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Immediate thoughts following the 2014 Dubai World Cup

Here are a few quick immediate thoughts after the Dubai World Cup meeting:

- African Story had an excuse last time as he cut himself badly in the stalls, essentially running concussed during the Maktoum Challenge. He’s a course winner, and was running on so well in the Maktoum Challenge – Round 2. He had legitimate claims.

- Gentildonna ran an absolutely amazing race to win the Dubai Sheema Classic. She encountered so much trouble in running, it’s tough to capture it all.

- Empoli ran a massive race to be fourth in the Dubai Sheema Classic after suffering significant interference when Mars was going wrong. Speaking of Mars – so very sad for connections.

- Denim And Ruby being on the front-end of the Dubai Sheema Classic was quite possibly the worst big-race ride I’ve ever witnessed. Shocking to an unfathomable degree. How? Why? Questions never answered.

- Just A Way was just incredible, but he had it all setup by countrymate Tokei Halo, who ran 0.04 seconds slower than the record split for the first 400m in an 1,800m turf race at Meydan. Every sectional after that was the fastest on record, and they got progressively quicker from the previous record. Literally amazing.

- The first five finishers of the Dubai Duty Free would’ve set a course record with their final times, that’s how fast the pace was in the race. Absurd.

- Sterling City was the only horse without Tapeta form in the Dubai Golden Shaheen. Ponder that for a minute.

- Amber Sky didn’t stop – it was THE question of the Al Quoz, and we know the answer.

- Shea Shea missed the break and got shuffled…it was all over after that.

- Those that raced fairly close on Tapeta were in good shape, but few saw the all-weather form Toast of New York had carrying over to the UAE Derby. Pacemaker Safety Check was tenth. Giovanni Boldini ran on well when many didn’t lift at all.

- The Appleby stats continue. He’s incredibly nice, conversational, and just seems a good sort, and you have to feel for the guy because he surely is trying, but we can’t explain those statistics.

- Cavalryman may have been best in the Dubai Gold Cup, but Certerach was consistent at the Carnival and capable of that run – remember, this was just a Group 3.

- Capital Attraction blew the break and the race changed immediately. Variety Club got it his own way, Soft Falling Rain tracked – game over. Flotilla may have won if Capital Attraction breaks.

That’s what we have for now – more in due time.


  1. The winner of the Dubai World Cup, AFRICAN STORY, was not a surprise considering the horse’s ability on the tapeta and past record but the highlight of the night for me was JUST A WAY in the Dubai Duty Free. Oh my God, he was absolutely amazing with VERCINGETORIX running a career-best performance.

  2. I’ve just re-watched the start of the Godolphin Mile and clearly Capital Attraction threw its head up in the air no question about that. But one thing is strange to me is that after an excellent start from gate #5 with Soft Falling Rain, Paul Hanagan never made any effort to grab hold of the inside rail at any time. Soft Falling Rain has plenty of initial gate speed, showed it during the Carnival last year and showed it again in the Godolphin Mile last Saturday, but was kept busy on the outside of eventual winner Variety Club by his rider. Trainer Mike de Kock commented after the race that his horse was running on “empty” over the last 100m. In my opinion, considering it was a second run after rest and had only one prep race going into the race, Paul Hanagan should have made more effort to get to the rails early on and thus saving ground. To me it was not the best ride of the top Paul Hanagan we know. Only my thoughts.
    So your thoughts on Paul Hanagan’s ride in the Godolphin Mile guys???

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