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There is no doubt that the attentions of the racing world were focused on one horse this weekend, and he did not disappoint. Described by Bob Baffert as the ‘greatest horse since Secretariat’, Arrogate was nothing short of sublime in his victory in the Dubai World Cup.
After falling out the gate and trailing the field on the rain soaked Meydan track in Dubai, Arrogate put in the most impressive of displays under a cool ride by Mike Smith. He guided the four-year-old past his 13 rivals, one by one around the outside, and stretched clear in the home straight. In under a year, Arrogate has gone from an unraced three year old, to a four time Grade 1, and US $17 million dollar, winning horse.
Dubai World Cup Day proved to be a truly international affair, with American, French, British, Irish and Japanese horses all notching up Group success on the US $30 million card. The weekend’s Group racing wasn’t confined only to Meydan though, with Turffontein, Chukyo and Kranji also hosting high profile fixtures.
Internationally renowned trainer Mike De Kock had two runners on the dirt of Meydan, and whilst neither could earn a place, back in his native South Africa he was successful in the Oaks Trial with Belle Rose. Domestic success dominated the Turffontein card, where five top class races were staged. Three of those five races went the way of jockey Gavin Lerena, who himself is building an international reputation, enhanced by his International Jockeys Championships success representing South Africa at Sha Tin in December 2015.
Domestic prominence was also evident in the Grade 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo Racecourse in Japan, where international rider Mirco Demuro was beaten into third on favourite Red Falx by Let’s Go Donki (Yasunari Iwata) and winner Seiun Kosei (Hideaki Miyuki). Fellow European rider, Andrasch Starke, could only manage a 12th place finish in the race. Mirco has made Japan a second home, since becoming the first non-Japanese jockey to win the Japan Derby in 2003, he’s not been short of success in Japan and that looks set to continue through 2017. Mirco claimed the first Japanese Grade 1 of the season, and his 19th Japanese Grade 1 success, winning the February Stakes aboard Dubai World Cup runner Gold Dream.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Singapore was the venue for two Group 3 races; Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint and Rocket Man Sprint. The latter has been renamed in 2017 to honour the first Singapore-trained horse to have claimed an international Group 1 race. It’s perhaps fitting that Rocket Man has been honoured with this race that took place on the same weekend as the renewal of his Group 1 conquest, the Dubai Golden Shaheen. This year’s winner, Lim’s Cruiser, is now 2 from 2 in Group races and hasn’t finished out of the places in his six starts.More Group racing from South Africa and Japan follows later this week, as flat racing returns to the turf tracks of the UK. HBA offers international rights and distribution services to some of the world’s most prestigious races. Contact us for more information by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44(0) 1666 822769.o
The 2017 Cheltenham Festival is one that will live long in the memories of the Irish contingent who descended upon Prestbury Park last week. Irish dominance was reflected in the 19-9 Betbright Cup victory over their British counterparts, including success for the County Kildare trainer Jessica Harrington with Sizing John in the week’s showpiece on Friday.
On the international scene, there was an equally dominant display at Fairview on Friday in the East Cape Sprint Cup. Trainer Tara Laing sent three runners to her local track in Port Elizabeth for the Listed affair, taking on six further competitors. With none of her three runners occupying favouritism, nor second favouritism in the market, Tara would have been hoping for one of her runners to upset the odds and land the winning prize in the R150,000 valued race. The result however was far better than what Tara may have anticipated. The three stablemates, all running for the same owner, came home first, second and third. It was the least fancied Normanz who seized victory by over a length, leading for most of the race from Tar Heel, who in turn finished two lengths up on the fast finishing Sir Duke.
Mayfair Speculators, the owners of the three aforementioned runners at Fairview, were again in the places the following day at Turffontein for the feature race of the day, the Listed Drum Star Handicap. Their six-year-old gelding, Master Switch, got up on the line to snatch an unlikely looking third. Victory went to the 40/1 outsider, The Elmo Effect, off bottom weight, who found another gear entering the final two furlongs to see off the well fancied Arctica by nearly a length. A drop in trip did the trick for The Elmo Effect, who had previously been contesting races over a few furlongs further.
A few hours earlier, in Australia, the world’s highest rated mare was once again making headlines. Winx brushed aside her opposition in the China Horse Club George Ryder over seven and a half furlongs. The highly impressive five-year-old has now racked up 16 consecutive victories, and 11 Group 1’s. The European options are still very much on the table for the mighty mare.
Although Winx was the day’s star performer, the feature race of the day at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney was the Longines Golden Slipper, a Group 1 event which offers AU$3.5million in prize money. 16 runners went to post in what appeared to be an open contest of two-year-old Australian colts and fillies. Top British jockeys Ryan Moore and William Buick were drafted in for rides in the race, however neither threatened the places. The aptly named filly, She Will Reign, was a very impressive winner in the hands of Ben Melham, victorious by over two lengths. Fillies Frolic and Tulip occupied the places, following a placings reversal between the third and fourth finishers. The Golden Slipper is the world’s most valuable race two-year-olds race and it’s only natural to now expect future successes from the incredibly fast finishing She Will Reign. Highlights of the event will be broadcast in Eurosport’s Horse Excellence show.
Plenty more international action is on offer this week, with HBA delivering racing from South Africa, Japan, Singapore and the USA. This Saturday sees the finale of the Dubai World Cup Carnival. Across the nine races, 13 countries are represented by equine stars, all competing for a share of the US$30million in prize money on offer. The world’s best horse, Arrogate, is a very strong favourite for the day’s showpiece, the US$10million Dubai World Cup. After consecutive successes in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup Invitational, this race may seem like somewhat of a formality to the Juddmonte star without California Chrome in opposition.HBA offers international rights and distribution services to some of the world’s most prestigious races. Contact us for more information by email at email@example.com or call +44(0) 1666 822769.