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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

UAE Derby Track Notes


Thursday's track notes.

Ahlaain – David Simcock’s runner again went around the All-Weather track under the trainer’s wife, Jenny, without being asked for any serious work.
Alexander Pope, Master of Hounds – Aidan O’Brien’s UAE contenders cleared quarantine and spent half-an-hour on the track in company with Dubai World Cup hope Cape Blanco.

Mantoba – Brian Meehan brought Mantoba out on to the track and schooled him through the tunnel, parade ring, pre-parade ring and give him a steady canter on the track in company with stablemate Dangerous Midge.
Sweet Ducky – For the third consecutive day, American-raced Sweet Ducky was joined by jockey Tom Queally on the All-Weather track at Meydan. Following an easy gallop, new trainer Herman Brown seemed more positive about the Pulpit colt than he had earlier in the week, when Sweet Ducky was still unsettled following the long journey to Dubai from Florida.

“All is good; I’m happy with the horse,” Brown said. “He’s relaxed really well in the last couple of days. Now it’s going to be a question of how he handles the surface.”

Recently purchased by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, Sweet Ducky has never raced on an All-Weather track, with his previous six starts on dirt in the United States. Another question mark is how the colt, who has raced on the pace and never won further than 1600m (one mile), will negotiate the 1900m (about 1 3/16 miles) distance of the UAE Derby and the differing speed tactics of an international race featuring older Southern Hemisphere-breds.

“We can’t commit to the front; we’ll leave it to the jockey,” said Brown. “I’m just hoping with age that (Sweet Ducky) is getting stronger as he goes along. We’ll ride him cautiously and give him every chance.”

Utley – Utley disappointed on his final juvenile run at the Breeders’ Cup but trainer John Gosden had no hesitation in bringing him to Dubai for the US$2 million UAE Derby.

“He had trouble on the track at Churchill Downs as he couldn’t get any grip, like a lot of horses,” said Gosden. “I am happy with him in every way, apart from the draw. Stall 10 makes life tough, but there is lovely prize money to run at.”

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