Country Grammer works with Antonio Fresu onboard
Defending Dubai World Cup champion Country Grammer was the star attraction on the main track Monday morning in the UAE, breezing tight to the inside rail under Antonio Fresu.
Assistant to trainer Bob Baffert, Jimmy Barnes said: “Country Grammer arrived here directly after his assignment in Saudi Arabia and shipped well. He likes the surface here and this is more of a trip that would suit him.
“He exercised over five-eighths and went nicely under Antonio Fresu; the jockey was happy with the way he worked.”
Following barely thirty seconds behind Country Grammer was Japan Cup hero Vela Azul, while compatriots TO Keynes, Cafe Pharoah and Ushba Tesoro were also in action.
Comments from the connections of several other U.S.-trained horses in Dubai:
Antonio Fresu, jockey of Shirl’s Speight (Group 1 Dubai Turf): “He is a Grade 1 winner and another good horse that I am pleased to ride. He was very strong in finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and appears to have carried that form to Dubai. He has been working well in the morning and just seems to love the track.”
Jeremiah O’Dwyer, trainer of Sibelius (Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen): “I have been very pleased how he has travelled over andacclimated to Dubai. He had his final piece of work this morning. We picked up his gallop at thehalf mile pole, with regular rider. Chelsie Raabe, aboard, and just let him stretch his legs downthe stretch and he looked great.
“The timing of how everything has been spaced out since the win in the Pelican Stakes has been perfect and he could not be doing any better. We are going to paddock school him in the night schooling session at 6 PM tonight.”
Antonio Fresu, jockey of C Z Rocket (Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen): “I just breezed him today. He’s a nine-year-old but he’s clearly still got it. He finished a solid second behind Elite Power in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and seems to be in very good form. I rode him this morning and he handled the surface well. I think he can run big here.”
Jimmy Barnes, assistant to Bob Baffert, trainer of Hopkins (Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen): “He had a short breeze this morning, racing three quarters just to wake him up a bit. He arrived fine and is looking good with Antonio quite happy with the way he performed and handled his work over the surface.”
Jimmy Barnes, assistant to Bob Baffert, trainer of Worcester (Group 2 UAE Derby): “He did a workout over five-eights this morning and was pretty good handling the surface. He shipped fine and the workouts have gone very well. Antonio rode him this morning and he was happy with how he handled the track.”