Here are Friday's horse racing notes for the Dubai World Cup contenders:
Audible—“Best I've ever seen him go,” Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm laughed as Audible briefly emerged from the fog that descended over Meydan Racecourse Friday morning, only to be shrouded again as he went through his gallop. As he stood on the rail and took in what he could of Audible in advance of Saturday's signature test, Walden tucked into the fact that what he has seen from the son of Into Mischief since arriving in Dubai confirmed to him that the colt was as ready as he could be for his international test.
Under exercise rider Amelia Green, Audible came to the track in his usual time slot shortly after 7:00 a.m. to gallop twice around. He paused for a handful of moments to observe the onlookers before getting into his routine and showcasing the good flesh he had maintained throughout his venture.
“He went well, he looked happy. You like to see them happy and bright and it doesn't always go that way,” said Walden, president and CEO of WinStar Farm, which co-owns Audible along with China Horse Club, Starlight Racing, and Head of Plains Partners. “When you come this far, it is a bit of relief. Hopefully he can come back to himself a little bit. His last race was disappointing, the last two races really, but hopefully he'll come back to himself here.”
Dolkong—Trainer Simon Foster reported Dolkong was doing well ahead of Saturday's Dubai World Cup.
“He just did a quiet lap of the training track as planned this morning, Foster said. “All well. We're ready to go and delighted to be there.”
Gunnevera—As with the rest of the week, Antonio Sano's 5-year-old kept it casual on the dirt track as he returns for the race for the second time. Instead of Joel Rosario, who was aboard 12 months ago when Gunnevera took eighth after a troubled preparation, Sano has decided to give his fellow Venezuelan-born Emisael Jaramillo the big-race mount.
“He did half a lap jogging the opposite way around the track, then a lap and a half of galloping, very similar to yesterday's style,” said Sano's son and assistant, Alex. “In regard to the jockey, it's his first time riding him in a race, but he has breezed him back in Florida. He did his last breeze with the horse Monday before last. They went (1200m) in 1:13:4. He did it very, very well and the jockey had a lot of confidence in the horse after the workout, he's very excited about it.”
K T Brave—K T Brave was out at 5:00 a.m. to gallop two laps around the Meydan dirt track as a final preparation for the Dubai World Cup.
“Based on his action, the Meydan dirt track really seems to suit him well,” said his trainer Haruki Sugiyama. “He is in good condition going into the race.”
New Trails—The first runner in the Dubai World Cup for UAE trainer Ahmad bin Harmash and his stable jockey Connor Beasley, New Trails completed his big-race preparation on Friday away from the limelight and media attention, as usual.
Bin Harmash trains at a smart desert site half an hour from the bustle of Dubai, where New Trails hacked round the 3200m circuit, before heading off to be fitted with his race day shoes.
“We train our horses barefoot,” the trainer explained. “We then put on the front shoes the day before a race and the hind shoes on the morning itself. It works for the horses, so there has been no need to change the routine.”
Bred by Darley and formerly owned by Godolphin, New Trails is the least experienced runner in the field, with just eight outings, broken by a layoff of 18 months between leaving master French trainer Andre Fabre and reappearing for Bin Harmash last November.
“New Trails has improved all season and I've been very pleased with his work since he ran fourth in the Al Maktoum Challenge R3,” Bin Harmash said. “I don't think his lack of experience will count against him, but we may not see him at his very best until next year.”
Pavel—With only one day to go before the Dubai World Cup, the Doug O'Neill-trained Pavel came onto the dirt track on Friday morning, where he did his usual routine of cantering steadily around the track.
Leandro Mora, who has been with him every step of the way, said: “It's another great day. Pavel came out to do his gallop, came back home and he is as good as he is going to be. There is nothing to report. We are just going to sit and wait until tomorrow.”
Seeking the Soul—The key to getting Charles Fipke's Seeking the Soul through his final day of training before the Dubai World Cup was sticking to the same routine he has kept all week, according to trainer Dallas Stewart. As he has done all week, the 6-year-old Perfect Soul horse came on the track at 5:00 a.m. and galloped once around in the dense fog.
“We're keeping to our plan,” Stewart said. “We're not changing anything now.”
Stewart will once again partner with Mike Smith, one year after teaming up for a fifth-place finish with Forever Unbridled.
“You can't get too far behind on this track, because you're not going to make up ground and it's 'See you next year,'” Stewart said. “Forever Unbridled did not get a good trip.”
Thunder Snow—Having provided Saeed bin Suroor his eighth Dubai World Cup success last year, Thunder Snow, already the only horse to have won the UAE Derby and the Dubai World Cup, bids to become the first dual winner of the world's richest horse race on Saturday.
“This has been his target since the Breeders' Cup in November,” Bin Suroor said. “The plan was always to wait for Super Saturday when he pleased us to put him spot on for Saturday. We have been very pleased with his work and he is in great form. We would have preferred a lower draw but he drawn wide last year.”
Yoshida – A Grade 1 winner on turf and dirt, Yoshida will look to add to his tremendous credentials in Saturday night's Dubai World Cup. Trained by Bill Mott for owners China Horse Club International Ltd., WinStar Farm, Starlight Racing, and Head of Plains Partners, the 5-year-old son of Heart's Cry has made a good impression during morning track work on the Meydan dirt this week under the care of Mott's son and assistant, Riley Mott. Mott led Yoshida, with exercise rider Penny Gardiner up, at 7:00 a.m. Friday to go through his final preparations for the talented bay's third dirt start.
“He just had a normal gallop to get him into the race. He looks good and is acting well,” Mott said.
Bred in Japan by Northern Farm, Yoshida has notched four of his five career wins on the turf including a three-quarter length score in the Grade 1 Turf Classic at Churchill Downs last May. He made his dirt debut in the Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga in September 2018 and closed from tenth to first to defeat Dubai World Cup rival Gunnevera by two lengths. Yoshida followed up his victorious dirt debut with a strong fourth, following a troubled start, in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs.
Out of the Grade 1-winning mare Hilda's Passion, who captured the Ballerina at Saratoga, the impeccably bred Yoshida will retire to stud at WinStar Farm at the end of his 2019 campaign. He will be joined in stallion duty at WinStar Farm by fellow Dubai World Cup contender Audible. The future Kentucky stallions followed each other to the Meydan dirt on Friday with both Elliott Walden (WinStar) and Sol Kumin (Head of Plains) trackside to watch their contenders in action.
“Between Yoshida and Audible, they have two very formidable chances. It's very exciting for WinStar and China Horse Club and the other partners. They selected them both as yearlings out of the sale and it's a testament to the job they do that they are both Grade 1 winners,” Mott said.
Yoshida will break from post 10 in the Dubai World Cup with top New York-based jockey Jose Ortiz in the irons.
“I don't think the draw will hurt us. He's a pretty adaptable horse,” Mott said.
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