Bobby Zen

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — In the form of Do Deuce (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry {Jpn}) and Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}), Japan is liable to field the favourites for the distance turf races at Saturday’s Dubai World Cup meeting and those two gallopers, as well as several of their compatriots, did fast work over the Meydan course Wednesday morning.

Do Deuce would likely have been at the top of the markets for last year’s G1 Dubai Turf, but was withdrawn in the days leading up to the race, helping pave the way for a third consecutive victory by Lord North (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}). The reigning G1 Arima Kinen scorer was one of the first onto the track just after 5am Wednesday morning and quickened up nicely down the stretch (see below).

Though he clearly possesses the scope to see out a longer trip, connections have instead chosen the nine-furlong distance of the Dubai Turf.

“I considered the Sheema Classic as well and we discussed it with Yutaka Take,” trainer Yasuo Tomomichi said during a Wednesday press conference. “The Sheema Classic tends to be a race which benefits the front-runners or those with a good position. For Do Deuce’s racing style, we both agreed that the Dubai Turf is a race where horses can win from anywhere.”



Japanese gallopers have won five of the last nine renewals of the Dubai Turf, including Panthalassa (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), who dead-heated with Lord North in 2022. The Tomomichi-trained Vivlos (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) was victorious in 2017 with Joao Moreira up.

Shahryar (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) have scooped the last two renewals of the G1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic, and Liberty Island has her claims to make it three on the trot and six overall, dating back to Stay Gold (Jpn) (Sunday Silence) in 2001.

Last seen finishing five lengths adrift of Equinox and just ahead of fellow G1 Yushun Himba heroine Stars on Earth (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) in the G1 Japan Cup in late November, Liberty Island wasn’t asked for much, but ran on nicely Wednesday morning, with Yuga Kawada along for the ride.

“This is her first time travelling internationally and all has gone well so far,” said Kawada. “It was a good gallop this morning and we are happy.”

Added stable representative Yuya Katayama: “Everything went perfectly and according to plan. She switched on when Yuga Kawada rode her today. Today was just about keeping her condition, that’s it–nothing more.”

Christophe Lemaire teamed up once again with Stars on Earth, second in the Arima Kinen last time, and said: “I gradually sped up in her breeze this morning. She remained calm throughout and reacted very well. Her condition is great and the ground in Dubai suits her. Stars On Earth is a very easy horse to ride and I am confident about her this weekend.”

Namur (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}), who beat the boys in the G1 Mile Championship and was third to Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d’Oro) and the re-opposing Voyage Bubble (Aus) (Deep Field {Aus}) in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile, prepped for the Dubai Turf when galloping over 600 metres behind Liberty Island and Stars on Earth.

Shahryar also had a turf gallop as he looks for a second Sheema Classic in three years, as did Danon Beluga (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry {Jpn}), runner-up in last year’s Dubai Turf. Cristian Demuro rides Shahryar, while Moreira has a return assignment aboard Danon Beluga.



Stars on Earth (Duramente x Southern Stars ) and Christophe Lemaire breezed the Meydan turf this morning in preparation for the Sheema Classic. #DWC24 #賽馬 #競馬 #スターズオンアース

— Grant Courtney (@paomaphotos) March 27, 2024

The post Japan’s Big Guns Take To the Meydan Turf appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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