Aptitude Works at Nad Al Sheba

Dubai World Cup Track Notes Sunday March 18: A release from the Emirates Racing Series

Sunday, six days before the Dubai World Cup, the world's richest race meeting, was a generally quiet morning on the Nad Al Sheba training tracks with only a few of the horses scheduled to run on the seven race card out for any serious work.

The locally-trained STATE SHINTO, set to represent the oasis Stables of Australian trainer John Sadler, in the US$6million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I, 2,000m, Dirt), sponsored by Emirates and the first leg of the Emirates World Series for 2001, was amongst those asked for an effort. The 5-year-old galloped out of the starting stalls at the top of the straight stopping the clock at 1:13.34 at the completion of 1,200m. STATE SHINTO's one start for the season produced an impressive short head defeat of last year's UAE Derby winner China Visit at Nad Al Sheba on March 1.

The Bobby Frankel-trained pair APTITUDE and LIDO PALACE worked together over 1,200m on the round course. APTITUDE will take his place in the Dubai World Cup while LIDO PALACE will line up against other three-ear-olds in the US$2million UAE Derby (gr. III, 1,800m Dirt), the world's richest Derby. LIDO PALACE, who led the work from the 1,200m pole, was joined by APTITUDE at the halfway mark before the pair crossed the line locked together in an overall time 1:10.4 with the last 800m in 23.3 seconds. LIDO PALACE tackles the AE Derby on the back of his last start win in the Chilean St Leger (gr. I, 2200m) on December 16 while APTITUDE has not run since finishing unplaced in the Clark Handicap (gr. II, 1,800m) at Churchill Downs last November.

MEN'S EXCLUSIVE and ISTINTAJ, two confirmed runners for the US$2million Dubai Golden Shaheen (gr. III, 1,200m, Dirt), sponsored by Gulf News, were also asked to make time in separate workouts. The Wesley Ward-prepared MEN's EXCLUSIVE, arrived in Dubai with a last start victory over 2000 Dubai Golden Shaheen winner Big Jag, in the Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II, 1,200m) at Santa Anita in late January. At Nad Al Sheba this morning, the eight-year-old veteran of 30 race starts, reeled off 800m in 46.25 seconds with a final 400m of 23.33 seconds. ISTINTAJ, winner of his last two starts, the Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III, 1,200m) and the Deputy Minister handicap (gr. III, 1,300m), both at Gulfstream Park, was clocked to run 800m in 47.6 seconds, a final 600m in 35.4 and last 400m in 22.5 seconds.

SEI MI, Saudi Arabia's Argentinean-bred entrant for the Dubai World Cup, was on the track with stable companion CRIMSON QUEST, who holds a booking for the US$2million Dubai Sheema Classic (gr. II, 2,400m, Turf), sponsored by Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai Ports Authority. The Jerry Barton-trained pair appeared in good order covering 1,200m at half pace. Germany's CAITANO, also and entrant for the Dubai Sheema Classic, was another not asked to quicken above half speed in a 1,000m spin around Nad Al Sheba.

SUNLINE, New Zealand's pride and joy, was out before the sun came up cantering a lap of the track while Hong Kong's hope in the US$2million Dubai Duty Free (gr. II 1,777m, Turf), sponsored by Dubai Duty Free, FAIRY KING PRAWN, was out for light exercise later in the morning in company with compatriots DALIAPOUR and INDIGENOUS who are both aimed at the Dubai Sheema Classic. French raider JIM AND TONIC, who will oppose SUNLINE and FAIRY KING PRAWN in the Dubai Duty Free, cantered a lap this morning. The much-traveled Francois Doumen-trained seven-year-old is scheduled for a serious hit-out on Tuesday.

For more information visit Emirates Racing Series.