I Can Fly looks to scale new heights at Dubai Turf
28 Mar 2019
I Can Fly is highly fancied to win Dubai Turf.
Dubai: I Can Fly was among the five envoys from Ballydoyle who made their first appearance on the dirt track on Thursday morning a little after 7:00 am as the worst of the morning rain cleared.
The quintet remained in single file throughout with the experienced traveller Hunting Horn (Longines Dubai Sheema Classic) leading Lost Treasure Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments, Van Beethoven (UAE Derby sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group) and the fillies Magic Wand (Dubai Sheema Classic) and I Can Fly. The group walked one lap right-handed and gently cantered a circuit left-handed.
“They have settled in well since arriving late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. Not a bother on any of them,” said Matt Gleeson, part of trainer Aidan O’Brien’s travelling team.
Of each horse’s wellbeing, Gleeson continued: “Magic Wand is in good form. She should run well. Hunting Horn has got plenty of air miles already this year, but we think he can run a good race.
“I Can Fly travelled well; happy with her. Lost Treasure has loads of ability and we hope the track is fast for him on Saturday.
“It was a very good run by Van Beethoven in his prep a few weeks ago when he carried a 5lb penalty. The boss thinks this track and trip should suit him.”
Jockey Danny Tudhope was aboard the Lord Glitters has he went around the turf training track just after 8:00 am in preparation for the race. Trainer David O’Meara, who arrived in Dubai overnight, head lad Colin Bolger and owners Geoff and Nick Turnbull watched the work.
“Danny just got a feel of him and they went a half mile (800m) strong canter,” O’Meara said. “He’s travelled well and I was pleased to see a bit of rain—his best form is with a bit of cut in the ground. We’ve got a good draw so I’m happy enough going into the race. After this, we’ll look at some of the top mile races in Britain, such as the Lockinge (G1) at Newbury and Queen Anne (G1) at Royal Ascot.”
Southern Legend—Trainer Caspar Fownes was delighted to have drawn the inside post for Saturday’s race, although he admits the Hong Kong galloper still has something to find if he is to beat Japanese superstar filly Almond Eye.
“We obviously need every advantage to be able to beat the filly so the draw is a good step in the right direction,” Fownes said as Southern Legend began a cantered lap in the rain.
“It gives Zac (Purton) options – he’s won leading before, he’s won coming from last and he’s performed well everywhere in between. I’m pretty confident we will grab a slice of the prize money, but what position, it’s hard to know. There is a lot of class in this field.”
Fownes says that Southern Legend, who began his career in Australia as a juvenile before shipping to Hong Kong midway through his 4-year-old season, has relished getting away from the Sha Tin stables he has called home for the last two years.
“He likes to get out of Hong Kong a little bit, like most of us do,” Fownes said. “He’s just behind the real elite in Hong Kong but he’s consistent and tough and he’s the right type of horse to travel. We saw that in Singapore, hopefully it’s the same here.”
Purton, whose only ride aboard Southern Legend produced that three-length Kranji Mile (G1) victory, arrives in Dubai having ridden a double at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
Without Parole—Trainer John Gosden watched Without Parole, his Royal Ascot-winning entry for the Dubai Turf, at Thursday morning exercise for the first time since his arrival in Dubai and liked what he saw.
Ridden by his regular work rider Maurizio Varju, Without Parole had the synthetic Meydan training track to himself as he completed a circuit at a steady canter.
The original plan was for the 4-year-old son of the great Frankel to work at 5:00 am over the turf course, but the prospect of rain, which did indeed materialise, prompted a change of mind. “We decided not to go on the turf because the training surface takes the rain very well,” Gosden said.