The story really has not been told yet, and it will surely develop over the course of the week, but Japan’s trio of chances in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) is one of the main story lines for the 2011 edition of the world’s richest race.
Buena Vista could become the all-time leading money earner with a win. Second in the Dubai Sheema Classic a year ago, she is back for a chance at a $6 million winner’s share. Never worse than third in a 17-start career that has yielded winnings of more than $12 million, the 5-year-old mare by Special Week will have a massive shot if she takes well to the Tapeta. Victoire Pisa was third behind Buena Vista in the controversial Japan Cup (G1) and is also getting away from grass for the first time. Transcend, meanwhile, is the one with non-grass experience, a front-running winner of the February Stakes (G1) and Japan Cup Dirt (G1) leading his credentials.
At home, a nation that supports horse racing more than many others reels from tragedy. They deserve something to cheer for, and will get that opportunity regardless. After the two minutes of the Dubai World Cup’s 2,000 metres, the next chapter of the story could be a fairy tale or another typical post-race report. Six days from now – we’ll know. The healing in Japan will take infinitely longer, but a bright spot could briefly temper the tragedy in some minor, trivial way. Racing, sometimes, has a funny way of doing that. We can only imagine the sight if one of the three gets the job done.