UAE Derby: Gray Magician ‘Belongs In This Race,’ Plus Que Parfait ‘Full Of Energy’

by | 03.25.2019 | 2:55pm
Plus Que Parfait "full of energy" ahead of UAE Derby

Derma Louvre—UAE Derby contender Derma Louvre, of Japan, galloped a lap and a half around the Meydan dirt track first thing this morning with his regular exercise rider and groom, Takahiro Muro in the irons.

“This was his first time travelling but so we had to see how he shipped, but there were no problems during the flight, and he has since settled into his surroundings well,” said manager Hiroshi Ando.

Gray Magician—The Peter Miller-trained Gray Magician may qualify for a starting berth in the Kentucky Derby with a stellar performance in the UAE, but first things first.

“He would have to show me Saturday night that he belongs in the Kentucky Derby, and then bounce back quickly as well. If he runs an outstanding race then we would certainly consider it. I'm a one day at a time and one race at a time kind of guy. We're not going to get ahead of ourselves. I think he certainly belongs in this race. I think the Kentucky Derby is another story. But horses, especially young horses, get good quickly,” said Miller.

Gray Magician, who is owned by Wachtel Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber, came into Miller's Southern California-based stable after making three starts for another trainer and then graduated from the maiden ranks with a spectacular win at Del Mar in November the first time he was saddled by him. Gray Magician has yet to win a stakes race, but Miller has no compunctions about sending him here for the UAE Derby.

“I think it's a wide-open race. I think he's as good as any of them if he runs his race and if he gets the trip. All these things are going to come into play but I'm pleased with how the horse shipped over and how he looks. He's a very good horse and he's in good form. It's a wide-open field this year and that's why we decided to take a chance. Whoever is best on that day is going to pose for a picture,” he said.

Miller said he will send the son of Graydar out for a 600m blow out on Tuesday morning and that Joel Rosario will ride him in the race.

Jahbath—William Haggas will arrive later in the week to oversee the progress of the ultra-promising son of Mukhadram, who made a late juvenile debut in early October and has already collected four wins on the bounce. The colt was out on the dirt track just after 7:00 a.m. under regular partner Simon Scott.

“He travelled well and his temperature is normal, so we're happy so far,” Haggas said. “He just had a quiet canter on the dirt and will do the same tomorrow.”

Walking Thunder—The Phoenix Ladies Syndicate has made a dream start to its first season of ownership, and its flagbearer Walking Thunder continues to please in his preparation for the UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group at Ahmad bin Harmash's desert stable.

Walking Thunder, who will be accompanied to post by the same owners' Golden Jaguar and Superior, had a routine canter on Monday, following a sterner piece of week the day before.

A progressive winner of his first three races, Walking Thunder failed to fire on all cylinders when a running-on second to pace-making winner Estihdaaf in the UAE 200 Guineas on his most recent outing.

Plus Que Parfait—Plus Que Parfait means more than perfect in French and that was the word on Imperial Racing LLC's entrant on Monday morning.

“We galloped a-mile-and-a-quarter (2000m) this morning and he tore down the track and went nice. He's feeling great and doing absolutely wonderful since he arrived on Wednesday evening from South Florida. I'm very happy with him and the way he shipped over here. He's carrying his weight very well and eating very well. He's full of energy so we're over the moon,” said Tommy Molloy, the assistant to trainer Brian Walsh and the exercise rider.

Walsh is expected to arrive in Dubai Monday evening and be on track Tuesday when the horse will gallop in the morning and get a schooling lesson in the evening.

Stubbins—The son of Morning Line and Sierra Vista travelling over from the United States together with stable companion Pavel. On Monday morning, the 3-year-old was one of the first horses to come out onto the dirt track at Meydan. Supervised by Leandro Mora, who is Doug O'Neill's assistant, he worked over 800m.

Leandro Mora said afterward: “He galloped in about 50, 51. Overall, he covered about 2600m. I was pleased. He was pretty good. It was the idea to work him a bit faster today, so tomorrow he will just eat and sleep.”

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