Group 1 US$250,000 Dubai Kahayla Classic, sponsored by Emaar
Areem, Naseem, Rahka, Musharab & Rasikh – Responsible for five of the 16 runners in the Dubai Kahayla Classic, Majed Al Jahouri has enjoyed a remarkable season for his main employer Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, competing a Group 1 clean sweep at Abu Dhabi, as well as winning Al Maktoum Challenge I with Areem. The trainer said: “Areem has had a very good season with big wins at Abu Dhabi and Meydan. If he stays 2000 metres he could be hard to catch and Ahmed Ajtebi gets on well with him. “Last time at Abu Dhabi Rakha caught Areem close home over 1400 metres but this will be the longest trip he has tried to date but he too is proven on the Meydan surface. “Musharab stays further as he showed winning HH The President’s Cup over 2200 metres but is not proven on Tapeta, while Rasikh has a bit to prove. “Naseem has not won at Meydan but seems to handle Tapeta ok and it is just a privilege to be going into another big race with so many nice horses. I cannot thanks Sheikh Mansour enough for this opportunity.”
Al Mamun Monlau – Al Mamun Monlau, a contender for Saturday’s Kahayla Classic, cantered Tuesday morning at Meydan. Elizabeth Garel, life partner of trainer Jean-Francois Bernard, supervised from the rail as the robust chestnut followed Group 1 winners Dunaden and Shareta around the Meydan Tapeta. “He was a little bit nervous yesterday. Today we came out earlier and he is better,” said Garel.
TM Junior Johnson – “This will be his first start for us and his first outing away from dirt but he is a nice, young horse, with very few miles on the clock,” said trainer Ernst Oertel. “He has been working well and Tadhg O’Shea rides him but there is little between our pair. Whatever he achieves on Saturday, he is hopefully a really nice horse for the future.”
Seraphin Du Paon – “He has won and been second in this before so conditions are certainly not an issue,” Oertel said. “We have put the blinkers on him which we think will help and Adrie de Vries is an excellent jockey on these Purebred Arabians. I have known him a very long time and luckily he was available. “The horse worked very well the other day and we have a lot to look forward to – but I do think Nieshan is the one everyone has to beat.”
Nieshan – “He won the prep race on Super Saturday (Al Maktoum Challenge III) very well and for a third time,” said Gerald Avranche. “His work has been good, conditions are ideal and he will run well – but this is a stronger race than three weeks ago of course.”
Albar Lotois – “It is a nice spare ride and Eric Lemartinel does so well with these Purebred Arabians,” said jockey Ted Durcan. “He is better over slightly further but will certainly be staying on in the straight.”
AF Sanadek – “This horse was in flying form in the early part of the season and then went to Qatar and was an excellent second there,” said jockey Wayne Smith. “This is his toughest task to date and he has to prove he handles the surface but it is a nice spare ride.”
Sahib Du Clos – “The horse had a great season last time but struggled to regain his form this time before bouncing back at Abu Dhabi last time,” said Richard Mullen. “Hopefully that means he is coming back to his best, because he will need to be in a hot race.”
AF Alghabra – “She is a lovely mare and been a great servant to her connections,” said Brett Doyle. “She should run her normal, honest race.”
Versac PY – “He has been a real star for us over the last two seasons and this has always been his main target after he was fourth in this 12 months ago, having won HH The President’s Cup,” said trainer Erwan Charpy. “We decided not to run him in that race again this year so he arrives here a lot fresher than last year. It is a good race but he will run well.”
TM Fred Texas – “He won this last year when I was second on Seraphin Du Paon, a horse I won this race on in 2011, so conditions are certainly not an issue,” said jockey Olivier Peslier. “He has been beaten twice in Doha this year but those runs should have put him spot on for this.”
Group 1 US$10m Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline
Royal Delta – Displaying some of the personality that trainer Bill Mott has described as “sassy,” two-time American champion Royal Delta reared as she jogged past a throng of media onlookers, drawing a slight rebuke from assistant trainer and exercise rider Rodolphe Brisset. Settling immediately, Royal Delta glided into an effortless gallop and cruised once around the track impressively.
Animal Kingdom – On his first morning in Dubai, trainer Graham Motion sent Team Valor International’s 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom for a short burst of speed down the Meydan stretch, with Dubai Racing Club official Jim Cornes clocking the chestnut ridden by Alice Clapham in :36.24 for 600 metres. “That was exactly what I was looking for,” Motion said. “He looks terrific. I was very surprised he had a timed workout because it looked like he was just in an open gallop. He really seems to handle this track very well.”
Dullahan – Two days after his 1000-metre workout, Dullahan jogged a lap around Meydan with Tammy Fox in the saddle as trainer Dale Romans watched while surrounded by international media. “He’s feeling good,” Romans said of the towering chestnut who came off the track with a playful flourish, rearing several times as camera shutters whirred. “I think he’s ready.”
Meandre – It was business as usual for the Andre Fabre-trained Meandre who will line up at the start of the Dubai World Cup on Saturday. On Tuesday morning he pulled out together with his compatriots Dunaden and French Fifteen. Richard Lambert, travelling head lad, said, “He did exactly this morning what he did yesterday. He went for warm up canter and then went a bit quicker. He is in good form and seems to like the surface. He will continue like this until the end of the week.”
Planteur – The 6-year-old son of Danehill Dancer emerged from quarantine to complete one lap of the main track at a gentle canter under trainer Marco Botti’s wife Lucie. “We are very happy with him,” she said. “We think he is in better form than last year [when Planteur finished third behind Monterosso].”
Red Cadeaux – Connections of the Hong Kong Vase and 2011 Emirates Melbourne Cup runner-up report the 7-year-old to be improving on a daily basis.Trainer Ed Dunlop’s travelling head lad Robin Trevor-Jones said, “All is good and he cantered over a mile and a quarter this morning. He is getting better day by day. We had planned to work him on the Turf track midweek but we may stick to the all-weather. He is due to work on Wednesday or Thursday and we will decide which day when his trainer arrives tonight.”
Group 1 US$5 m Dubai Sheema Classic, presented by Longines
Gentildonna – She put in slow laps on turf this morning. Trainer Sei Ishizaka said, “She had better temperament than yesterday. She was not shying and looked to adjust the surroundings here. She did only an easy canter today, but she is in a good form.”
St Nicholas Abbey – The Aidan O’Brien-trained 6-year-old, a neck runner-up to Cirrus Des Aigles in last year’s $5 million Sheema Classic sponsored by Longines, is due to arrive in Dubai early morning March 27 and will not be eligible to train on the main track until March 29. The horse has not run since finishing third behind fellow Sheema Classic contender Little Mike in the November 3 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita, California.
Dunaden – The Mikel Delzangles-trained Dunaden went onto the main track this morning together where he showed once more that he just loves travelling. Dunaden always looks a picture, no matter if it is in Melbourne or Hong Kong.
Aymerec Caldas who looks after him confirmed, “Dunaden went well this morning. He has already put his travelling behind him. He did a warm up canter and then galloped over 1400 meters. He works like he usually does. I think he looks even better than he did in Hong Kong.”
Shareta – Alain de Royer Dupre has sent four horses to Dubai for World Cup night and they all came together onto the main track this morning. Shareta will compete in the Dubai Sheema Classic, Sarkiyla in the Godolphin Mile, Verma in the Dubai Gold Cup and Giofra in the Dubai Duty Free.
They cantered in single file and Serge Renee, travelling head lad for Alain de Royer Dupre, could not single out one of them when he said, “They actually all look really well. They trotted and then went for a little canter over 700 meters. They then walked some more and cantered again. They are actually a lot calmer here than at home. I think they like the change of scenery and relish the sunshine.”
Trailblazer –Trailblazer, who placed fourth in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Turf, did a piece of work on the all-weather track with Faridat owned by the same owner, Mr. Koji Maeda. Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee who has just arrived Dubai this morning, mentioned that he missed seeing the horse’s work, however as he looked at his form after the trackwork, he thought the horse was in good shape and has firm muscles.
“As for the turf condition at Meydan, it is cushioned well, which needs more power to handle. But the all-weather track has not suited him, so I have decided to change him to run on turf again,” said the trainer. “ The fields will be strong enough to compete with, but I think the preparation race was a big effect for Saturday.
“The travel to America last year was a good experience for him and our stable staff. There were also some things that we had to th~eink again. The most important thing is to bring the lead-horse with him. I am very thankful to the owner and trainer of Faridat this time.”
Girolamo – Germany’s former champion jockey turned trainer Peter Schiergen took over in the saddle on his lightly raced Girolamo and completed a serious workout in company with an experienced stablemate.
Slotted in about two lengths behind his companion from the outset of the gallop over the 1400-metre circuit, Girolamo drew alongside on the final turn and was pushed out to maintain a length advantage to the line.
Royal Diamond – Irish galloper Royal Diamond was taken to the turf training track adjacent to Meydan where he worked steadily.
Very Nice Name – The Alban de Mieulle-trained 4-year-old, a revelation since migrating from France to Qatar in October, is due to arrive in Dubai from Doha on March 27. He will be eligible to train on the main track March 28. The colt, who races for Umm Qarn Racing, won the February 28 HH the Emir Trophy Thoroughbreds International under French pilot Olivier Peslier to post his third straight win in Qatar.