(from Dubai Racing Club notes)
A day after his smashing victory March 28, record-breaking Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Well Armed was in “fantastic” condition, according to his assistant trainer.
“He had about 20 minutes of walking this morning and then about ten minutes of picking at grass and everything was good,” said Oliver Costello, assistant to Eoin Harty, during a rainy follow-up March 29 in Dubai. He echoed the emotions of everyone connected with the 6-year-old gelding when he added, “It was just such an amazing night.”
Before catching a plane back to California, Harty said he will give the WinStar Farm-owned Well Armed a vacation and then aim to follow nearly same schedule with the son of Tiznow as he did last year, beginning with the San Diego Handicap (gr. II) and the Pacific Classic (gr. I), both at Del Mar, followed by the Goodwood Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park, a race he won last season.
This year, however, after proving himself at the Dubai World Cup’s 2,000-meter distance, Well Armed’s principal target at year’s end will be the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) rather than the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
Harty said he has promised Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum that he will be at Meydan next year to compete at the new racecourse.
”Meydan is my number one goal," he said. "I owe His Highness Sheikh Mohammed so much and I would love to bring back Well Armed or Colonel John and attempt to pull off the big one again.
“I will take home a lot of special memories from Nad al Sheba, but let us hope we can carry on where we left off at Meydan next year.”
Dubai World Cup favorite Albertus Maximus , who finished sixth, emerged from the race with an inflamed right front tendon, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said a day after the race.
Although the 5-year-old owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum was sound while walking in the quarantine barn area, McLaughlin said the tendon problem clearly affected Albertus Maximus in the race.
“He was not the same horse we have learned to love and to train,” he said. “He was trying to get out with (jockey) Alan (Garcia) the whole time in the race. He was just not himself last night.”
Albertus Maximus will be shipped back to New York and then sent to Lexington, Ky., for a thorough veterinary examination before a decision is made on what course of action should be followed for treatment, McLaughlin said. “This is a tough one to take,” he said.
American-based Dubai World Cup runners Arson Squad and Anak Nakal, who finished 11th and 14th, respectively, were both doing fine, their connections reported.
Arson Squad, who jockey Edgar Prado said had a rough trip, will be sent to New York and given a rest before plans for a next race are determined, said Ruben Lopez, an assistant to trainer Rick Dutrow Jr.
Lopez also said that Dutrow’s Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) runner Kip Deville, who finished 10th, came out of the race in good condition.
Eddie Cruz, the exercise rider with Anak Nakal, said trainer Nick Zito will evaluate that colt once he gets back to New York and then pinpoint some possible targets.
Two-time American champion filly Indian Blessing was a little tired after her gallant second-place effort against males in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), but otherwise in good condition, said exercise rider Janell Gruss.
“She came out of the race real well,” Gruss said. “But it’s hard to see her run so well and get beat.”
Indian Blessing finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Prince Sultan Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer’s Big City Man, but her effort was outstanding, considering she stumbled at the start.
She finished five lengths in front of Godolphin’s third-placed Diabolical, and others behind her included European champion sprinter Marchand d’Or and American grade I winner Black Seventeen.
Godolphin had plenty to celebrate on Dubai World Cup night, enjoying a one-two in both the UAE Derby (UAE-II) and Godolphin Mile (UAE-II). It also recruited two other winners, Gladiatorus, victorious in the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) and Eastern Anthem, who captured the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I).
Simon Crisford, racing manager to Godolphin, said:”It has been a brilliant night. We weren’t sure that (UAE Derby winner) Regal Ransom would stay the mile, but, with Desert Party performing below-par, he has run them ragged.
“Similarly, Two Step Salsa and Gayego both ran blinders in the Mile. Frankie (Dettori) probably got first run on the winner, which made the difference, but we have to be happy with both horses.
“Gladiatorus and Eastern Anthem are both part of the Godolphin team and they will run in our blue colors in Europe this summer.”