Arrogate will become the world record prize-money holder if the horse wins the Dubai World Cup at Meydan on Saturday. At long odds-on to win the $6million dollar first prize Arrogate should set a new global mark for earnings from results on the track but the horse is not a working man’s price. It’s pointless trying to find an alternative in the win market but Keen Ice looks interesting to make the frame.
The Dubai World Cup has prided itself for some years on being the richest race in the world. That honour is now held by the Pegasus World Cup and Arrogate won the first running. The horse also won the Breeders Cup Classic so the world’s top-rated racehorse is bidding for a unique Cup treble on Saturday. Arrogate is trained by Bob Baffert who is in American racing’s Hall of Fame. He has seen it all before so his comments in the Racing Post about Arrogate are significant:
“He’s handling everything really well and looks good to me. It’s like I’m bringing Usain Bolt to Dubai.”
That might not seem a gushing testimonial but in Baffert-speak that is a tip. However, at 1/3 only the wealthy and money buyers will be interested in backing the best horse in the sport. Currency fluctuations muddy the waters when determining the biggest global earner and some horses who only ran in Japan potentially have won more. However, if Arrogate wins the Dubai World Cup the horse will surpass the $17 million mark which is unprecedented. Arrogate truly is a superstar of world Flat racing and can confirm that status this weekend in UAE.
Baffert suffered a heart attack in Dubai before the 2012 World Cup meeting. He is no stranger to the pressures of training top-class horses but Arrogate should not create too much stress in Dubai this year. The trainer thinks his horse is the dirt version in the States of Frankel and that horse is right up there with the best ever in the history of racing. Arrogate cannot be opposed in the Dubai World Cup but there could be some each way value and Keen Ice makes appeal.
Keen Ice beat American Pharoah in 2015 and that horse also trained by Baffert won the US Triple Crown that year. The trainer recognises that his horse was a brilliant two-year old and brilliant in the Classics so maybe in the back of his mind he is wary of Keen Ice. The horse is trained by Todd Pletcher, another handler who knows the time of day with high-class thoroughbreds. At 40/1 Keen Ice looks a potential each way steamer and you can get fifth the odds for the first three.
There are no horses trained in Britain and Ireland running in the Dubai World Cup but there are some good prospects for the supporting races. Postponed won the Sheema Classic last year and is the favourite to win the race again. Connections have said they couldn’t be happier with their horse who has the advantage of winning form on Dubai World Cup night which will be shown live on the specialist racing channels on Saturday afternoon due to time differences. Unfortunately Postponed has drawn the widest gate in a field of seven but the trainer is happy with his form.
Ribchester is a leading contender for the Dubai Turf, the race which provides the best chance for a British trained winner on the night. Mutakayyef and Decorated Hero are also in the mix for the nine furlong turf race and only one other horse is shorter in the betting than the three UK-based contenders. Zarak will be a tough nut to crack but Ribchester has the ability to do just that and take Richard Fahy’s training career to a new level with a win on the global stage.
Ribchester is owned by Godolphin and would become a first winner on Dubai World Cup night from outside the owner’s team of retained trainers. The meeting is highly significant for the Godolphin organisation as they are part of the ruling class in UAE so in effect they are running Ribchester to win their own prize money. However, Fahey feels no added pressure from this situation and the owners have not interfered. The trainer believes the horse will stay but the horse is running beyond a mile and left-handed for the first time but those negatives can be overcome. However, Arrogate is the banker of the night.