RACING fans around the world were left almost speechless after Arrogate’s stunning success in Saturday’s 2017 Gr1 Dubai World Cup over 2000m on dirt at Meydan. Hall Of Fame trainer Bob Baffert wasn’t!
Baffert, baffled with joy and surprise, was a master of quotes and heaped bold and confident praise on Prince Khalid Abdullah’s sensational four-year-old following his jaw-dropping victory after a poor start in the $10-million contest.
Arrogate missed the break, dropped out to last and got his face and body covered in the flying clots of Meydan sand kicked up by the 15 rivals ahead of him. He took the bit for jockey Mike Smith, raced up brave and wide, made up perhaps 15 lengths approaching the home bend, chased even harder to get to the leaders and then put them away mercilessly with 200m to run.
Baffert enthused: “When Arrogate missed the break, I said, ‘that’s it, he can’t win, I shouldn’t have brought him!’ He was supposed to be up there, second or third. But what a job Mike Smith did. He kept his cool, just let him run up on the outside. I’ve never seen a horse do what Arrogate did tonight. He’s the greatest horse I’ve seen since Secretariat!”
Smith said: “We missed the break completely, but things happen for a reason. I trust Arrogate completely and I thought, ‘Let me ride him like Zenyatta’ He did it all. I haven’t seen this before!”
Unbeaten in all but his 1200m Maiden debut, Arrogate has won seven of eight career starts including the Gr1 Breeders Cup Classic, the Gr12 Pegasus World Cup and the Gr1 Dubai World Cup, with career earnings now approaching $US17-million.
Bred by Clearsky Farms, Arrogate is a son of Unbridled’s Song and Bubbler, by Distorted Humor. He was a $560,000 purchase from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
Photo: Andrew Watkins.
Race replay below: