x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Curlin's still counting

The four-year-old winner of last year's Dubai World Cup has now earned $10m after winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Curlin, ridden by Robby Albarado, sprints to the Jockey Club Gold Cup to top US$10 million in winnings.
Curlin, ridden by Robby Albarado, sprints to the Jockey Club Gold Cup to top US$10 million in winnings.

BELMONT // Curlin raced through the US$10million (Dh36.7m) earnings barrier when running out a comfortable winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The four-year-old, winner of this year's Dubai World Cup, has now secured $10,246,800 (Dh37.6m) and 11 wins in 15 career starts following his three-quarter-length victory over Wanderin Boy.

Cigar had previously held the record for career earnings with $9,999,815, but the trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Robby Albarado were delighted to see their charge top that feat. "It's amazing. I'm sure it is not going to hit me for a while," said Albarado. "I'm sure this record will be broken one day, but it will take a helluva horse. I had a great trip. It's really amazing." "It was very emotional for me," Asmussen said. "I was very excited and very proud of everybody involved.

"Fifteen races and he's won more than $10m. We had two back-to-back $5m years. Robby didn't turn the stick over on him today, and the horse looked great." Godolphin may not have enjoyed the best of seasons on these shores, but Cocoa Beach registered a valuable Grade One win in the Beldame Stakes. The four-year-old won the UAE 1,000 Guineas and Oaks earlier and after warming up with a minor win at Saratoga last month, she showed plenty of dash to beat Ginger Punch by half a length.

"She's grown up a lot since she ran earlier in the year," said trainer Saeed bin Suroor. "She looked stronger than ever and she has learned a lot from her last race. She was really happy. I had a good feeling coming into the race. The last race really set her up and she's really grown." On the same card, the ex-Andre Fabre inmate Dynaforce bagged the Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes while another former French-trained runner Grand Couturier came home clear in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes.

Meanwhile, there may not have been any Breeders' Cup candidates at Great Leighs' inaugural Thoroughbred Open meeting but the trainer Marco Botti has another overseas mission in mind for his winner Ceremonial Jade. Ceremonial Jade (5-1) took one of the four £40,000 (Dh270,354) showpiece events, the New Holland Thoroughbred Open Sprint. Botti said: "I thought he might be a bit close to the pace as he usually comes with a finish. The plan is really to go to Dubai in January.

"He might also run in America. I don't think he'd be good enough for the Breeders' Cup, though he might go to America after Dubai." sports@thenational.ae