03/19/2007 12:00AM

Discreet Cat in World Cup drill

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Discreet Cat and Premium Tap pleased connections in major Middle East workouts this weekend, two weeks before their clash with Horse of the Year Invasor in the $6 million Dubai World Cup on March 31.

Discreet Cat, in what trainer Saeed bin Suroor termed his final serious gallop before the World Cup, worked a mile at Nad Al Sheba on Saturday in 1:38. Frankie Dettori rated the undefeated Cigar Mile winner three lengths behind workmate Count Trevisio, a 4-year-old handicapper, cruised up alongside at the three-sixteenths pole, and drew off under wraps.

"This was his main work before the Dubai World Cup, so it was very pleasing to see that," Suroor said. "He has taken everything in his stride and we're firmly on course. He will have one more blowout at around five furlongs and that will be it."

"It was a nice even gallop and he finished really strong," Dettori said. "We're only two weeks away now, so the gloves are off. Bring it on!"

Doubts were raised about Discreet Cat's participation in the big race when he was scratched with a fever from the Burj Nahar at Nad Al Sheba on March 1. Suroor has no doubts about the World Cup, however. The trainer also revealed that Folk, winner of both the UAE 1000 Guineas and the UAE Oaks in the colors of Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, would fly the flag for Godolphin in the UAE Derby and her meeting with Asiatic Boy.

On Sunday at King Abdul Aziz Racecourse in Janadriyah near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Premium Tap worked six furlongs under Kent Desormeaux with trainer John Kimmel watching from the sidelines.

"All thumbs are up," said Kimmel. "He worked very well and everything seems to be on target." Noting that it is difficult to obtain exact work times at King Abdul Aziz, Kimmel estimated the breeze to have gone in 1:15. "He looks good, his weight is great, and his soundness is very good," he said. Premium Tap will be shipped to Dubai on March 28, three days before the World Cup.

Storm Mayor, twice the winner of Argentina's most prestigious turf race, the Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini, and a Group 1 winner in Buenos Aires on dirt, has been purchased by Saudi Prince Tirki bin Badr bin Saoud and will make his next start in the Dubai World Cup for his Argentine conditioner, Juan Bianchi.