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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

UAE Derby Notes: Thursday, March 29, 2018


Edited by Dick Downey

Gold Town – He completed his preparation for Saturday's UAE Derby with a blowout on the grass at Godolphin's Marmoom stables on Wednesday, and had a gentle spin around the dirt track there this morning.

“What he has done here has been impressive, but Saturday is a step up for him,” trainer Charlie Appleby said. “He improved moving up in distance from the Trial to the Guineas, I hope he can do the same again into the Derby. He is taking on better horses this time, and this race is far tougher than his last two, but hopefully he can rise to the challenge. We have been thinking about the Kentucky Derby, but let’s get to Saturday first and see how he gets on there.

“He does like running on dirt, and the switch to dirt along with him being gelded have made a huge difference to him.”

Mendelssohn – Trainer Aidan O’Brien said: “He has drawn well in the Derby. Things have gone to plan with him.”

Rayya – Rayya enjoyed an easy workload on Thursday morning. Jockey Pat Dobbs will look to make Rayya’s Meydan swansong a winning one with a prominent trip.

“She cantered 2000 meters and is in great shape. She’s nice and relaxed. We’re very happy with her,” trainer Doug Watson said. “She’ll go forward. If something really wants to go in front of her then we’ll probably let them go and let Pat decide after that."

Watson was in good spirits on Thursday on the heels of accepting honours as Champion Trainer at Wednesday’s Dubai World Cup post position draw.

A native of New York who made stops in New Jersey, Chicago and Ohio before finding his way to Dubai, Watson spent 10 years as assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Watson, based out of Red Stables, admits he never expected to top the charts in Dubai.

“Not at all. It wasn't on the radar until after I finished college. I've had some fortunate steps along the way, including being associated with Kiaran McLaughlin and the Maktoum family,” Watson said. "It's been 24 years now, almost half my life, but I really like it here. I get home for a month every year, but it's a nice way of life over here."

Reride - No notes.

Ruggero - No notes.

Taiki Ferveur – Stayed in the quarantine area today after having had his fast work yesterday. He will likely be out on the track tomorrow.

Threeandfourpence - No notes.

Seahenge - No notes.

Yulong Warrior – Former UAE champion jockey Richard Mullen rates Yulong Warrior as “the dark horse” in the race.

Yulong Warrior, who was purchased for £360,000 at a boutique sale in London last June to race in Dubai, has improved race-by-race in three outings over the Meydan dirt course. The latest, on Super Saturday, was the most remarkable, as he quickly raced clear from his number one stall in the listed Al Bastakiya and won by 11 1/2 lengths.

The Emirates Racing Authority handicapper gave Yulong Warrior an official mark of 101 for the effort, placing him at the bottom of the ratings for the nine-strong field, and Mullen admitted, “He’s got to improve again on Saturday to be in with a chance.”

However, Mullen quickly added: “His work on Monday was very good. He wasn’t ready to run before the new year, but he’s really grown up mentally, and this week’s work tells me he’s come on again.”

Trainer Satish Seemar unleashes what he describes as “the best-ever team I have fielded” across the $30 million spectacular on Saturday.

Reporting on Thursday morning’s exercise, he said, “All’s well, and they are all in good shape.
They did a nice hack canter separately. The only difference from when they did their last work on Monday was that we went out earlier, because of the heat of the day.”


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