AMERICAN HANDLER Luis Carvajal Jr. has sounded a warning to the rest of Imperial Hint’s rivals in the $2.5million Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen saying his sprint star is really loving racing conditions at Dubai’s marquee Meydan Racecourse. Others that could potentially line up in the race are, Grade 3 De Francis Dash winner Killybegs Captain, Group 3 Dubawi Stakes first and second Gladiator King and Truck Salesman, Group 3 Mahaab Al Shimaal winner Wafy, Listed Garhoud Sprint winner Ibn Malik, Grade 2 Palos Verdes victor Captain Scotty and Saudia Sprint runner-up Matera Sky. The 7yo son of Imperialism finished third behind X Y Jet in last year’s running, but has since gone on to win two Grade One affairs in the Alfred G Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga and the Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park.
He was third in the Grade 3 Mr Prospector Stakes that followed and then beat just one home in a field of 13 in the Saudia Sprint on the inaugural Saudia Cup card in Riyadh last month. Carvajal Jr. put his dismal performance in Saudi Arabia down to the fact Imperial Hint did not take to the surface, but having watched a video of him breeze on the Meydan dirt, he is confident his trainee is on track to picking up the chunkiest share of the purse in the world’s richest dirt sprint. Imperial Hint breezed 800m last Thursday morning in 47 seconds flat under exercise rider Jose Contreras. He went his first 400m in about 24 seconds and the next down the Meydan straight in about 23s with Carvajal Jr. confident of further improvement leading up to the race.
He said: “Jose was really impressed with the work and so was I. “He hadn’t worked him before and said he went fantastic and his gallop out looked great. I couldn’t be there, but Riley Mott gave me a great video. “It seems like he really does like that track, unlike in Saudi, where I knew early that he wasn’t liking it. Joel Rosario was going after him to get involved after he broke and I knew right away we were in trouble. Usually he just gets into the race. That track is deep and I think you need horses who are bigger with bigger feet and heavier bodies.” Carvajal added: “He seems to like Meydan and Dubai. I could see that in the work. He just loves to run and run into the bit and I know I’m in good shape when he works like that. “He’ll work again next week; an easy work. He puts a lot into his work, so I try to space them out. He looks effortless, but he is going fast and we like to give him an extra couple of days.”