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Bushwacker sounds sprint warning.

Dubai: The connections of American Dubai Golden Shaheen (Gr 1) contender Bushwacker have sounded out a warning to their rivals in Saturday's 1,200 metre sprint.

Walter Cicero, assistant to trainer William Currin, was in a bullish mood after watching the six-year-old US-bred gelding work at Nad Al Sheba racecourse yesterday.

"He's going to be the winner," Cicero bragged. "The horse feels great. I think he's going to be the best horse in the race."

An impressive winner of the Grade 3 Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park in December Bushwacker did an unorthodox exercise on the main dirt track, jogging anti-clockwise around the track followed by a half-mile gallop.

Cicero said the Bushwacker is improving and expects him to enjoy running over the straight course of the Golden Shaheen.

"He's very happy - he likes the track and feels comfortable," Cicero told the Dubai Racing Club website.

Following his win in the Underwood Bushwacker disappointed in the Sunshine Millions Sprint Stakes in January where he finished last behind fellow Dubai Golden Shaheen contender Benny The Bull.

Barbecue Eddie, another American speedball being targetted at the $2million race sponsored by Gulf News, also impressed his rider Iggy Puglisi.

Puglisi worked the gelding about three furlongs for trainer Brian Koriner and remarked: "He's a very, very kind horse. He doesn't act like a run-off, fast sprinter type.

Explosive work

"He really, really surprised me today because when he figured out that I was going to let him get to working, he was explosively fast. He is extremely quick.

"I clock them all and got him in like 35 3/5 seconds and I think if I would have let him work he would have gone in 33 seconds. He is fast. He did the second eighth in 11 seconds and change. Then I took a hold of him.

"It was just a little blowout, just to open up his lungs because he hasn't done a whole lot here, just some jogging and galloping."

Trainer Clifford Sise Jr. sent Breeders' Cup Sprint (Gr 1) runner-up Idiot Proof out for a jog two days after his workout over five furlongs. "I think he's doing really well. He shipped better here than he did to the Breeders' Cup last year," Sise said.

"He colicked on the plane to the Breeders' Cup and he was never really right there." Sise says that four-year-old colt has done nothing but improve since arriving in Dubai and that he expects a big effort on Saturday.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Mar 26, 2008
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