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McLaughlin weathers storm

Godolphin Breeders’ Cup hopefuls to escape impending hurricane

Gulf News

Dubai: Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was buoyed by the final workouts of his Breeders’ Cup hopefuls on Friday morning before the Godolphin team fly out to California on Saturday ahead of a severe hurricane that is forecast to hit the east coast of the United States late Sunday or early Monday morning.

Hurricane Sandy threatens to be one of the worst storms to hit the US in decades and could well disrupt the travel plans of several Breeders’ Cup bound horses.

McLaughlin, a former champion trainer in the UAE, was pleased that flight plans had been made in advance of the storm.

After watching his Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) contender Alpha breeze at Godolphin’s private Greentree Training Centre in Saratoga Springs he said: “I’m glad it’s [the flight’s] not Tuesday, with this storm coming.”

The son of Bernadini was clocked in 49.0 seconds for his 800m workout over the synthetic surface.

Questing, who runs in the Ladies’ Classic (G1) was timed at 49.8 over the same distance while his Juvenile (G1) contender Fortify, who also worked over 800m, was clocked at 48.60.

However, the best piece of work was delivered by Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) hopeful Emcee who timed a smart 47.4 for the half-mile.

Emcee won the Grade One Forego early last month at Saratoga but is yet to race beyond 1400m.

“He gallops out in his works very, very well,” McLaughlin said. “We just never have tried him a mile. I don’t see that he won’t get it.”