Gentildonna delights Iwatawho

Japanese hopeful in the $5 million Dubai Golden Shaheen Gr-1 (turf) Gentildonna stayed in the trotting ring on Thursday morning to the delight of her jockey Yasunari Iwatawho who said: “ She galloped on Wednesday, and she was very relaxed and looked in a good form.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Sat 30 Mar 2013, 12:32 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:06 AM

For the new surroundings and the new surface of turf here, she was a bit reluctant. Everything is new experience for her including the night race in Dubai, so I have to accept her all and escort her with my best.”

However, the four-year-old daughter of Deep Impact and Japan’s Cup Group-1 winner looks good to emulate the successes of Stay Gold (2001) and Heart’s Cry (2006) who have won this race for Japan. But, the connections of the filly are well aware that the multi Group-1 winner back at home will face the toughest job of her career in her first trip outside the land of the Shining Sun.

The immediate danger for the filly’s ambitious mission abroad will come from the Aiden O’Brien’s runner St Nicholas Abbey. The six-year-old son of Montju who has finished second to Cirrus des Aigles in this race last year and has every chance to go one better on the renewal.

However, together with his four stablemates, St. Nicholas Abbey trotted within the quarantine barn ahead of his imminent appearance on the main track at Meydan. “Everything is fine; we couldn’t be happier with all the horses,” said O’Brien’s travelling head lad, Pat Keating. “They are due to go out on the Tapeta (track) on Friday, when the plan is for the race jockey

Joseph to have a sit on him.”

The former winner of the Melborne Cup Gr-1Dunaden impressed his supporters when he came to the track on Thursday morning.

Trainer Mikel Delzangles said, “He started off with a slow canter and then quickened nicely when asked. He didn’t do anything different really to yesterday. His rider just asked him to stretch, that’s it. We are happy with him, he is a good traveller.”

French contender Shareta cantered with stable companions on the all-weather track under the watchful eye of trainer Alain de Royer Dupre who was on the track early in the morning to put the final touches on his fillies preparations. He said, “Since we have arrived the horses haven’t done much. They had a light canter in order to get used to the track. On Wednesday, we went a little quicker and this morning they went even a tick faster, but really they were just getting back to their normal workout routine. They trotted, cantered over 800 metres and then they stretched over 1400 metres. On this track one doesn’t have the impression that they are going too fast and hence they don’t seem to get too tired. Tomorrow we won’t go as quick as it is the last day before the race. They are calm and look all right.”

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