Arrogate the Star Of The Show On A Night To Remember.

Having written a preview of the Dubai World Cup meeting it would be remiss of me not to add a “where I got it all wrong” type follow up, though the recent rain has given me an excuse like all good journalists, so I feel I am sitting pretty regardless.

Second Summer(USA) (Doug Watson - Pat Dobbs) wins the Godolphin Mile Sponsored by Meydan Sobha at the DWC at Meydan on March 25th 2017. (Credit Dubai Racing Club, Andrew Watkins)
Second Summer – a 20/1 winner for us on Saturday

On to the action (after a bit of low key music to greet the guests), and the Godolphin Mile on the dirt where Second Summer (remember, the one I tipped), won at odds of 20/1. It was a ding-dong battle up the home straight after the early leaders folded late on and a fitting start to the card that had the adrenaline pumping and everyone at the track eagerly anticipating the next race. Ignoring the Purebred Arab race (sorry but with no betting at home there was little point in covering it), and on to the Dubai Gold Cup where European victory was confidently anticipated. So it proved as favourite Vazirabad was given a patient ride by Christophe Soumillon to pounce late on for a length success though my each way selection (Sheikzayedroad) finished third at 8/1 so nothing to be ashamed of there.

Next up we returned to the dirt where hot favourite Thunder Snow landed the UAE Derby by a short head in a photo finish with Epicharis in the battle of the Christophe’s with Soumillon coming out on top from Lemaire at the line. It was an amazing race as the front two battled all the way to the wire with neither giving an inch but the locals lifted the Godolphin horse over the line and gave his jockey a quick fire double on the card.

Moving swiftly on (eight races is enough for anyone), and the sprinters came next back on the turf in what was said to be a match between Limato (Henry Candy) and local favourite Ertijaal (A R Al Rayhi). Interestingly, soft ground was potentially an issue for both of them with the sixth furlong possibly a stretch for the jolly and good ground a pre-requisite for Limato. That’s pretty much how it worked out (I did write than in advance I promise) with Limato never really sighted and Ertijaal going for home and fading in to third late on as The right Man and Long On Value battled it out to the line with a nose between them in that order as they flashed past the line.

Thunder Snow (USA) (Saeed bin Suroor -Christophe Soumillon) wins the UAE Derby (credit Andrew Watkins and Dubai Racing Club)
Thunder Snow (l) gets up late in the UAE Derby

The first race with an easy victor turned out to be the Golden Shaheen, where Chad Summers’ Mind Your Biscuits powered clear after being help up out the back over the six furlongs. He was, in my view, really impressive and I was getting a bit excited until I remembered it was on the dirt and thus we are highly unlikely to see him try his luck in Europe any time soon so I may have to wait a year to see him in action once more.

Green green grass again for the Dubai Turf next after the opening ceremony (lights video, self publication) and once again we were expecting a European victory but we didn’t take in to account the magic man as Joao Moreira steered Japanese raider Vivlos to a pretty convincing success from Heshem with Ribchester back in third. The muted response in the pressroom suggests no one else saw that coming either while his returned odds of 14/1 back up that opinion.

With two races to go we had saved the best until last and the Dubai Sheema Classic seemed sure to live up to its name and we weren’t disappointed even if Postponed was a bit of a let down in third. John Gosden’s Jack Hobbs came back to the sort of form that saw him win the Irish Derby in 2015. Issues have kept him off the track for long periods but this was a superlative run and it will be intriguing to see what high level targets they set for him now with the middle distance races seemingly at his mercy, especially with a bit of cut in the ground.

Last but by no means least we had the Arrogate show to end the card, but whatever his price (very short), could he be as convincing as we all hoped and expected? Yes was the answer as he came from last to first to score going away from a classy looking field who were made to look very pedestrian by the line, and all we can do now is keep our fingers crossed he isn’t rushed off to stud with undue haste and is kept in training for the rest of this year at least.


*Photos Dubai Racing Club/Andrew Watkins feature image Dubai Racing Club/Neville Hopwood.

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