London – UK champion trainer John Gosden took his Dubai World Cup night contenders, Without Parole and Weekender, for an away-day to Chelmsford last week when the pair impressed in a 1600m workout with a lead horse.
Gosden is preparing last year’s St James’s Palace Stakes (Grade 1) winner Without Parole for a clash with Japan Cup (Grade 1) winner Almond Eye in the Grade 1 Dubai Turf at Meydan.
A 14-1 chance for the $5-million prize, for which Almond Eye is 5-4 favorite, Without Parole was last seen finishing sixth to Recoletos in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Grade 1) at ParisLongchamp in September, in which subsequent Breeders’ Cup Mile (Grade 1) winner Expert Eye finished third.
Gosden, who has previously taken stars like The Fugue to Chelmsford for a change of scene, reported: “It was just regular work for Without Parole and Weekender, and they both worked nicely. It was pretty windy, but they had it at their backs down the straight, which helped, and they are both on course to run at Meydan.”
Weekender, like Without Parole a son of Frankel, had some smart-placed form to his name last year, including a second in the Ebor, which was followed by a third in the Irish St. Leger (Grade 1).
The five-year-old signed off with a modest seventh in the St Simon Stakes (Grade 3) at Newbury in October, when he may not have been in love with the good to soft ground.
Weekender has the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup on his World Cup night agenda, for which he is a general 10-1 chance for a possible clash with Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter.
One Gosden star who will not be turning up at Meydan is all-weather sensation Wissahickon, who will miss the Sheema Classic due to a blood abnormality. The Winter Derby winner had been a 10-1 shot for the $6-million contest, which Gosden has won with Dar Re Mi and Jack Hobbs. – bloodhorse.com