After making 1300 meters of the running in a $5,000,000 race, imagine losing the lead in the straight after seeing some of the world’s best surround your mount. Was the pace too fast? Did you push for home too soon? Come on – find more.
And suddenly, the son of Camden Park you are riding kicks into a previously unknown gear, and just as you re-engage, the saddle slips, your balance is off, and 15 world class racehorses are perilously close.
What do you do? Dig in and propel your longshot mount to a monumental victory all while your life, essentially, hangs in a perilous imbalance. South African jockey Anton Marcus lived this wild ride aboard Jay Peg in the 2008 Dubai Duty Free (G1).
What is often lost in the shuffle of a dramatic, near-catastrophic race is the fact that Jay Peg ran the fastest Dubai Duty Free in history, establishing a course record by more than a second. He did this by setting fast fractions early, losing the lead with 350 meters to run, dropping behind almost two lengths, then re-rallied passing one of the world’s top fillies at the time, Darjina. It didn’t hurt Jay Peg’s backers that his amazing re-rally was done at 35-1 odds in the international commingled pool. The 2008 Dubai Duty Free had a little bit of everything, which made it even more memorable than the 2004 version, a deadheat between Right Approach and Paolini.