Blue Locomotive all set to go full steam

Top Stories

Blue Locomotive all set to go full steam
Arrogate is among the strong contenders to win the Dubai World Cup at Meydan.

Dubai - The blinkers are well and truly on Arrogate and veteran champion trainer Bob Baffert and veteran jockey Mike Smith have meticulously eased him in the run-up to the big night

By James Jose

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Fri 24 Mar 2017, 9:17 PM

Last updated: Fri 24 Mar 2017, 11:30 PM

Even before the race has been run over the 10 furlongs, almost each and every soul has marked Arrogate as the winner.
Quite rightly so as well, as Arrogate, like previous American challengers to grace Dubai World Cup night, has come in with a glistening CV. And although the meaning of Arrogate has a slightly negative connotation to it (it means to take over, usurp or sieze by force without right to do so), the four-year-old from Unbridled's Song, won't be going down that road and will fight for it, fair and square.
Arrogate has already won the Travers Stakes, Breeders' Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup, all on the bounce, in his fledging career, and while the pressure is on him to add the prestigious $10 million Dubai World Cup to his sparkling trophy cabinet, his connections have cleverly tempered it down.
The blinkers are well and truly on Arrogate and veteran champion trainer Bob Baffert and veteran jockey Mike Smith have meticulously eased him in the run-up to the big night.
As Smith, who has 34 wins across the American Classics, Breeders' Cup and races around the world, revealed on race eve on Friday morning, Arrogate knows a race is looming.
He probably doesn't know how big a race it is, maybe perhaps, the biggest of his career, the one that will set him on the path to being one of the greats like American Pharoah, one of Baffert's charges and also last year's Dubai World Cup winner California Chrome.
But then, he doesn't have to know, as Arrogate, according to his handlers, just loves to race. But he's not just a horse that puts pedal to the metal from start to finish and is versatile in the sense that he knows how to pace his race. Arrogate is also one who, according to Smith, has "lungs forever," which only means he can muster more when asked for.
These qualities make Arrogate a dangerous proposition for the 13 other runners in the field.
Smith said that every other horse is in with a fair shot and it was upto him and Arrogate to execute their game plan according to the situation. Arrogate has a favourable gate to break out of and should be in the pack, if he jumps well from Stall 9.
But there are a number of other challengers who have put a target on Arrogate's back. Godolphin's Move Up, the charge of seven-time Dubai World Cup winner Saeed bin Suroor starts from 6 and will be in the mix. And so would be Japanese raider Awardee, who will break from Stall 7.
Other UAE representatives Special Fighter and Mubtaahij, runner-up to California Chrome last year could make things interesting, but both will have to overcome the hurdle of breaking from the wider gates of 13 and 14 respectively.
Champion Mare in Chile and Argentina, Furia Cruzada could buck the trend and become the first mare to win the biggest prize but is a long shot.
Apollo Kentucky, Long River, Gold Dream, Lani, Gun Runner, Keen Ice, Neolithic all are in with a chance but it would be a tactical race, if anything, with Arrogate's stablemate Hoppertunity, perhaps playing the wing man.
If the weather holds up on the night, it should be a tantalising 2000 metres on Meydan's dirt and it should be interesting to see who will hit pay dirt.

More news from