Notes from some of the riders and trainers the day before the big race
25 March 2016, Dubai, UAE ~ The Opening race on the Dubai World Cup card for 26 March is the Dubai Kahayla Clasic at 2000m on the dirt.
Arkan (OM) – (PP 6)The eight-time winner on dirt in his native Oman, went out for a leisurely walk in the Dubai World Cup quarantine barn complex, taking it easy the day before the race. Trainer Hamood Al Raqadi said the five-year-old chestnut also walked on Thursday after galloping on the Meydan dirt track on Wednesday. Arkan always tries in his races and is expected to do the same on Saturday, according to his trainer.
“He is a good horse—he likes to work and to do his best, always,” said Raqadi, noting that the competition in the race will be very tough as virtually all the 14 other runners have been proven in Group 1 competition.
In his most recent start, Arkan finished fifth in the Group 1 HH The Emir’s Sword in Qatar, a race run over 2400m on turf, and prior to that he was second in the Group 2 Qatar Derby over 2000m on turf on December 30. Among the runners behind Arkan at the finish line in the HH The Emir’s Sword was fellow entrant TM Thunder Struck (USA).
TM Thunder Struck (US) – (PP1) Remained in the international quarantine yard where his rider Eric Ventrou walked him. He explained: “We want him to be fresh tomorrow, so I just walked him around the yard this morning. He is in good form, has eaten everything and everything is ready for tomorrow.”
Handassa (FR) – (PP4) Cantered around the main track at Meydan and quickened over the final 400m.
His trainer François Rohaut explained: “He cantered and then stretched in the final 400m to get rid of that bit of freshness. I like him fresh but yesterday he was a bit tense and today he was much calmer. I don’t know what happened but all of the horses had an off day, as none of them really ate their food. He has now reached his normal weight again and everything is good.”
Lares de Pine (ITY) – (PP13) Has quickly acclimatized even though he arrived late. His work rider confirmed that he has his ideal racing weight. On Friday morning he just cantered once round the track and his connections were very happy with him.
Mahess Du Soleil (GB) – (PP9) Thomas Fourcy, who had come to Meydan on the request of his colleague Arnaud Chaillé, watched Mahess du Soleil canter once round the main track at Meydan. He said: “He just did a steady canter and is in good form. He bucked once, which means he is good form and shows that he hasn’t changed one bit since he left my yard. He is always like that, so it’s a good sign. He likes to express himself and is very relaxed.”