Marking and Rich Tapestry are guaranteed a searing pace to aim at in the Dubai Golden Shaheen after XY Jet put up an impressive performance at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, on Saturday night.
The American sprinter won the Group 3 US$100,000 (Dh367,295) Gulfstream Park Sprint to register his fifth straight success and will ship to the UAE in the middle of next month ahead of World Cup night on March 26.
XY Jet was hardly foot perfect, however, and the four-year-old grey gelding bobbled as he left the starting gate, but quickly regained his footing under Emisael Jaramillo.
He assumed the lead and blazed through the first quarter of a mile, but understandably tired in the final stages to finish the 1,300 metres in 1 minute, 15.95 seconds.
Trainer Jorge Navarro was impressed with the winner’s rapid early sectional times and is looking forward to coming to Meydan.
“We weren’t going three-quarters [speed] today,” he told reporters. “I’m not planning to do anything with him right now. I’m going to keep him happy and I’m going to go [to Dubai] and go on vacation.”
Jaramillo felt that XY Jet battled bravely when taken on.
“He didn’t break good today,” the jockey said. “After he stumbled he gathered himself and made the lead. They put pressure on him, but when they looked him in the eye he got in the bridle.”
Godolphin’s US import Marking also has issues with the gate after he unseated James Doyle on his Dubai debut in the Al Shindagha Sprint won by Rich Tapestry, who is slated to run on Saturday in the Mahab Al Shimaal en route to the Dubai Golden Shaheen.
Marking again broke awkwardly from the gate when he won the Al Naboodah National Plant Trophy at Meydan on Thursday.
As a son of Bernardini, a three-time Grade 1 winner over 2,000 metres, there is a school of thought that Marking would be better stepped up in distance for the Godolphin Mile, also on World Cup night.
Since his victory, however, John Ferguson, Godolphin’s new chief executive, has ruled out the Godolphin Mile as the Dubai-based operation can rely on Firebreak Stakes first and third Confrontation and Watershed.
In Japan, the dual Grade 1 winner Duramente got his season off to an impressive start when he held off the challenge of Ambitious to win the Grade 2 Nakayama Kinen.
Duramente had not raced since winning the Japanese Derby in May due to injury and was partnered by Mirco Demuro, who won the 2011 Dubai World Cup aboard Japanese raider Victoire Pisa.
According to Japanese reports a decision as to whether Duramente runs next in the Dubai Sheema Classic will be taken on Thursday, or Friday at the latest.
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