Doctor Dino shows his lethal turn of foot
Defending Vase champion Doctor Dino showed why he has repeatedly been able to beat Group One rivals in different countries with a sizzling turn of foot in his final preparatory gallop yesterday.
One of the last horses among the 36 international visitors to work, regular rider Eric Gandon took Doctor Dino for a leisurely round but then allowed the stallion to stride along from the 800 metres.
The 2007 Vase and Man O'War Stakes winner went even time (30 seconds) for the first 400m and then opened up from the top of the straight, clocking 22.5 seconds for the final 400m. However, it was in the final 200m when Doctor Dino showed his Group One quality, putting the final split behind him in an amazing 10.7 seconds.
Mike de Kock sent Eagle Mountain out for pacework on the all-weather track, and the Breeders' Cup Turf runner-up was handled by Kevin Shea. He slipped up to galloping speed for the final 600m running 38.5 seconds, the final 200m well on the bridle in 12.6 seconds. Shea returned with a glowing report.
'He's flying. He's got fresh legs and he will run a big race for sure,' he said.
Mourilyan, trained by Herman Brown, sprinted up nicely over 600m in 36.5 seconds, the final 200m impressively in 11.5 seconds.
After Thursday's turf gallop, 2007 Melbourne Cup second Purple Moon took it considerably easier this time, going 1,000m of pacework, improving slightly to clock 28.5 seconds for the final 400m.
Breeders Cup' Marathon winner Muhannak looked fluent and happy as he strode over 1,200m on the dirt in 1:27.8, the final 400m in 25.8 and the ultimate 200m in 13.0.
Balius, a surprise runner-up in the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin, had his first piece of fast work under race rider Gerald Mosse. After doing steady pace work, the French galloper opened up with a leisurely 42.7 seconds for the last 600m (24.75, 12.3). The other interesting runner was South African speed machine Mythical Flight. Looking more settled than he had been just 24 hours earlier, Mythical Flight sped over 400m on the all-weather track in 22.5 seconds.