A stunning last-to-first win from Arrogate in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan on Saturday night creates plenty of talking points.
- It confirms his status as a genuine superstar of the sport, now having won a big race outside of the USA.
- It makes him the highest-earning horse in the history of racing, clocking over the US$17 million mark, which is incredible considering he’s only raced eight times (for seven wins).
- It opens the debate about how he compares to the modern-day greats, including fellow Juddmonte Farm hero Frankel (seriously, how lucky is owner Prince Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud?) and Australian superstar Winx.
In terms of the first point, there isn’t a debate, when legendary trainer Bob Baffert declares him “the most incredible horse I’ve ever seen”, that says it all.
The prizemoney situation is noteworthy, and great for connections’ pockets, but it doesn’t really mean a lot. It can’t when there’s a brand new manufactured “richest race in the world” involved. The reality is he’s won four races at the top level – the Travers Stakes, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the Pegasus World Cup and now the Dubai World Cup. His next main target will be defending that Breeders’ Cup Classic title.
And finally, the debate that is impossible to settle. Different horses, specialising on different tracks at different distances. There is no correct answer – it’s all subjective.
But whatever your preference may be, you can still enjoy the race.
While Arrogate was clearly the highlight of the Meydan meeting, that was just one of five Group One races on the card, which was affected by unseasonally wet weather.
Godolphin’s Jack Hobbs was terrific winning the Dubai Sheema Classic, with last year’s winner Postponed finishing third.
Japanese filly Vivlos gave Joao Moreira a feature victory at the meeting, beating Heshem and Ribchester.
In the sprint races, The Right Man took out the Al Quoz on the turf, while Mind Your Biscuits got the Dubai Golden Shaheen on the dirt.
Jack Hobbs wins the Dubai Sheema Classic for John Gosden and William Buick, his first win of any description since September 2015 pic.twitter.com/ZJik1pLygS— Meydan Racing (@DRC_Meydan) March 25, 2017
Vivlos wins the Dubai Turf for Japan thanks to a well-timed challenge from the brilliant Joao Moreira as the Europeans disappoint pic.twitter.com/pvFu4woblY— Meydan Racing (@DRC_Meydan) March 25, 2017
The Chad Summers-trained Mind Your Biscuits comes fast, wide and late to win the Dubai Golden Shaheen from stall 14 pic.twitter.com/zVYA5qnAOB— Meydan Racing (@DRC_Meydan) March 25, 2017
Over in Australia, there were two Group Ones in Sydney, headlined by Caulfield Cup winner Jameka in The BMW.
After finishing second in the Australian Cup last start, she showed her class with a dominant six and a half length win on a heavy track.
She’s now about to embark on a worldwide tour, starting with the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup in Hong Kong and then with a host of options in Europe.
The other feature was the Vinery Stud Stakes for three-year-old fillies, with Montoyas Secret prevailing. The standout part of this was the post-race interview between popular Australian broadcaster Bruce McAvaney and colourful jockey Noel Callow.
Down in Melbourne on Friday night, the Andrew Noblet-trained Silent Sedition made up for unlucky second in the Coolmore Classic with a narrow win in the Group One William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley.
It was the first major for the trainer and bubbly jockey Katelyn Mallyon.
The speedsters also took centre stage in Japan, where the first of only two Grade One sprints for the year – the Takamatsunomiya Kinen – was held at Chukyo.
The Hiroyuki Uehara-trained Seiun Kosei settled just behind the speed on the soft track, peeling out at the top of the straight and holding off his rivals for a comfortable win, beating Let’s Go Donki and Red Falx.
Looking ahead to next week and all eyes will be on Royal Randwick for the first day of The Championships, headlined by the time-honoured Doncaster Mile, T J Smith Stakes, Australian Derby and Inglis Sires’, all at Group One level.