Colourful socks and thriving stayer catch the eye at morning gallops
The fashion stakes vary somewhat in the racing world. Proof of that was found on the track at morning gallops on Thursday.
Bob Baffert was as smart as ever in a shirt, jeans and snazzy leather shoes, easygoing Australian trainer Peter Gelagotis was spotted in shorts and flip flops, but Charlie Fellowes let the Brits down.
Fellowes’s non-matching red and yellow socks were the talk of the press.
The Newmarket trainer said: “I’m a law unto my own – I just didn’t put on a matching pair as I like coloured socks. It’s a very simple answer. I’ll get into Royal Ascot with these on, not a problem. I know a couple of people on the gates.”
The socks were not the only thing that caught the eye. Fellowes’s first Dubai World Cup night runner, Prince Of Arran – a 66-1 shot with Ladbrokes for the Dubai Gold Cup – looked a picture of health and tanked his way through a circuit on the dirt track under former jockey Natasha Eaton. He has clearly thrived in the conditions out here.
Fellowes said: “It’s going to be run to suit him and if he finishes in the first half of the field we’ll be delighted. He looks fantastic and loved it over here. We mucked up last time and I hope he’s forgiven me for putting a set of visors on him. He hated them.
“He’s a really funny horse, he’s a character. Everything needs to be perfect for him and when it is, he’s very good, but when it’s not his cup of tea it can be a different story.”
Banks the man for the job
Clive Cox watched his Longines Dubai Sheema Classic hope Khalidi work on the training track on Thursday morning and has left proceedings back home in the capable hands of a new assistant.
Recently retired jump jockey James Banks has taken the position and holds the fort this week along with Cox’s experienced team.
Cox said: “James has ridden out for me for four or five years now and we’ve known one another for a long time. He had a pleasing career as a jockey and now he’s finished it was a nice step for him to be able to join us full time. He knows the routine, the horses and how we operate so it’s a nice fit.”
Khalidi, the mount of Silvestre de Sousa, is a general 20-1 chance and Cox believes a sound surface is key to his recent recruit.
He said: “I’m very happy with Khalidi. He’s thrived since he’s been over here and I couldn’t be more pleased with him. It’s a very hot race but this decent ground is key to him.
“Lingfield proved far too sharp for him last time and a mile and a quarter was definitely on the short side, but it proved a nice stepping stone for coming over here. He could be an exciting horse going forward.”
David Simcock was at the main track for the first time this week and runs the Sean Levey-ridden Desert Encounter in the same race.
Simcock said: “Desert Encounter took the travelling very well and settled in nicely. It was a surprise how much he improved last year and I’d like to think there is a little more to come in the right conditions, which he should get on Saturday.”
Change of heart
UAE Derby contender Yulong Warrior, trained by local Satish Seemar, has been bought back by previous owner and Chinese businessman Zhang Yue Shang.
The three-year-old, a general 16-1 chance, was bought by the trainer for £360,000 at the Goffs Royal Ascot sale.
The price is unconfirmed, but a debut fifth and two wins later at Meydan in the colours of Kapoor family will have no doubt raised his value considerably.
Read exclusive previews of the Dubai World Cup night action from 6pm on Friday on racingpost.com