With much of the media off to the annual Godolphin showcase at Al Quoz Paddocks, the gaggle was relatively light this morning but with plenty of action on the track. Today’s best mover: BUENA VISTA. The pride of Japan worked 1,200 metres on the Tapeta with her traditional hood, and while the final time was relatively slow in 1:22.82, her finishing kick was off the charts. Jim Cornes, international stable coordinator and clocker caught the daughter of Special Week through 200-metre fraction of 15.66, 14.92, 15.10, 14.91 and when asked to quicken, responded with a sensational final 400 metres with 200 splits of 11.96 and an eye-popping 10.27. Buena Vista should handle this surface without a problem given her affinity to work over the track on Wednesday.
ROCKET MAN continues to bask in the Dubai sun, galloping with a beautifully bowed neck around the Tapeta. The Dubai Golden Shaheen second from a year ago struck an awesome pose through two laps, appearing to have an explosive burst ready at any moment. Felix Coetzee took the colt through his paces and will be aboard this weekend.
On the turf course, Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile (G1) winner BEAUTY FLASH (pictured below) continued to impress. Working with a horse brought from home, specifically to assist in training, Beauty Flash broke off behind a length behind his work mate turning for home at the top of the turf straight and accelerated past, completing 600 metres in 35.54 seconds, finishing two lengths better than his company. He will be part of a pace presence in the Dubai Duty Free that includes TAZEEZ, BETTER THAN EVER, and DERBAAS.
GIO PONTI continues to improve, looking better Wednesday than the previous two days combined. With Christophe Lorieul aboard, reportedly instructed to complete a traditional two-minute lick, he worked faster than Buena Vista, completing 1,200 metres in 1:21.99. The internal fractions of the work were 14.65, 13.39, 13.16, 13.93, 13.46, and 13.40. While his lack of a true prep is still the biggest question mark, his marked improvement as the week goes by patterns his progression from 2010, when he eventually finished fourth beaten just more than a length behind Gloria De Campeao and Lizard’s Desire in the same race.
SUNNY KING looked quite frenetic on the track yesterday but settled nice and was still his typical quirky self according to regular Hong Kong observers here. His ability to close is a shining strength for the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) and is not without a chance to win the whole thing.
STRADIVINSKY struck a pose this morning in a relatively easy an uneventful lap for Rick Dutrow, with Michelle Nihei aboard for the gallop.
UTLEY, going in the UAE Derby for trainer John Gosden, looked to relish the Tapeta this morning. Many on track think this is the best edition of the $2 million race, and this guy, off the shelf, will have his hands full no matter how good he appeared today.