World’s best horse Arrogate will not contest Dubai World Cup, says trainer Bob Baffert
LONDON // Bob Baffert has revealed that Arrogate will not contest the Dubai World Cup in March after the American trainer’s stable star was announced as the world’s best horse on Tuesday.
Arrogate and California Chrome were confirmed as the top two horses in the world ahead of their epic clash in Saturday’s Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park.
Arrogate’s narrow victory over California Chrome in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita in November, when the pair pulled over 10 lengths clear of Pegasus rival Keen Ice, was also rated as the best performance in the world in 2016.
As a result of that titanic tussle, the Classic was announced as the world’s best race in 2016, and the opportunity to transform Arrogate into the first horse to win back-to-back Classics since Tiznow in 2001 at Del Mar in November is the ultimate aim.
“We’ll give him a little break after the Pegasus as usually we would not run him in the winter,” Baffert said at the World’s Best Horse event at Claridge’s Hotel in London.
“The Breeders’ Cup is very important to [owner] Prince Khalid Abdullah and we are getting him ready for that.
“We will probably run him a couple of times before the Breeders’ Cup and we will work back from that.
“I wouldn’t take him to Dubai. We bought him for American racing, and with his pedigree we want him to stay in America.”
Arrogate was drawn on the rail in Stall 1 for Saturday’s inaugural US$12 million (Dh44m) contest, while California Chrome will emerge from the widest stall of all in 12.
Arrogate beat the Dubai World Cup winner by half a length in November, and with the son of Unbridled’s Song likely to be an improved specimen Baffert is hopeful of a repeat victory.
“I would say on paper it is a two-horse race,” Baffert said. “He has been training well, and he is just a superior racehorse. It is going to take a superior racehorse to beat Chrome.”
None of the top five performances named in Tuesday’s list were in Europe, with California Chrome’s victories in the Pacific Classic and Awesome Again Stakes being named equal second. His runners-up spot in the Classic was also rated in second place and edged out Winx, the Australian mare, in to third. Winx’s runs in the Cox Plate and Doncaster Mile ensured she was named the world’s highest turf horse and mare.
Only four of the top 10 races were staged in Europe, with the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan named in ninth place.
The Dubai World Cup was only joint 15th alongside the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, the Hong Kong Cup and Japan’s Takarazuka Kinen.
Top 5 performances in the world in 2016:
1) Arrogate – Breeders’ Cup Classic
2) California Chrome – Pacific Classic
2) California Chrome – Awesome Again Stakes
2) California Chrome – Breeders’ Cup Classic
3) Winx – Cox Plate
3) Winx – Doncaster Mile
Top 10 races in the world by average rating:
1) Breeders’ Cup Classic
2) Irish Champion Stakes
2) Pacific Classic Stakes
2) Cox Plate
5) Champion Stakes
6) Breeders’ Cup Turf
7) George Ryder Stakes
7) Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
9) Dubai Sheema Classic
10) Queen Elizabeth Stakes
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Updated: January 24, 2017 04:00 AM