Let the message not be confused, we don’t know what any of this actually means. Good? Bad? Indifferent? Keen? Overworking? Impossible? If you are looking for some dramatic interpretation of body language and what it all means, you will not get that from us, but rather, a simple reporting of the facts. Animal Kingdom is simply a handful in Dubai. For the second consecutive day, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner was looking all about at Meydan.
It took two outriders to get Animal Kingdom to progress through the 1,600-meter chute (from where the horses enter the track) and then onto the main course. Once there, he broke off and galloped more than a lap, and rider Alice Clapham had her hands full yet again. Coming through the first turn at Meydan (which was the end of the lap), Animal Kingdom galloped with his head focused on anything but what was in front him, looking about to the right. We don’t recall seeing this in his final Breeders’ Cup gallops in 2012, and again, we are not deeming this a positive or a negative. We don’t know what to make of him – he could be in tip condition and incredibly playful and happy or it could be the opposite. This much is certain, he makes an impression solely as a result of his antics, however it may go.
As for more on the American shippers, Dullahan worked 1,000 meters in 1:01.38, running the fourth 200-meter segment in 11.44 seconds according to the Dubai Racing Club’s Jim Cornes. Little Mike worked 1,000 meters on grass, getting the distance in a progressive 1:03.94 (through sectionals of 13.50, 13.25, 12.60, 12.66, and 11.93). Varsity, the Al Quoz Sprint chance was well-lathered after a lap at 5:45 A.M, while his partner of the previous day, Royal Delta, came out at sunrise and was quite playful and keen in her gallop. It’s worth noting that Royal Delta has looked as good as she did last year in her trackwork appearance. She was completely shuffled around in-running and just faded, obviously coming back to her best soon thereafter. Private Zone galloped another lap in exactly the same form as Saturday, while He’s Had Enough seemed quite professional in a later morning gallop. Dice Flavor made his first appearance on the main track at 6:40 A.M. and wheeled a circuit in fine fettle.
Trinniberg, sent to the course earlier by trainer Shivananda Parbhoo, was back on schedule Sunday after a miscommunication kept him relegated to the training track. He cantered through two laps of Meydan and took a gander at the starting gate.
A cadre of international Al Quoz Sprint runners made appearances, including Russian Soul, Great Attack, Joy and Fun (2010 Al Quoz winner, when the race was run over 1,200 meters), Eagle Regiment, and Monsieur Joe. None left an overwhelming impression and ticked over as most would expect. New Zealand’s Ocean Park hacked over the Tapeta again with part-owner and trainer Gary Hennessy looking on in earnest. Elleval took a lap of Meydan early in the session. Red Cadeaux was proficient in another circuit of Meydan.
A quartet of Mike de Kock runners galloped around Meydan when local runners were permitted on course, with Patrick Cosgrave partnering Dubai Sheema Classic contender, and Meydan course record holder at 2,000 meters on grass, Await The Dawn, along with troubled filly Emotif (UAE Derby). Separately, Derby contender Zahee and Dubai Duty Free chance, and Al Fahidi Fort winner Mushreq took a spin.
Many are still to make their first debut with the Japanese runners and many of the Europeans still to clear quarantine. Word around the course is that Dubai World Cup chance Meandre has been sold to new connections in advance of the world’s richest race, although final confirmation is not likely for another day. Entries for all races are due on Monday, with the draw to take place shortly after 9:00 A.M. local time. While the field will be known for the Dubai World Cup, the post position will occur in a ceremony at Meydan at 3:00 P.M. local time on Wednesday.
Five of the big races on the night have been priced in the international markets – below we list the favorites as of 1:00 P.M. UAE time on March 24.
Al Quoz Sprint – Shea Shea (7-4)
Dubai Duty Free – Ocean Park, Trade Storm (both 11-2)
Dubai Golden Shaheen – Mental (4)
Dubai Sheema Classic – St. Nicholas Abbey (3)
Dubai World Cup – Hunter’s Light (9-2)
There are some overlays currently that have us interested – take note of the races with the compelling prices, the opinion of DubaiRaceNight.com:
Al Quoz Sprint – Sole Power (8)
Dubai Duty Free – Sajjhaa (9), Igugu (14), City Style (20)
Dubai Golden Shaheen – Trinniberg (10), Private Zone (20)
Dubai Sheema Classic – Await The Dawn (8)
Dubai World Cup – Kassiano (12), Treasure Beach (20)