The action has been fast and furious at Meydan the last two days, and combined with getting the full race analysis in order, recording our preview show, and assorted other responsibilities, it’s been difficult to keep a full focus on everything happening at trackwork. Here are a few thoughts from the last two days.
- Godolphin Mile hope PRAYER FOR RELIEF continues to look better as the days go on and seems to be in with a growing chance for the race. He was in fine fettle again on Thursday morning.
- RICH TAPESTRY stretched his legs with some speed work on Thursday, catching him in an unofficial 38.9 seconds for 600 meters. Granted, we had a terrible angle to get him at the finish on the clock, but the start was spot-on. Things haven’t been straightforward on this trip, but today was a boost.
- The Japanese filly HARP STAR got what we are learning was a typical hard work on Wednesday, getting several cracks of the whip.
- PENIAPHOBIA took some awkward strides on the dirt Thursday, in pictures well-captured by the Dubai Racing Club. His draw in gate 16 is very interesting. On the surface, it seems very positive, but there is a massive amount of speed just to his inside and they could back up onto him at some point.
- Joel Rosario worked HAATHEQ for local trainer Ali Al Raihe in a Godolphin Mile pick-up mount. They went even splits around the course for 800 meters. This is the same Haatheq who was second in the race, and nearly nicked it, in 2013. We had a chance to chat with Rosario after and he is glowing about his chances on Lea, looking to become one of the three jockeys to win multiple renewals of the Dubai World Cup.
- LUCKY NINE, our Golden Shaheen tip, has exhibited some high head carriage in the morning, but are told this is standard fare for him back home in Hong Kong, and should not be much cause for concern.
- Dubai Turf hope MSHAWISH, who galloped well the first few days of the week, missed Thursday work with a hoof bruise, which Bradley Weisbord, US racing manager for Al Shaqab, reported. The hope was to have him back on track for Friday morning, but is surely a dash to their chances.
- Sheema Classic chance DESIGNS ON ROME hasn’t turned a hair the wrong way all week, with especially good looks on both Wednesday and Thursday. John Moore is a keen observer and seems quietly confident that his horse will run his race in the same fashion they’ve come to expect.
- Julian Smart caught up with us at Breakfast with the Stars and had a good chat about his Kahayla Classic contenders TARAF, and DJANIKA DES FORGES, both of whom we fancied regardless of the conversation. Smart said he only put Taraf in the race because of her pedigree, but American purebred stallion Burning Sand.