straightforward horse to train and nothing has changed with him here.” He joked about using a $20 million race (Saudi Cup) to prep for a $12 million race.

Grocer Jack (Dubai World Cup) will be a big longshot on Saturday. Trainer William Haggas said, “He’s hit a strong race, that is for sure. In Saudi (fifth in the Neom Turf Cup) he broke slowly from the four gate and in truth I would prefer him to have been drawn wider. I’m hopeful he will go on the dirt, but it’s a tough ask.”

Glory Vase (Sheema Classic) completed a canter of the dirt and schooled in the paddock on Tuesday. “His condition is good,” said trainer Tomohito Ozeki. “He’s travelled well and he did some reasonably strong trackwork last weekend. He is used to travelling now and I am hopefully that he will run a good race.”

Pyledriver (Sheema Classic) galloped on the main track Tuesday. Trainer William Muir said, “Frankie’s taken over because Martin (Dwyer, regular rider) got injured. Martin rang Frankie and talked to him for us. Everything is sorted out and it’s great. Frankie is the boy on the big stage and you can’t get any bigger than this. Pyledriver was really good today. He did two canters, he seems well, he looks great, he’s eaten well today and yesterday since I’ve been over here, so I’m very happy.”

Alenquer (Sheema Classic) galloped on Tuesday morning. Trainer William Haggas said, "Alenquer is in good shape after winning easily at Lingfield, and I think this is the sort of race he should be running in. He put in a very good run in the Sandown Classic Trial last year when beating Adayar, who went on to win the Derby and the King George. He then ran another fine race when second (to Mishriff) in the Juddmonte at York."

Uberleben (Sheema Classic)

Lord North (Dubai Turf) galloped in company with stablemate Harrovian on Wednesday. Co-trainer Thady Gosden said, “They both went for a canter this morning and I’m happy with them. They seem to have taken to the travelling well and we’ll work them on the main track now on Thursday morning ahead of the race.”

Lord Glitters (Dubai Turf) has been one of the stars of the winter for David O’Meara's team, winning once and hitting the frame in his other two starts at Meydan. Stable representative Matt Ennis said of the nine-year-old: “He’s good and he had a good breeze on Sunday and on Tuesday around the main track. He felt really good and all seems well with him, he seems fresh too. We’ll just tick him over now before Saturday and be nice and easy with him, with quiet canters on the training track.”

Saffron Beach (Dubai Turf) has settled in at Meydan on her first trip outside of the United Kingdom. Trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam said: “She travelled extremely well for her first outing out of the UK and I’m really pleased with how she has settled in over there – she’s eating and drinking plenty. Her work load was all done with us in Newmarket, so in terms of her track work we’ll just be doing steady canters between now and race day.”  

Harrovian (Dubai Turf) galloped in company with stablemate Lord North on Wednesday. Co-trainer Thady Gosden said, “They both went for a canter this morning and I’m happy with them. They seem to have taken to the travelling well and we’ll work them on the main track now on Thursday morning ahead of the race.”

My Oberon (Dubai Turf) galloped on the turf Wednesday for trainer William Haggas, who said, "We've always strived to get a better team and I feel we've got our best group of horses this week. There are always two things that can knock you back which are complacency and disease, but we have some great people here who are all happy with the conditions facing us. My Oberon earned his place when he won on the new track at Southwell, but has it all to do on the book.”

Mohaafeth (Dubai Turf) galloped on the turf Tuesday for trainer William Haggas, who said, “I didn’t think Mohaafeth was running as well as he should have done, but we then discovered he had a compressed testicle and was a rig. We know that the problem has gone and it won’t bother him any more, and I suppose that is one less excuse. My personal feeling is that last run (when fourth in the Juddmonte at York) was his weakest, but he has a nice draw and he has a chance in a strong race."

Good Effort (Golden Shaheen)

Pinehurst (UAE Derby) continues to train forward for trainer Bob Baffert. “He has done nothing wrong since coming to Dubai,” assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said. “It looked like in Saudi it was a bit of a closers’ track so we were really pleased with his effort there and we look forward to running here on this track.”

Azure Coast (UAE Derby)

Suesa (Al Quoz Sprint): Trainer Francois Rohaut was out on the track to cast his eye over the four-year-old filly on Wednesday morning. He said: “She is mature now, the same bodyweight as last year, she has travelled well. I liked her trackwork this morning, she is fresh. Everything is set for a good run, it is important her stall is high, she will be beside the favourite Man Of Promise and he looks the one to beat. But I expect Suesa will run a big race.”  

Berneuil (Al Quoz Sprint)

Happy Romance (Al Quoz Sprint)

Air De Valse (Al Quoz Sprint) galloped on Wednesday. Jean-Jacques Poincelet, assistant to trainer Corine Barande Barbe, said “I am happy with her preparation. She comes her fresh but she is ready. She has drawn high also near the stands’ side and that looks to be the place to be.”

Baron Samedi (Gold Cup) galloped on the main track. Trainer Joseph O'Brien said, “He ran very well in Riyadh when fourth in the Red Sea Turf Handicap. We think the bigger track and the longer straight at Meydan will be to his liking. Obviously it is a very competitive race but he is there in good nick and we are hoping he can collect some prize-money.”

Pogo (Godolphin Mile)

Deryan (Kahayla Classic) defending champion galloped Wednesday. Trainer Didier Guillemin said: “He is very happy on this track. The surface was a bit deep for him last time in Riyadh but he still ran well to be fourth. He won this race last year and I feel he is in the same form again. He has drawn wide in 16, that is the only negative, so he will be ridden with patience.”  

Hadi De Carrere (Kahayla Classic) galloped on Tuesday. Trainer Thomas Fourcy said, “All going well with him. He has come from his win in Saudi well. Good gate in two also. We are content.”  

Hamdani Khaled Al Khalediah (Kahayla Classic)

Jarif (Kahayla Classic)

Lamet Shamel Qa (Kahayla Classic) galloped Wednesday. Trainer Jean de Mieulle said, “He has a good draw in four. Some of the favourites have wide gates so that might help us. If he runs to his best he can pick up a cheque. I would forgive his run last time in Qatar things did not go his way."

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