RACING journeyman Peter Ward popped in at Mike de Kock’s Dubai stables and sourced some early comments about the stable’s formidable group of runners on the night.
Dubai World Cup
Treasure Beach: “We were very happy with him on Super Saturday and he ran a very good trial on his first all-weather start, staying on well having been last turning in.
“He has definitely improved a lot, both mentally and physically since then and is continuing to do so. Perhaps ideally I would have preferred another couple of weeks but he is in good shape and we expect him to go well.”
Dubai Sheema Classic
Await The Dawn: “He is a horse who has pleased us pretty much all along as he has overcome his earlier problems and has been in good shape. He needed his first run badly and showed a great turn of foot to win his second outing before being undone by the total lack of pace on Super Saturday.
“He is a smart horse and, with a bit of pace in the race and some luck he should be a player.”
Await The Dawn (‘Pikey’ Cosgrave) and The Apache (Johnny Geroudis) in the Meydan training paddock on Saturday morning. (Trevor Brown)
Dubai Duty Free
The Apache: “He has done nothing wrong in his two starts, winning the first one and then just touched off on Super Saturday. This looks a hot race but I think he has improved again over the last three weeks and he will run a solid race.”
Mushreq: “He was so busy in the early part of the year that we have freshened him up since his win in the Al Fahidi Fort five weeks ago. Nothing went right in either of his first two starts and it was a case of third time lucky with him.
“That was only a handicap though and we tried him back on Tapeta then in Al Maktoum Challenge II before switching back to grass for that Al Fahidi Fort. He is in really good form and hopefully is still improving.”
Igugu: “She has improved with each of her two starts and hopefully we have sorted out the hormone issues which were making it difficult to train her as we would have liked. She is certainly a lot fitter this time but this is obviously the strongest race she will have contested in Dubai.
“Hopefully she can bounce back to something like her best.”
Al Quoz Sprint
Shea Shea: “We knew he had improved a lot from his first run and expected a big effort on Super Saturday and he certainly did not let us down. You could not fail to be impressed with that and Christophe (Soumillon) certainly was.
“He must have a serious chance but this is a stronger race and I see the American horse Varsity has a blisteringly fast winning time to his credit. He would be a big danger if showing that kind of speed but Shea Shea is at least as well as he was three weeks ago, hopefully a bit better.”
Kavanagh: “He won very well last time but that was only a handicap and this is a lot tougher. He has ground to make up on several of these but he tends to run his bets races after a break so the fact he has been off four weeks should be in his favour.
“He is in good shape and will not be disgraced.”
Soft Falling Rain: “This is certainly his toughest task ever and a very big test indeed against his elders but he certainly deserves his chance in this company and we are really looking forward to it because we are going to find out just how good he is.
“He has so much speed the 1600m is as far as he wants to go but he goes well on the surface and we have freshened him up. However, he fares, he will be off to England where the tracks should really suit him.”
Master Of Hounds: “He is basically a happy horse who goes well on either surface and people tend to forget he is a Group 1 winner. He has run well both his outings this season and there is no reason he should not do so again.”
Rerouted: “He has had a good season with two wins already and the form of his two defeats is pretty strong so deserves his chance in this company.”
Zahee: “He has improved with each of his outings but possibly just lacks that touch of class to win this but he will certainly run an honest, solid race.”
Emotif: “She is as fit as we have had her this season and her condition continues to improve. She needs to raise her game markedly to be competitive but she is fit and well.”
Star Empire: “He is another probably just short of the mark classwise but he is as honest as the day is long and will give his best as always.”
Headline photo: Soft Falling Rain winning in Dubai.(Andrew Watkins).
Shea Shea and The Apache look to have serious winning chances and so too should Soft Falling Rain, whose weight for age allowance does not seem enough, but will have the man who has the magic touch at Meydan, Paul Hanagan, in the saddle.
Good luck team De Kock 🙂