Arrogate The Great, Hobbs Back In Business and Grand National Latest
There is only one place to start with this week’s news roundup, and that is with best horse in the World; the mighty Arrogate. We had seen him blow the field apart and set a track record in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. We had seen him win a classic dual with California Chrome in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
We had also seen him canter to success in the richest horse race ever run when landing the Pegasus Invitational World Cup. What we hadn’t seen him do, is walk out of the blocks, giving a head start to a high-class field and still win. We have now. Even Bob Baffert must have had a doubt or two as to whether his pride and joy would live up to his odds-on status when producing the tardiest of starts in Saturday’s $10 million Dubai World Cup. He needn’t have worried.
Not content with the ground forfeited at the start, Arrogate gave up yet more in having to circle the whole field to get into contention but still won in dominant fashion. Labelled beforehand as the, “Frankel of the dirt”, and in the aftermath as the greatest horse since Secretariat, it’s hard to disagree with either assessment following this monstrous display.
Jack Hobbs Claims Sheema Classic Win
Sensational as Arrogate was, the highlight of Dubai World Cup night for many British Racing fans was the brilliant return to form of John Gosden’s, Jack Hobbs, in the Dubai Sheema Classic. The 2015 Irish Derby winner has had his issues over the last year or so, but aided by first time blinkers, produced a devastating display here to canter all over a top-class field before kicking right away in the closing stages.
With Aiden O’Brien’s, Seventh Heaven chasing him home and Roger Varian’s, Postponed finishing third, this was an excellent race for the British and Irish raiders. For Jack Hobbs, the King George now looks to be the long-term aim.
Grand National Approaches
From one of the richest flat meetings run anywhere in the world, the focus for the next fortnight will now turn to what is undoubtedly the most spectacular jumping contest of the racing year. Yes, the Aintree Grand National is now firmly on the horizon. The main development of the past seven days was the news that Gold Cup runner up – and many people’s idea of the winner here – Minella Rocco, would not be tackling the world’s most famous steeplechase this time around.
Jonjo O’Neill instead looks set to rely upon Gold Cup fifth More Of That in his bid to land a second National. The news of Minella Rocco’s withdrawal saw the David Pipe runner, Vieux Lion Rouge assume favouritism once again at a general 10/1, although he is now coming under pressure from Gordon Elliott’s Cause Of Causes who has attracted significant support over the past week.
It’s not all about the big one though, with the supporting contests making plenty of appeal in their own right. We look set to have the brilliant Triumph winner Defi Du Seuil take on all comers once again in the Juvenile Hurdle, a possible clash between Native River, Cue Card and Djakadam in the Aintree Bowl and Champion Hurdle hero Buveur D’air looking to follow up in the Aintree Hurdle. With Unowhatimeanharry, Un De Sceaux and Apples Jade other possible runners, we look to have a fabulous three days of action in store.