Dubai delightful as Melbourne swelters

As the mercury soars at Danny O’Brien’s Flemington stable, two of his stable stars are enjoying the calm and soothing weather of Dubai.

Most people associate the United Arab Emirates city with the extraordinary temperatures that have engulfed Victoria this week, however Barbaricus, pictured, and Valedictum have been kicking back enjoying days in the mid-20s as they acclimatise for their first overseas preparation.

As meetings have been abandoned back home, the pair are enjoying the mild conditions of the UAE winter which is very similar to the Australian autumn.

O’Brien is very pleased with the early stages of the trip as both horses have done very well under the watchful eye of travelling foreman Paul Koumis since arriving in Dubai on January 21.

“We couldn’t be happier with how they have settled in to their new environment,” O’Brien said.

“They handled the flight well and earlier this week they did their first major work on the track.”

The horses are stabled in the world renowned Dubai World Cup Quarantine Centre which is considered one of the best horse facilities on the globe.

“The facilities in Dubai are amazing and the prizemoney is impossible to ignore. Prizemoney in Australia has been static for five years so it makes sense and I intend to go to Dubai every year now.”

While racing in Dubai, Barbaricus is being aimed at a Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup night, while Valedictum will concentrate on handicaps around 1600m.

Valedictum is likely to have his first run over 1500m next Thursday (Feb 5), while Barbaricus will compete in a 2000m event the following Thursday, February 12.

Stablemate Master O’Reilly, winner of the 2007 Caulfield Cup, will have two or three more starts here culminating in the Australian Cup on March 7 before shipping to Dubai for the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup night.

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