American Horse of the Year Curlin has boosted his confidence, and that of his trainer Steve Asmussen, by cruising to victory, with jockey Robby Albarado aboard, in his eagerly-awaited UAE debut at the Al Tayer Motors-sponsored ninth meeting of the 2008 Dubai International Racing Carnival this evening.
Although a class above his rivals, Curlin had not run since his Breeders’ Cup Classic victory last October and had travelled halfway around the world.
It made no difference and he won easily by two-and-a-quarter lengths from Familiar Territory, who was rated 20lb inferior.
The Jaguar Trophy Handicap was run over the same 2000m distance as his big target, the US$6 million Dubai World Cup, which is looming in just 30 days time, on March 29.
Jet Express was four-and-a-quarter lengths away third and the time of 2m0.6secs was just 1.1secs outside Dubai Millennium’s track record for a mile and a quarter on dirt.
Steve Asmussen said: “That was exactly what we wanted. He’s always been more confident doing things a second time, so this is good preparation.”
Extracts from The Telegraph