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Fownes pleased with his Dubai duo


Heavy rain fell at Meydan this morning as six of Hong Kong’s Dubai World Cup meeting septet worked on the dirt in preparation for Saturday’s (26 March) targets.

Trainer Caspar Fownes huddled for shelter under an awning in company with a bevy of media representatives as his G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (1200m, dirt) contender Domineer cantered under floodlights, and then relocated to the grandstand for a clear view of Gun Pit’s hit out down the stretch.

“He’s fit and well and I’m happy with him, he looks good,” Fownes said of the latter, who will go up against US superstar California Chrome in the world’s richest race, the G1 Dubai World Cup (2000m, dirt).

“This morning he just cantered and then quickened up from the half mile. It’s hard to see what he’s run but he’s probably run around 24 seconds for the last quarter.”

Gun Pit moved well on the dirt track (a little after 7am), which had been sealed shortly before. Fownes is happy with his charge, who ran a fine second in the G1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 at the course and distance earlier this month.   

“There should be a nice bit of progress from his last run, that was a good performance and I’d say he can put two or three lengths on that. He’s been here long enough now and my boy who rides him in the morning is happy with him. He looks good in the coat, so I’d say there’s progress for sure.

“We have to be realistic though, it’s such a strong race and we’d be very happy with a first five finish.”

Domineer stepped on to the track at 5.15am for an easy, albeit wet, canter. The Shamardal gelding moved easily through a lap of the track.

“Domineer has done all of his fast work so we’ll just be keeping him ticking over through the week,” said Fownes.

“He got here Thursday and he’s looking fine, he looks a treat in the morning and he’s happy and that’s key. He lost a little bit of bodyweight, which is quite normal, but he’s eating up and I’d expect that to be put on in the next couple of days. He’s in good form and I’d say he’s a first four chance. He’s an on-speed horse and I think going this direction (left-handed) will suit him.

“There’s not much between the four Hong Kong horses in that race – David Hall’s horse (Master Kochanwong) is striking form at the right time and looks a treat in quarantine, which surprised me because he’s a light horse but he’s done well in the couple of days he’s been here.”

First on to the track this morning, in company with Japan’s early risers, was Super Jockey. Tony Millard’s charge went a lap and a half at a sedate canter under the trainer’s wife, Beverly Millard.

“The travel was good and he’s been there before, so he’s experienced now. Everything is going well; my wife is overseeing the training schedule in consultation with me until I arrive on Thursday. He might go a bit quicker on Thursday morning,” said the trainer.

“He’s been trained specifically for this race so his preparation has been tailored to this and he comes here after running the second fastest 1000m ever in Hong Kong, so that speaks for itself.”

At around 7am, the John Moore-trained Not Listenin’tome and Tony Cruz’s Peniaphobia, both destined for the Al Quoz Sprint (1000m, turf), undertook light work on the dirt track. The Michael Chang-trained Rich Tapestry followed shortly afterwards for a routine spin, leading into his third attempt at the Dubai Golden Shaheen.

The David Hall-trained Master Kochanwong remained in the quarantine area trotting ring. 


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