Almond Eye makes heads turn

Almond Eye makes heads turn
Jockey Christophe Lemaire celebrates after winning the Dubai Turf race atop Almond Eye on Saturday. - Photo by Shihab

Dubai - The four-year-old paced her race perfectly under French jockey Christophe Lemaire

By James Jose

Published: Sat 30 Mar 2019, 8:36 PM

Last updated: Sat 30 Mar 2019, 10:53 PM

Goosebumps. That's what racegoers at the Meydan Racecourse would have felt, watching the closing stages of the $6 million Dubai Turf at the Dubai World Cup.
There are some good and talented equines and then there are some exceptional and gifted ones. Fans were blessed enough to see Arrogate two years ago and on Saturday, they got to witness another special one in the beautiful and gorgeous Almond Eye.
The four-year-old paced her race perfectly under French jockey Christophe Lemaire to win the nine-furlong affair and extend her hot streak to seven.
The daughter of Lord Kanaloa perhaps likes the winners' circle so much as it was her seventh success on the trot and her fifth in Grade 1/Group 1. Almond Eye had won the Group 2 Japan Cup and also wrapped up the Triple Crown - Shuka Sho, Oka Sho and Yushun Himba.
But this was undoubtedly a massive win for her as it arrived on the biggest stage of horse racing. With she being in such astonishing and ominous form and underlining her credentials after making the trip to Dubai, Almond Eye will be looking to globe-trot and leave her mark around the world. A pampering awaits Almond Eye on the flight to Longchamps for the prestigious Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October.
It was a Japanese one-two with 2017 winner Vivlos finishing second, 1.25 lengths behind Almond Eye. Vivlos had also finished second last year. "She was going on her on so I had nowhere to push her too soon. It is her first time out this year. And I was in position where could go for the win and she did," said Lemaire. "She broken well today and I could take a good position. She was very relaxed and then used her powerful stride at the end. She was brilliant," he added.
Having done it some style in Dubai, Lemaire said there would be more battles to come.
"We have a long season in front of her so she will have more bigger fights again. Today, I'm very glad that the job is done. Let's look forward now," Lemaire said.
Lemaire also thanked the Japanese fans who have turned up in numbers. "Thank you for coming. Japanese fans are great sup-porters, they follow their horses all around the world and we will travel again hopefully with Almond Eye. Keep supporting her," added Lemaire, who said she was one of the best he had ridden. Meanwhile, trainer Sakae Kunieda was smiling from ear to ear after seeing her win in such fashion. "She's the best," gushed Kunieda.
"It was good ride from him (Lemaire). I was satisfied with the break. Yes, we will take her to Longchamps," he added.

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