Arrogate’s astonishing World Cup win
ARROGATE had to show courage as well as class to win the $10 million Dubai World Cup in what was a sensational performance at Meydan on Saturday night.
Sent off the long odds-on favourite after wins in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and $12million Pegasus World Cup Invitational, Bob Baffert’s four-year-old appeared to have lost all chance with a slow start. But jockey Mike Smith showed all his experience and did not panic, weaving in and out of the field as he gradually made up ground.
Rounding the turn for home he was making up many lengths, but Gun Runner appeared to have stolen a march. Arrogate found another gear, though, and he bounded clear to give Baffert a third win in the race. Baffert said: “When he missed the break, I gave him no chance at all.
“I was so mad at myself thinking I shouldn’t have brought him – that’s the greatest horse I’ve ever seen run, it’s unbelievable, I can’t believe he won. That is a great horse.
“Mike did a great job, he didn’t panic. When he turned for home I said ‘If he wins he’s the greatest since Secretariat’.”
Smith said: “When I missed the break I immediately thought of Zenyatta. I thought ‘I’ve got so much confidence in this horse I’m going to ride him like Zenyatta’ and it paid off.
“I missed the break completely because he’s used to having a man in the gate with him, but things happen for a reason and thank the Lord we got the job done.”
Baffert will work backwards from the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar in November when planning the remainder of Arrogate’s campaign and he is unlikely to see a racecourse again for a couple of months at least while he is freshened up for the summer and autumn. But the memory of this performance will not fade easily. “He had to establish himself,” Baffert said. “We all knew he was this great horse but he hadn’t had a lot of racing. If anybody wasn’t super-impressed with that, they don’t like horse racing. I still can’t believe he won the race. How did that happen? How did he pull it off ?” IrishTimes.com and DubaiRacingClub