Thursday's UAE Derby Notes

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3/29/2012
6:46 am EDT

Balada Sale – Trainer Pascal Bary arrived on Thursday to see his filly Balade Sale canter on the all-weather. He said: “She is in very good form. She went for a good canter this morning, and I think she will run well.”

Burano – Brian Meehan’s recent Meydan winner was not seen on the main track this morning.

Daddy Long Legs/Wrote – The Aidan O’Brien pair exercised on the main track for the second time with their elder stablemates. They were released from quarantine yesterday morning.

Entifaadha – William Haggas’s three-year-old Dansili colt worked in company with stablemate Beaten Up on the main track. He raced once at the Dubai World Cup Carnival this year when second to fellow British raider Burano. Haggas said: “He has been out here a while, and I have been thrilled with him. He is in good form, but will need to be!”

Falls of Lora – The three-year-old filly won twice from six starts in Europe last year and stayed on well to score over this trip on her seasonal debut in the Group 3 UAE Oaks at Meydan. It was her first race on the all-weather.

Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni said: “Falls Of Lora won the UAE Oaks well and deserves to take her chance in the UAE Derby, which, of course, is a more competitive race.”

Genten – The three-year-old bay colt did not appear on the main track this morning.

Helmet – A top performer in Australia, Helmet has won six of his 12 starts including three Group 1’s - two at 1,600 meters and one at 1,400 meters - last year. He missed the break when disappointing in the Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington on March 3. He goes 1,900 meters on Saturday.

Trainer Peter Snowden said: “Helmet has a few little issues - minor things which can affect his performance. For example, on his last start in Australia, just as the starter pressed the button, he popped about two feet in the air. While he was in the air, the field has jumped and he was back in last, which is not the position this horse likes to be in. He is best breaking well and racing on the speed. I have always thought Helmet will get this sort of trip, and he has adapted to the surface well.”

Kinglet – He was successful twice in four outings in Britain last year and has raced three times this term. The colt ran on well in the second of them to take the Group 3 UAE 2,000 Guineas at Meydan but finished mid-division last time out over this distance in the Al Bastakiya.

Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni said: “Kinglet was very disappointing last time and never really got going. We had doubts at the distance before the race, but he was beaten a long way out, and we feel he is worth another chance. He won the UAE 2,000 Guineas after all, but obviously comes into this race with some questions to answer.”

Lucky Chappy – The connections of UAE Derby contender Lucky Chappy were able to breathe a sigh of relief on Thursday when the small but spirited colt galloped without misbehaving. On Wednesday, Lucky Chappy dislodged assistant trainer and exercise rider Alice Clapham from the saddle, and there was the possibility he could have run off and risked injury. But Clapham was able to hold on to the colt and resume their work session. His behavior is not atypical.

“We’re quite used to it,” confirmed trainer Graham Motion after the March 29 gallop. “But everything went smoothly this morning. He had a proper gallop without any unusual events.”

Lucky Chappy trains better when accompanied by another horse or a string of horses. He's been going out at Meydan with American champion filly Royal Delta. The filly breezed on Wednesday, Clapham kept Lucky Chappy on his own, and that’s when the trouble occurred. Other than that incident, Motion said Lucky Chappy’s preparations have been outstanding.

Motion said he is not sure how to assess Lucky Chappy’s competition in a race that's highly competitive this year and includes runners from South America, Europe, Japan and the UAE.

“As I read in a quote by Bob Baffert, this is one of the places where you take them over, and you don’t know what to expect in the race -- it’s so hard to evaluate,” Motion said. “But I guess that’s one of the things that makes it so special.”

Red Duke – He's another of the British runners to have arrived on Monday. John Quinn’s Hard Spun colt stepped out on the all-weather track for the first time Thursday after clearing quarantine.

Quinn said: “I am happy with him, and everything is grand. He did an easy (1,600 meters) this morning and will do some more gentle work tomorrow. If he produces his best form from last year, then he will have a good chance. His work at home has been good, and his sire was a good horse on dirt and on grass.”

Yang Tse Kiang – French trainer Richard Chotard was at the track this morning to watch his UAE Derby hope Yang Tse Kiang canter on the all-weather. He said: “I wanted him to have a good blow this morning, and he cantered over 400 meters. He looks very calm, and I’m happy with him.”