Trainer Seth Benzel said he is "really happy" with the progress of Zayat Stables' stakes-winning sprinter Zee Bros
has shown during the Dubai World Cup Carnival.
The 4-year-old son of Brother Derek
galloped over Meydan's training track March 25 ahead of his expected start March 29 in the $2 million Golden Shaheen.
"We have a routine with him," Benzel said. "He tends to be a bit excitable, so we like to keep him away from other horses."
Winner of the Chick Lang Stakes last May, Zee Bros has raced twice at the Carnival, finishing fourth in an all-weather handicap at 1,200 meters (about six furlongs) before finishing 11th on grass in the Meydan Sprint (UAE-III) on Super Saturday, March 8.
"Our rating wasn't high enough to get into the Mahab Al Shimaal (UAE-III, also Super Saturday), so we had to call an audible and run on turf," Benzel explained. "He's not bred for it, nor does he have the physical make-up for turf. He came out of it happy and healthy and (World Cup night) he will get back to a surface and distance he prefers.
"Horses who have success at the Dubai World Cup Carnival usually follow a progression. This will be his third run and he seems to be coming around at the right time."
A front-runner early in his career, Zee Bros showed the ability to rate in both of his Dubai World Cup Carnival starts.
"He had a fever when he first got here, so we were playing a little bit of catch up," Benzel said. "He rated nicely in that first run, but was a little short of where we would have liked him to be and it caught up to him. Our plan all along was to build up to the big night."
There were 13 horses declared for Golden Shaheen, which also is run at 1,200 meters. Post positions will be drawn March 26.
Benzel indicated that he would prefer a post draw "between six and 10" for Zee Bros.
"The inside is the pressure point," he said. "Ideally, we'd like to be on the outside of the speed, in a relaxed position, applying the pressure."
Zee Bros has two wins and a second from eight starts and will bid for his first graded/group stakes win. Zayat Stables bought the colt for $270,000 from the Eisaman Equine consignment at the 2012 Ocala Breeders' Sale Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training.