Home / Dubai World Cup Trackwork / Meydan Trackwork Report – March 24

Meydan Trackwork Report – March 24

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)



  1. Hi, thanks for the track reports. I’m guessing French Fifteen is one of those still to be cleared. This horse had a warm up outing a few weeks ago at Chantilly (still finished in front of Meandre). 14/1 well overpriced for the Duty Free.

  2. I would not be surprised to see Treasure Beach going on to win the Dubai World Cup for Mike de Kock but if the speed-bomb Shea Shea doesn’t cross the line in triumph in the Al Quoz Sprint then it would be a cruel bomb…

  3. Pat, thanks for the info. What are your thoughts about Animal Kingdom having a little edge in that he’s trained over tapeta at Fair Hill? The connections know he’s familiar with it and must like it.

  4. Given how well he gets over the surface I understand Godolphin deciding to try African Story in the Dubai World Cup this year instead of going back to the Godolphin Mile with him again. That being said, asking African Story to step up beyond a mile for the first time in his career against the kind of horses he’ll be facing in the race is a very big ask. Especially taking into consideration he’ll have 2 stablemates in the race who get over the surface equally as well who are both already proven at 10f in Hunter’s Light & Kassiano. Those 2 reasons alone would prevent me from backing African Story in the Dubai World Cup. In regards to the Duty Free I think the mare Sajjhaa has to be respected based on what we’ve seen from her in the Cape Verdi, Balanchine, & Jebel Hatta. I would also say dismiss City Style at your own peril, because this horse has yet to ever run a bad race in Dubai on either surface, and that go backs to when he ran on turf at Nad Al Sheba in 2009. If the extra furlong doesn’t turn out to be a problem I think Trade Storm also has to be respected, too. Of the horses shipping in for the Duty Free the French filly Giofra is the classiest, and may well be the classiest horse in the race outright. The Sheema Classic looks a very intriguing race, and I think Mike De Kock now how Await The Dawn spot on ready with that run last time in the City of Gold. I had liked Masterstroke in the Sheema Classic, but I’m not sure him having to be withdrawn from the City of Gold and missing his prep for the Sheema has done any favors.

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