There should be no denying the most impressive mover of Monday’s trackwork session at Meydan – 2012 Japan Cup winner Gentildonna. Making her first appearance out of quarantine, she came on the course with two countrymates, UAE Derby longshot Keiai Leone and similarly big priced Dubai Golden Shaheen chance Taisei Legend. All three emerged in a straight line out of the 1,600-meter chute and moved onto the main course and Gentildonna was gone. Under nothing more than a steady gallop, she powered away from the pair and opened up a 300-meter lead around the far turn, hitting the finish more than 200 meters in front.
She pulled up seemingly on her own 200 meters past the wire and was happy as a peach, while the apparently overmatched pair behind her were lathered and winded after running on their own in a distant wake. Gentildonna’s trainer Sei Ishizaka was not on hand, but has been to Dubai before, bringing Vermilion here twice, running a distant fourth in the 2007 Dubai World Cup and then last in the 2008 edition.
Animal Kingdom was much more within himself on Monday today after seeming quite keen the first two days on track, and rider Alice Clapham had a much easier way of it. Many thanks to the various tweeters who identified that the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner normally does carry his head to the right in gallops. Clapham reported a slight bridle adjustment did the trick on Monday, and the chestnut went about a lap in easy fashion.
Two-time Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic winner Royal Delta came out once again with Rodolphe Brisset aboard, continuing to move in good order. Foreman Mylor Rider was pleased with the appearance of the mare, who was slightly more focused on her Monday work after playing around with Brisset during the early portion of Sunday’s gallop.
Trinniberg was the fifth horse on course this morning, the earliest he has appeared at Meydan, and had a 600-meter blowout. Times in works are not a big thing here, but American Jim Cornes, who has worked seasonally for the Dubai Racing Club since the inaugural World Cup here, serves as a clocker when requested. Trainer Shivananda Parbhoo showed up to the main viewing are and asked where the clocker was to tell him what he was going to do, the problem was, he should have reached out to Cornes earlier to request the watch. I quickly reached for the stopwatch app on my smart phone and from what is essentially just past the midpoint of the first turn, picked the Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner on the far side of the course as he reached the 600 meter pole. In a highly unofficial time, I caught Trinniberg in :35.01 seconds to the wire, with a terrible angle on the work. More importantly, though, he was never asked to run by jockey Ray Ganpath, doing it easy and galloping out fluidly.
Dice Flavor will go in the UAE Derby for Paddy Gallagher galloped a lap with a high head carriage. Dullahan and Little Mike, after recording timed work on Sunday, did not come to the main track today.
A contingent of seven French runners made their first appearance at Meydan, with the quartet of Sarkiyla (Godolphin Mile), Giofra (Dubai Duty Free), Verma (Dubai Gold Cup), and Shareta (Dubai Sheema Classic) walking a lap in a style reminiscent to Ballydoyle runners. The trio of Meandre (Dubai World Cup), Dunaden (Dubai Sheema Classic), and French Fifteen (Dubai Duty Free) galloped without any overly positive or negative impression.
New Zealand-based trainer Gary Hennessy noted that his charge, Ocean Park, lost a bit more weight than they were expecting in his travels, so it was a slight concern. The four-time Group 1 winner last season is co-favorite in the ante-post wagering for the Dubai Duty Free.
Great Attack worked on the grass for trainer Wesley Ward in advance of his Al Quoz Sprint bid, while fellow contender Varsity spent a full 30 minutes on the main track, first out at 5:30 A.M. The international media has taken to the final times these horses have run in previous races, believing they seem significantly faster than some others, but forgetting that the U.S. races are timed with a run-up segment of varying degrees.
Krypton Factor, 2012 Dubai Golden Shaheen winner, worked in company from the gate with stablemate Muraweg. Jim Cornes, who was requested for the watch, caught Krypton Factor in 1:29.95 under little to no urging, with the last 600 meters in 36.19 seconds, and a final 200 in 11.26 seconds.
The Ballydoyle contingent, including St. Nicholas Abbey (Dubai Sheema Classic), Lines of Battle (UAE Derby), Reply (Godolphin Mile), and Starspangledbanner (Al Quoz Sprint) are not due to arrive in Dubai until Tuesday and will only walk over the course on Friday.