Maniac, ice cream & Rambo: notable quotables from Dubai

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

March 24th, 2016

Meydan scenic photo courtesy of Dubai Racing Club/Mathea Kelley.

Thursday’s Dubai Racing Club notes feature some actionable intelligence interspersed with a few lively quotes.

Connections of the American hopes for the Dubai World Cup (G1) were in good form themselves.

Trainer Art Sherman on California Chrome’s drawing post 11: “A wide draw should not matter if you have the right horse and we think we do.”

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin on Frosted: “We thought he needed the race (in the Maktoum Challenge Round 2 [G2]), but instead he broke the track record. He was more fit than we thought. He's trained outstanding since.”

Assistant trainer Dana Barnes on Hoppertunity: “He was a maniac out there – he felt so good.”

Trainer Todd Pletcher on Mshawish: “He moves over this track effortlessly. He just sort of floats over it, and hopefully that continues.”

Trainer Dale Romans on Keen Ice’s adding blinkers: "I hate blinkers on a racehorse, I hate all equipment. I go with as little as possible but for $10 million, if you're going to get a boost from blinkers, you roll the dice and throw them on there. You've got nothing to lose. We are all in.”

McLaughlin didn’t want Marking down on the inside in the Godolphin Mile (G2): “Post 2 isn't the greatest but he just needs to break well. He'll be forwardly placed and maybe even on the lead, if he comes out clean."

Trainer Jorge Navarro on bringing X Y Jet to the Golden Shaheen (G1): "When it came to running in Dubai I said to myself, 'why not?' – all the top sprinters in America are on vacation, so why not take a chance?"

Beverly Millard, trainer Tony Millard’s wife and assistant, on Golden Shaheen contender Super Jockey: “We didn’t want to do any fast work here because he’s like Rambo when you get him going; he puts a lot into it.

“I rode him leading up to last year’s race when he was beaten a head by a Breeders’ Cup winner (Secret Circle) in second and I’d say he is at least as well this time around.

“Last year he drew gate 12 in this race and nearly won and this time we have gate 6 so that is also a positive and it means we can probably be a bit closer in the run. Things are looking quite bright.”

Trainer Hideyuki Mori on his UAE Derby (G2) duo, Yu Change and On the Rocks: “I think a Japanese turf horse has a much better chance performing well on this kind of dirt surface than a Japanese dirt horse, who is used to running on a deep, sandy surface. If you take away the blades of grass, the ground is quite similar I think. Our turf horses have much better speed than our dirt horses.”

Trainer Eddie Lynam on defending Al Quoz Sprint (G1) champion Sole Power: “I have been training 30 years and have never had a horse as happy as him. If he was an ice-cream he would lick himself to death.

“It was as good a run in his trial (third in Meydan Sprint [G3]) as he has ever put in, and when he won the race last year it was a career best, but it does look a tough race this time round.”

Trainer John Moore on Al Quoz threat Not Listenin’tome:  “He looks terrific, he has got that golden sheen to him and that’s when you know he is at his best.

“He very nearly broke the 1000-meter track record in Hong Kong last time out at this distance and that was carrying 133 pounds. When you consider the quality of sprinters that Hong Kong has had over many years, that was a huge effort.

“Zac Purton got off him that day and said he was still a run short of his best so we have put the finishing touches on him. Now we have Ryan Moore on our side and there aren’t many better in the saddle than Ryan.

“This is the biggest stage in the world and we need to win here at Meydan. I really think we can. This is a serious Group 1 horse.”

Al Quoz Sprint runner Sir Maximilian (IRE) seeks to complete a unique double for trainer Ian Williams, who just celebrated his first winner at the Cheltenham Festival over the jumps.

Trainer Robert Cowell cautions that Goldream still doesn’t look right going into the Al Quoz: “This should have been right up his street, but I don’t think he’s had enough time to acclimatize since coming here. He looked dull in his coat when he ran on Super Saturday (seventh in the Meydan Sprint) and that’s not like him. He always runs well on his first outing, but this time he didn’t. And he’s not improved in his coat since.”

Trainer Antoine de Watrigant likewise described an acclimation issue for Sheema Classic (G1) runner Gailo Chop: “I arrived yesterday and wasn’t happy when I saw him last night in the yard, as he didn’t look great. But everyone told me that it had been extremely humid yesterday and that none of the horses really liked it. This morning the temperatures were much more agreeable and he does look like himself again. He is a bit keen, but that is good.

“However, if I was to bring another horse here I would do it differently and give him a prep race. Being here only a week is not enough for them to acclimatize.”

Trainer Roger Varian on Dubai Turf (G1) threat Intilaaq: “He is a huge talent. He is lightly raced and I am sure that the best is yet to come. Since Christmas we have wound his preparation up for this weekend and he is a very exciting horse for the year ahead.”

Trainer Paul Lafferty on Dubai Turf hopeful Harry’s Son: “He has a bombproof attitude, he’s a tough customer and I’m pleased with where he’s at. He loves a fight.

“We’re not fools and have the utmost respect for the opposition. Our horse will be as gutsy as any in there, it’s just a question of whether he is good enough. It’s his toughest test to date and we’ll be over the moon if he places.”

Trainer Michael Bell on Dubai Gold Cup (G2) contender Big Orange: “Once in a while a goose turns into a swan.” also serves up a couple of compelling quotes on Sheema threat Duramente.

Jockey Mirco Demuro: “He’s the strongest horse I ever rode in my career.”

Katsumi Yoshida of Northern Farm: “At the party after we won the (Japanese) Derby (G1), everyone was talking about winning the Arc (G1), not the Triple Crown. I hope we can win here and raise his value as an international stud -- and then off to the Arc in the fall.”