2012 Dubai World Cup - Connection Comments from Japan Team and Other Popular Picks
Transcend (No. 10 in the Dubai World Cup)
Trainer, Takayuki Yasuda
Yasuda commented, "We breezed him on Sunday, so he had only a light gallop Wednesday. In his previous start (February Stakes), the pace was too high for him, which made him uncharacteristically fall behind and he finished a poor 7th. He is in good shape, about the same as last year when he ran second in the Dubai World Cup. I would rather have an outside draw than one in the middle, so we won't be likely to get sandwiched in. A distance of 1,800 meters or 2,000 meters is best for him and the Tapeta surface, which requires power, should suit him."
Owner, Koji Maeda
"Number 10 is what I wanted to draw because we can then keep an eye on the runners to our inside."
Assistant trainer, Hisami Yamashita
"Everything has gone according to plan up to this point."
Smart Falcon (No. 5 in the Dubai World Cup)
Trainer, Ken Kozaki
"He's looking quite dynamic now and his times are what we expected. He turned in a good piece of fast work the other day. He'd seemed to have lost a bit of condition after he arrived in Dubai but he is back in shape. He's different than before, although we're doing the same thing we do in Japan. Since there's no long haul to the race, I have to be careful not to let him put on weight before then. We have been targeting the Dubai World Cup since last year and planned his race schedule around this race, so we are very honored to have been invited. Smart Falcon is a more talented horse than we think. He has beaten Transcend last year, and Transcend is a very good horse. Same with Eishin Flash, who is a Japanese Derby winner. But, all the other members of the field must be very good. I always think of my horse as the challenger. The draw is ideal. It's not too far inside. It was what we wanted."
Assistant trainer, Kenta Kotani
"He was a little tense when he worked on the main track early in the week, but he's in a better state of mind now. He's eating well and maintaining his condition."
Jockey, Yutaka Take
"I rode him Thursday for the first time since I worked him at home on the 15th. He was fresh, maybe too fresh, and wanted to go faster at the final turn, so I jogged on the stretch. Though I'd heard he had lost some weight from the trip over, he didn't look like he had to me. He is in quite good form. As for the all-weather, it is my first time to work over the surface. It's sticky and needs power. I think Smart Falcon is well-suited to the track. He has a lot experience on different courses in Japan and this should serve him well in getting used to the new surroundings. I am very proud to be here and run in the Dubai World Cup, one of the most prestigious stages in the world horse racing. I was supposed to race in the Dubai World Cup 2003 with Gold Allure, but we had to cancel the trip. It's a race I've always dreamed of, and I'm delighted to be here with the son of Gold Allure."
Eishin Flash (No. 2 in the Dubai World Cup)
Trainer – Hideaki Fujiwara
"He galloped well and looked happy. Everything is going as usual, which is the most important thing. I was quite concerned about the trip and whether I could maintain his condition but he looks little different than when he's in Japan. His weight hasn't changed much. If he can show us the Eishin Flash ability he has, we'll have no regrets. I imagine that the race will become tough especially in the closing stage, so his fast work was good preparation. He is very relaxed even in the different surroundings. That is one of his strong points. Thanks to Sheikh Mohammed, we are able to be here to compete. The best thing would be a repeat of last year. I have faith in my horse. As for the draw, I wanted to be in the middle, but those slots were all gone. He has done well on the inside at home, so it's OK."
Dark Shadow (No. 7 in the Dubai Duty Free)
Assistant trainer, Masanori Watanabe
"He has no problems during the trip and everything is going well. We ran him on the grass on the weekend and he is in good shape. Mentally he's doing well too. His responses are good too and he's concentrating on his work."
A Shin Virgo (No. 4 in the Al-Quoz Sprint)
A Shin Virgo
Trainer, Ken Kozaki
"She won the Ibis last year so it looks like the warmer weather suits her. She has won over a straight 1,000 meters twice in two starts and 55 kg will look good. She's shed her winter coat, is looking good and eating well. She gave us a strong gallop Wednesday and I think she got the feel of the track. Usually, she's tense and sometimes nervous, so I was very surprised that she wasn't shying when she walked along the outside rail where there were lots of reporters and photographers."
Assistant trainer, Kazuki Takada
"There was no hitch with the starting gate. She was settled in the gate and had no problems. She has already regained the weight she lost coming here and her condition is improving each day."
Genten (No. 5 in the UAE Derby)
Trainer, Yoshito Yahagi
"I felt very relieved to see my horses are in good shape. I think it's very hard for horses to maintain their best condition when they travel abroad, but they've handled the long flight well and have not lost any weight. Genten looked good galloping. He really doesn't look like a 3-year-old. I think he'll be able to handle the surface. Of course, if I hadn't thought so, I wouldn't have brought him here. The owner was also happy with his condition and the horse seems to be enjoying it here."
|Makani Bisty (No. 1 in the Dubai Gold Cup)
Trainer, Yoshito Yahagi
"After the Monday trackwork actually, Makani Bisty had a small accident and hurt his right front hoof a bit due to the firm track condition. I expected there would be some small accidents when we travel abroad. My two horses had hard workouts before they left for Dubai. I thought the all-weather surface might be a bit firm so I'm working them on the turf now. He's OK now and worked very well. Jockey Futoshi Komaki will be up and give him a bit strong work on turf Friday morning."
Other comments from likely popular picks;
|Game on Dude (USA, No. 14 in the Dubai World Cup)
Trainer, Tim Yakteen (who is overseeing the Bob Baffert-trained horses)
"There's a lot more energy. It's good. They're going to have a lot more going on race night as well."
|So You Think (Ireland, No. 4 in the Dubai World Cup)
Traveling head lad, Patrick Keating
"The horses (including Daddy Long Legs and Wrote) all traveled well, and arrived here in good order, no problems whatsoever. They have all had uninterrupted preparations in Ireland, as the weather back home over the winter has been OK. We have a bigger team here this year than in the past, and I'd say they all come here with chances."
|Royal Delta (USA, No. 7 in the Dubai World Cup)
Trainer, Bill Mott
"It was a regular gallop, nothing fancy, but she looked great to me. We wouldn't change a thing.
It looks like there is some good speed in the race—Game On Dude, Smart Falcon and Capponi. We could be in a stalking position just behind the leaders. Hopefully, we're not far off them."
|Prince Bishop (UAE, No. 12 in the Dubai World Cup)
Trainer, Saeed bin Suroor
"Prince Bishop has done well in Dubai through the winter but this is a bigger test. We hope he can run a good race in the Dubai World Cup but he needs to show more than he has done so far to be competitive."
|Ambitious Dragon (HK, No. 4 in the Dubai Duty Free)
Trainer, Tony Millard
"I'm happy with Ambitious Dragon, he's a horse with a very good temperament and he's settling in nicely. We gave him a gentle canter Thursday morning. He did some faster work on Sunday but he trailed nicely in Hong Kong last week so the real hard work is done."
|Joy and Fun (HK, No. 6 in the Al Quoz Sprint)
Trainer, Derek Cruz
"I have given him a decent hit-out and he's pulled up not even blowing. He's just so well and he loves it here. The work is all done now. We're just really looking forward to the big day."
|Sole Power (Ireland, No. 15 in the Al Quoz Sprint)
Trainer, Edward Lynam
"He did a steady gallop on the all-weather. That is it now and he is ready for Saturday. He's in great order and will come on for that good run here a few weeks back when he was touched off in second. I just hope they go fast enough to give him a tow into the race and so he can be covered up for as long as possible. There looks to be speed on both sides of this race. I hope they go a bit quicker than in the race on Super Saturday when they went very slow early on and it meant our horse could not get cover for long enough. I'd prefer if my fellow was 100-1 again. He'd win for sure then!"
|Ortensia (Australia, No. 10 in the Al Quoz Sprint)
Trainer, Paul Messara
"She's done everything asked of her since she's been here and the straight 1,000 meter on the turf will give her the chance to put in a strong finish."
|Nocturnal Affair (Ireland, No. 5 in the Al Quoz Sprint)
Trainer, David Marnane
"He has been in great form all Carnival. I suppose he has to improve a little bit on his third-placed run last time but if he can run the time he did when he won his previous start that will put him in the shake-up. He is as good as I can have him, so we're hopeful. I am delighted with the way he is training at the moment, although it is a tough race with several Group 1 winners there. But my horse has progressed all the time, he knows this place well. It will be all about where the pace of the race is and it looks as though we have a pretty good draw. There are some good ones around us, which is encouraging."
|Entifaadha (UK, No. 11 in the UAE Derby)
Trainer, William Haggas
"He has been out here a while and I have been thrilled with him. He is in good form, but will need to be!"
Jockey, Richard Hills
"For me, it's a more competitive race than last year. There is a Breeders' Cup winner (Wrote) in there, along with two or three others, but you could virtually throw a blanket over the rest of us."
|Lucky Chappy (USA, No. 1 in the UAE Derby)
Trainer, Graham Motion
"Everything went smoothly this morning. He had a proper gallop without any unusual events. As I read in a quote by Bob Baffert, this is one of the places where you take them over and you don't know what to expect in the race—it's so hard to evaluate. But, I guess that's one of the things that makes it so special."
|Fox Hunt (UAE, No. 11 in the Dubai Gold Cup)
Trainer, Mahmoud Al Zarooni
"Fox Hunt is a very consistent sort and has performed very well in Dubai this year. He is tough and durable and was at the top of his form when winning earlier this month. I hope he can continue to run up to his best in the Dubai Gold Cup."
|Opinion Poll (UAE, No. 10 in the Dubai Gold Cup)
Trainer, Mahmoud Al Zarooni
"Opinion Poll needed his first run of the year. He has improved for that and we're looking forward to him running up to his best on Saturday."
|Mikhail Glinka (South Africa, No. 8 in the Dubai Gold Cup)
Trainer, Herman Brown
"We have six runners on the night and they all seem very well and in great form – the best I have had them this year. We have done OK at the Carnival but having as many runners as we can on Saturday has always been the target. We could have gone to the Dubai Sheema Classic with Mikhail Glinka but, realistically, the Dubai Gold Cup looked a more viable winning opportunity. We know he stays well and I am hoping for a big run. We also have Bronze Cannon in the race but Mikhail Glinka looks our main hope."
* Please visit the following websites for more information.
Dubai World Cup: http://www.dubairacingclub.com/dubai-world-cup
Dubai Racing Club: http://www.dubairacingclub.com/
Emirates Racing Authority: http://www.emiratesracing.com/