where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2009-02-22 19:23:07  

With under a fortnight to Super Thursday and just over a month to the Dubai World Cup meeting, big night contenders are arriving at Nad Al Sheba and Japan’s Dubai Duty Free hopeful Vodka was on the Nad Al Sheba dirt track this morning – walking one circuit before cantering a second.

Fourth in the race last year, she could have a prep race on Super Thursday (March 5th) this time.

Luca Cumani’s Purple Moon is aiming at the Dubai Sheema Classic and, at this stage that 2400m Group 1, like the Dubai Duty Free on turf, is shaping up to be the race of the night.

The trainer’s daughter, Francesca, was aboard Purple Moon who worked alongside previous Dubai International Racing Carnival Presvis under Ryan Moore.

Mike De Kock’s Eagle Mountain could be one of Purple Moon’s opponents on that night and he was spotted about an hour later, as was Dubai Duty Free likely Archipenko who was third in the 1777m Group 1 last year.

Earlier, Mick Channon’s Youmzain, set to contest his third Dubai Sheema Classic in which he was third in 2007 and fifth last year, worked on the turf under Richard Hills.

Thick fog had cleared just in time and Channon was happy with his charge: “He has gone well and likes it here. This is his third visit and we know he likes the conditions. Luck in running is a big thing in those races but he is in good form and we hope to have him spot on for the end of March.”

Richard Hills later jumped on Doug Watson’s Kalahari Gold, a new recruit for His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who worked well alone on the dirt, as did Mutamarres under Gaven Birrer.

Fernando Jara on Merchant Marine also worked in company with the Chris Avery-ridden World Ruler.

Satish Seemar was another visitor and Richard Mullen was in the saddle on Ever Loved, fourth in the UAE 1000 Guineas on her latest start.

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