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Cape swoops in to Dubai

Aidan O'Brien's Dubai World Cup hope Cape Blanco has arrived in the desert, but the earliest he will be seen in action on the course is Thursday.

The Irish Derby and Irish Champion Stakes hero was last seen struggling on soft ground in the Arc and is yet to tackle an artificial surface.

A number of other participants did take to the Meydan track on Tuesday morning however, including Japanese runner Buena Vista, who cantered easily for two laps under work rider Tsuyoshi Matsuda. He said: "She had a piece of work this morning and she is in a good form."

American raider Fly Down enjoyed a similar exercise and Tim Poole, assistant to trainer Nick Zito, said: "It was an easy gallop. All our preparation was done prior to his shipping over. There's really nothing for him to do except gallop and keep his fitness level up. We'll bring him to the gate Thursday or Friday."

Christophe Clement's Gio Ponti visited the paddock for a schooling session before finishing with a jog and a gallop that pleased assistant trainer Christophe Lorieul.

"We took a couple of turns with the pony and he was very good in the paddock," said Lorieul.

"He was happy today - he didn't sweat as much. Both on the previous day and during his training in Dubai last year, Gio Ponti has tended to be somewhat edgy and hot in his training. He has travelled better this year and has kept his condition. Every day now he seems to be getting better and better. The horse is doing great."

Monterosso was a winner at the track earlier this month and his trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni hopes he will give a good account in the world's richest race.

"He won his last race very well and yet he is still improving," said the handler. "It was turf last time and this time Tapeta. If he can handle the track I hope he can be right there."

Another Godolphin runner is Poet's Voice, winner of last year's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, and trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: "He is a Group One horse from England last season and he needed the race this season but he ran well. He is an older horse, a more relaxed horse, and he is ready to run a big race."


From Belfast Telegraph