After a reported slow day over the Meydan surface on Sunday, attendance was better on Monday with a host of World Cup runners getting over the track. For the most part, everyone that appeared today simply cantered or galloped on the surface, with no significant speed work to report.
Japanese entrant BELSHAZZAR was the first international raider on the all-weather, hitting the course at 5:25 A.M. The Japan Cup Dirt (G1) winner walked one lap and galloped a second in full gear. He will be one of an expected sixteen to face the starter in the world’s richest race.
Mikel Delzangles brought his three runners at two different times, with Zabeel Mile (G2) winner MSHAWISH out for a stretch just past 5:30 A.M. while FLOTILLA and DUNADEN emerged later in the morning.
Mick Halford’s yard was represented before sunrise with Godolphin Mile chance EASTERN RULES out solo and sprinter RUSSIAN SOUL worked with Gold Cup runner DABADIYAN. David Marnane’s JAMESIE was out just behind them and seems to be in perfect form coming into the big night.
More of the Japanese set was out emerged just after 6:00 A.M. with likely Dubai World Cup pace presence HOKKO TARUMAE galloping two laps with Sheema Classic DENIM AND RUBY, with the former dwarfing the diminutive filly.
David Simcock sent two strings to the track, with SHEIKHZAYEDROAD going in tandem with MOMENT IN TIME, both aimed for the Dubai Gold Cup. Marco Botti’s MOUNT ATHOS wasn’t far behind and GABRIAL joined him, all with easy canters over the Tapeta.
2010 Al Quoz winner and two-time place-getter JOY AND FUN was the first of the Hong Kong horses to get out at Meydan. Later in the morning, Duty Free longshot BLAZING SPEED came out with local Mahab Al Shimaal (G3) winner RICH TAPESTRY. The other five HK horses are expected out later in the week.
Last year’s Dubai Sheema Classic second GENTILDONNA gets our nod for performance of the morning with her gallop on the Meydan grass. Duty Free shot LOGOTYPE worked about 300 metres astern, but Gentildonna’s movement was just much too good.
The strangest mover of the day came from the same country, but on the Tapeta. Godolphin Mile chance BRIGHTLINE was under a complete stranglehold in which the work rider was bouncing about in the saddle, seemingly just trying to stay on. TOKEI HALO was initially behind Brightline during their first lap of the surface when the turf pace runner passed him and led the second lap.
American hope TWILIGHT ECLIPSE was lathered again on the course, in what seems more like his normal routine (video of his work in recent days saw him in a similar condition).
Al Quoz chances SOLE POWER and BERLINO DE TIGER both had a gallop of the course later in the morning, with the former being keen as is normal, and the latter really just settling into the surroundings.
Ed Dunlop’s two old warriors, JOSHUA TREE and RED CADEAUX were out together, with the latter normally cocking his head to the right while galloping on the Tapeta, attempting to go better in the Dubai World Cup after a second in 2013.
Doug Watson galloped all four of his World Cup night runners on the grass at Meydan, with DUX SCHOLAR looking most fluent of the group which included widely-drawn Godolphin Mile cutback LIMARIO, plus regular wide traveler MEANDRE and also MY CATCH. On Tapeta, Al Bastakiya winner ASMAR and 2012 Golden Shaheen victor KRYPTON FACTOR had all-weather gallops under the eyes of trainer Fawzi Nass and assistant Nico Iguacel. Last year’s Godolphin Mile second HAATHEQ galloped with Ali Al Raihe overseeing at the same time Ismail Mohammed’s Duty Free outsider EDUCATE did similarly.
All of Mike de Kock’s horses worked on the training track, away from the view of the international media.