California Chrome takes to Meydan’s dirt track ahead of Dubai World Cup
Alan Sherman said he did not believe Meydan Racecourse’s dirt surface would pose a problem for California Chrome after America’s horse of the year had his first leg stretch in Dubai on Saturday.
California Chrome went around a mile and a quarter at Meydan under regular work rider William Delgado, following his 48-hour quarantine.
California Chrome will face 10 rivals in next Saturday’s Dubai World Cup after rookie trainer Salem bin Ghadayer’s American import Long River, who was last in the third round of the Al Maktoum Challenge on Super Saturday, was reportedly added to the field.
California Chrome was not the only World Cup hopeful to have his first look at Meydan’s dirt surface, with Japanese raiders Epiphaneia and Hokko Tarumae among a host of American and Japanese runners on display for the first time.
“He seemed to like the surface,” Sherman said. “Willie said he glided right over it this morning. Of course, galloping in the morning is different to running in a race, but at this stage I don’t think there will be an issue.”
Sherman’s comments come after Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid said that California Chrome might struggle to adapt to what has been an idiosyncratic dirt strip.
In comparison to other dirt surfaces laid down in other racing jurisdictions, Meydan’s track has taken some time to bed in due to the relative paucity of races run on it this season, and the understandable lack of rainfall that aids such processes.
Elsewhere, Godolphin’s Hunter’s Light will not run in Dubai Turf on Dubai World Cup night after Saeed bin Suroor’s seven-year-old sustained a tendon injury, which has not responded to treatment.
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Updated: March 21, 2015 04:00 AM