Hong Kong’s Dubai hopes settle into Meydan routine
26 Mar 2012 | Hong Kong’s six-strong contingent is settling in nicely to the surroundings of Meydan racetrack, Dubai, ahead of the Dubai World Cup meeting on Saturday.
Ambitious Dragon, Joy And Fun and Eagle Regiment arrived together in the advance party on Thursday – after a delayed flight – and it was the Hong Kong Horse of the Year who was first of that trio onto the track Monday morning.
Beverly Millard, trainer Tony Millard’s wife, emerged aboard G1 Dubai Duty Free hope Ambitious Dragon at 5.40am and guided the Pins gelding around two solo circuits of the floodlit Tapeta track at a steady tempo.
“I’m happy with Ambitious Dragon, he’s a horse with a very good temperament and he’s settling in nicely. We gave him a gentle canter this morning. He did some faster work on Sunday but he trialled nicely in Hong Kong last week so the real hard work is done. I’m happy with the facilities here,” said the trainer.
The Derek Cruz-trained Joy And Fun stepped onto the Tapeta a little over an hour later in company with fellow Al Quoz Sprint contender, the Manfred Man-trained Eagle Regiment.
“The flight was delayed by four hours but all the horses were quiet and luckily they remained calm,” revealed Cruz’s son and representative, Martin Cruz.
“Joy And Fun was a bit excited when he arrived but he has settled in nicely. He has been here before so it’s pretty much the same. He did a steady canter this morning and we let him stride out in the straight. We will get him prepared for a final gallop when my father arrives.”
Raymond Tsui, assistant trainer to Manfred Man, took Eagle Regiment for a gentle spin.
“He has settled in and I’m very happy with him,” revealed Tsui.
G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen candidate Lucky Nine, along with Dubai Duty Free runners Xtension and California Memory, arrived in Dubai on Saturday afternoon and will be free from quarantine restrictions ahead of Tuesday’s track work.
“The horses that arrived on Saturday afternoon were in quarantine today so we put Lucky Nine in the trotting ring,” revealed trainer Caspar Fownes’ representative Dale Bussey. “He’s eating well and we’re happy with how he’s settling in. If anything, he’s settled better this time than when he travelled to Japan last year – he’s just a more mature horse.”
John Moore’s son George Moore is overseeing Xtension’s preparation ahead of the trainer’s arrival later this week.
“Xtension went in the trotting ring this morning and all’s well.” he reported. He hasn’t lost much weight travelling here and he’s eating well. Jeff Lloyd will be in town to ride him in the morning and I’ll consult with my father before we decide what we do with him.”
Tony Cruz is scheduled to arrive in Dubai tomorrow morning to put the final touches to California Memory’s big-race preparations.
“California Memory travelled well and he’s settling in very well,” commented Cruz. “He’s travelled before so he’s used to it – he’s an experienced horse. I’ll arrive in Dubai tomorrow morning but as things are we’re happy with him.”