Curlin, the star name among a host of the world’s best racehorses out on the track at Nad Al Sheba on Sat morning, “went very, very nice” in his first workout.
With exercise rider Carmen “Carlos” Rosas trying to quietly contain him, American Horse of the Year Curlin strode easily through 800 metres in :50.50 on Saturday morning.
Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, said: “Curlin gets over the ground here really well. And he’s anxious to do something. He did things the right way this morning and I think Steve will be pleased.”
Asmussen had given strict instructions prior to the move that Curlin should not exert himself too much with only five days before his first scheduled start of 2008 in a US$175,000 race over 2,000 meters at Nad Al Sheba on February 28.
“Carlos did a great job. He went very, very well,” said Blasi, who reported that Curlin was feeling so good after the workout that he had to put a lip chain on the colt as he cooled out.
“I’m very happy with how he’s acting. I see a lot of similarities with how he has been before his previous races,” he added.
Curlin is scheduled to walk on Sunday and then just gallop up to the race, with a visit to the Nad Al Sheba starting gate planned for Tuesday morning.
Blasi noted that most of Curlin’s serious training was accomplished at the Fair Grounds Race Course prior to his departure from the United States.
Earlier, New Zealand’s champion mare Seachange worked on the grass and appears to have recovered well from her journey, while Youmzain, third in last year’s Dubai Sheema Classic, also worked on the turf under the watchful gaze of trainer Mick Channon.
Mike De Kock’s UAE 2000 Guineas winner and runner-up Honour Devil and Royal Vintage stretched their legs on the dirt, closely followed by Oracle West, runner-up in last year’s Dubai Sheema Classic.
The world’s best Purebred Arabian Madjani, was also on the track, as he looks for his fourth consecutive win in the Dubai Kahayla Classic on Dubai World Cup night. Trainer Gill Duffield took up a vantage point in the stands to watch her stable star work on the grass.
The Big G