Several in the field for the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup have been getting tetchy in the build-up to the US$2.4 million (Dh8.9m) race.
Chinchon and California Memory refuse to work in Singapore
The histrionics of Presvis and Wigmore Hall in training before the Dubai Duty Free on World Cup night are well documented.
In the build up to the International Cup meeting in Singapore today, it seems they have been joined in their behavioural disorders by a whole raft of troublesome thoroughbreds.
Several in the field for the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup have been getting tetchy in the build-up to the US$2.4 million (Dh8.9m) race. One is Chinchon, a French challenger who finished fifth behind Rewilding in the Dubai Sheema Classic.
"He refused to head out to the track," said Stephane Laurent Duprey, the horse's groom. "He did eventually when someone came along and led him out. It's not a great game when you need to coax your horse to work like that."
California Memory, trained by regular Dubai visitor Tony Cruz, also had to be persuaded to train.
The five-year-old displayed his considerable ability when running second to Ambitious Dragon in the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup in at Sha Tin in Hong Kong earlier this month, but he planted his hooves when cajoled to work on Kranjii's polytrack this week.
Once he was sweet-talked into the task he took well to the course.
"This is the first time he has travelled out of Hong Kong since we have had him and, really, he hasn't travelled from Sha Tin before," Cruz said. "He went to Happy Valley [also in Hong Kong] once, but something happened and he didn't race."
River Jetez, this season's Balanchine winner at Meydan racecourse, finished sixth behind California Memory in Hong Kong while Wigmore Hall, who has been "a bit of a baby", trailed in 11th of the 14 runners after failing to handle the track. Both re-oppose this afternoon, alongside Irian, who finished fourth in Hong Kong, and Gitano Hernando, who was eighth. Godolphin's Calvados Blues, ridden by Frankie Dettori, was ruled out of the race yesterday with a recurring hoof problem.
As for Presvis, the old rogue missed the QEII Cup because Ryan Moore, his regular rider, was not available. Luca Cumani, the trainer, preferred instead to race the seven-year-old a week earlier in the BMW Champions Mile at Sha Tin, where he finished sixth behind Xtension.
Moore is unavailable once again as his continuing association with Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle yard has resulted in a ride on So You Think, the Australian import, in this afternoon's Group 1 Tattersall's Gold Cup at the Curragh in Ireland.
Substitute Richard Hughes, who rode Dubawi Gold to a second-place finish in yesterday's Abu Dhabi 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh, is prepared to take a long-haul flight from Dublin in order to ride the tricky customer.
"At least I don't have to ride out in the morning when I get there," he said. "It is a 13-hour flight so I should get eight or nine hours sleep."
As for riding Presvis, Hughes said: "He is a better horse when you leave him out the back on his own. In a 10-furlong race, the first six furlongs don't really matter anyway. When he passes one or two, he really gets into gear."