Saturday, 28 March 2009

Well Armed first, the rest nowhere

Talk about a horse answering doubts about his ability to handle the dirt track. The way Well Armed took the lead from the gate and just unleashed in the stretch, Eoin Harty might kick himself for wasting this horse on the closer-friendly California circuit. Still, the overall result is a little odd for a race that in the past years had been a true test of champions.
Not only did Well Armed's stunning performance come off three rather mediocre races, but the horses finishing behind him were surprising too, to say the least. Gloria De Campeao is a Nad Al Sheba veteran whose (Dubai) forms have been highly consistent throughout the years, and who had already been beaten decisively by half the field, including this season. Paris Perfect hasn't been too impressive in his native South Africa, starting above G3 level only once, finishing fifth. This winter he turned in three solid but not stellar forms from Saudi Arabia. He narrowly lost that country's biggest race to today's fourth-place finisher Muller, a former top horse in Peru, who has spent the last two years winning 2-from-9 in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile none of the legitimate contenders ever recovered from the pace, some probably beaten by the speed bias the track showed today. Hard to put this race into perspective and therefor hard to announce Well Armed the best horse in the world just yet, one more brilliant performance would help. And luckily, he's a gelding.

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