The best and worst of horse racing was on show at Meydan on Saturday. For whatever reason the Dubai Gold Cup seemed cursed as Fox Hunt suffered a fatal injury and was left stricken on the straight leaving the stewards no choice but to abandon the race. It was decided that a re-run would be scheduled for after the World Cup and yet again fate struck as Bronze Cannon and Grand Vent were both injured, later to be put down.
Many have blamed the condition of the turf course but all other races on the surface had no problems so that theory seems to carry no weight. Sandwiched between the unfortunate events was the heartwarming victory by Cityscape in the Dubai Duty Free, for whom his twenty three year old rider James Doyle was suddenly catapulted into the big time! Doyle for obvious reasons found it hard to gather his thoughts in the post-race interview and whether it was the large purse coming his way or first group one win it was understandable. He picked up the ride as Steve Drowne, the usual rider of Cityscape had been unwell and he duly took part in the horse’s best ever performance. A deserved success for the young rider after a great 2011 he could now find himself on board Top Offer in the 2000 Guineas.
Finally, I yet again found the world’s richest horse race a slight disappointment. Monterosso who has had bits and pieces of good form in the past came off a relatively slow pace and beat Capponi who was nothing more than a handicapper last year in England. The two European group one class horses in the race came third and fourth. So You Think was not the superstar he was professed to be but ran his usual solid race, and Planteur was hampered by the slow pace. After the highs and lows at Meydan we can now look forward to some top class flat racing in Britain. Bring on Frankel, Royal Ascot and The Classics!
Article contributed by: Reuben Ewart