Ed Marnane
3 minute read
24 Mar 2017
11:02 am

Red-hot Arrogate looks to soar into the record books

Ed Marnane

Fawree could bring Derby glory – if he behaves.

HOT FAVOURITE. Arrogate is the highest rated horse in the world and he is 1-3 favourite to win the $10-million Dubai World Cup over 2000m on the dirt tomorrow.

All eyes will be on the mighty Arrogate, the highest rated horse in the world, when he steps onto Meydan’s dirt track tomorrow bidding to provide Bob Baffert with his third Dubai World Cup winner.

Baffert is in confident mood as the red-hot favourite Arrogate looks to take his career earn­ings soaring past $17-million, a remarkable achievement having only made his racecourse debut just over twelve months ago. Ar­rogate will have to make history if he’s to win; no winner of the previous 22 renewals has jumped from stall nine.

“He’s settled in pretty well and everything has gone pretty smooth,” said Baffert, who will also saddle Hoppertunity, last year’s third place getter.

“We’re just playing the wait­ing game now. The draw is over so that’s the last of the suspense. We just have to keep him happy the next couple of days.

Gun Runner, third behind Ar­rogate in the Travers, has im­pressed work watchers at Mey­dan since arriving in Dubai, confidence is growing that Steve Asmussen’s progressive four-year-old will mount a bold bid and upset Baffert’s stable star.

He has landed a good gate in stall five, a bonus for a horse who has blossomed since front-run­ning tactics were employed, win­ning the Clark Handicap and Ra­zorback Handicap on his last two appearances.

Mike de Kock’s hopes of finally winning the Dubai World Cup took a blow after Mubtaahij, the 2015 UAE Derby hero, was drawn in stall 14.

The five-year-old, who chased home California Chrome in last year’s Dubai World Cup, has pleased his South African trainer since an encouraging comeback in the Curlin Handicap last month.

The supporting card is top-class, highlighted by no less than three Group 1 races on turf.

This year’s UAE Derby, run over 1900m on dirt, has attracted a big field, including De Kock’s second runner of the night, Fawree.

It would be foolish to ignore Fawree’s claims, if the son of Can­dy Ride behaves at the start hav­ing got badly upset in the starting stalls and unseating his rider in the Al Bastakiya.

Fawree created a big impres­sion when getting off the mark at the second time of asking here in January, shaping as a horse with a big future.

But he will have to beat Thun­der Snow, representing Saeed bin Suroor, the most successful train­er in the history of the race.

His task has been made dif­ficult jumping from stall 13 in a race that sees maximum 16 horses declared.

Last year Lani became Japan’s first winner in the race, Epich­aris, unbeaten in four runs, all on dirt, looks major player to take the prize back to Japan, once again.

Postponed, last year’s Sheema Classic winner, is back to de­fend his crown in the $6-million event.

He has plenty to prove after a shock defeat in the prep, the Dubai City of Gold, three weeks ago.

Zarak looks the one to beat in the $6-million Dubai Turf.

Top speedster Ertijaal, regard­ed by many as the home banker of the night in the Al Quoz Sprint, looks to avenge last year’s narrow defeat to Buffering.

Trained by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi, he hasn’t tasted defeat since chas­ing home the Aussie veteran 12 months ago.