Well Armed Wins Dubai World Cup
Monday, March 30, 2009
Front-running Well Armed, under a snug hold by jockey Aaron Gryder, cut loose at the head of the straight and romped to a record 14-length victory in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 28, the final race to be run at Nad al Sheba.

On a main track that was favoring speed throughout the evening, WinStar Farm's homebred son of Tiznow was never threatened as he rolled to victory for trainer Eoin Harty at U.S. odds of 9-1. Well Armed was in a similar position at Nad al Sheba in last year's World Cup on the turn for home, but wound up third, beaten eight lengths by Curlin.

"He did the same thing last year and got collared," Harty noted afterward. "But I was watching the other horses and they were struggling, so I felt pretty good."

Indeed. Albertus Maximus, considered the top American hope coming in, was keen early but lacked a response over the final quarter mile while finishing sixth. Race favorite Asiatic Boy, last year's World Cup runner-up, raced at the back all the way and was 12th. Instead, it was 60-1 Brazilian shot Gloria de Campeao who finished second by more than four lengths, with off-the-board South African hope Paris Perfect in third.

“This horse really showed everyone in the world how good he is,” Gryder said, then asked: “Who was second?”

Breaking from barrier 7 in the field of 14, Well Armed went straight to the front, Gryder able to angle the 6-year-old gelding to the inside where he set a steady pace with My Indy and Albertus Maxiumus stalking. Well Armed, with his high cruising speed was in control with his ears pricked while still under a hold until Gryder went to work on him in the straight. With less than a furlong to run, Gryder took a look over his right shoulder and seeing no danger, patted his charge on the neck for a job well done.

Well Armed completed the about 1 1/4-mile distance in 2:01.01.

The French raider Gloria de Campeao, close to the pace early while tucked in behind the winner along the inside into the straight, was hard ridden to overtake Vodka for second but was never close to catching Well Armed. Paris Perfect, mid-pack in the straight for Bernard Faydherbe, finished best of the rest for third.

Earning his seventh victory in 23 lifetime starts, Well Armed won for the first time since taking the Goodwod Stakes (gr. I) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Sept. 27. The $3.6 million winning purse increased the bay's lifetime earnings to $5,179,803.

The victory was nearly double Curlin’s 7 3/4-length win last year, the previous record winning distance.

Trainer Harty has a strong connection with the UAE, having been hired by Godolphin to train their 2-year-olds in the U.S. in 2000. He also spent two years readying the juveniles in Dubai.

Harty developed Street Cry, who went on to win the 2003 Dubai World Cup, but was thrilled to repeat the feat in his own name this time.

“It’s the biggest win of the career," Harty said. "I owe a lot to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who got me started and plucked me from a relative obscurity.

“This horse chipped a bone in the UAE Derby and then he fractured his pelvis and the vets wanted to put him down. Two years on he’s won the richest race in the world.”

Donn Handicap (gr. I) winner Albertus Maximus and Asiatic Boy were the disappointments.

“He was fighting me," said Alan Garcia, who rode Albertus Maximus. "I can’t really explain it right now. Last time I rode him in the Donn he was a totally different horse.”

Asiatic Boy’s rider, Johnny Murtagh, commented, "He is a horse who needs to get organized early on and we got shuffled back. After that we were flat to the boards and always struggling.”

The Argentina-bred Muller finished fourth, followed by My Indy, Albertus Maximus, Snaafy, Casino Drive, Happy Boy, Muhannak, Arson Squad, Asiatic Boy, Joe Louis and Anak Nakal, who trailed all the way.

The 2009 renewal provided a perfect bookend for the World Cup at Nad al Sheba, which was won in its first running in 1996 by American great Cigar. This was was the final event for the Nad al Sheba course, which will be demolished to make way for the $1.25 billion Meydan racing complex.
WinStar News
Regally Ready wins third straight stakes
More Than Ready

Regally Ready wins third straight stakes

More Than Ready’s ultra-classy Regally Ready showed his style once again in Thursday’s $75,000 Big Bear S. at Santa Anita, winning by a half-length for his third consecutive stakes score...

[read more]

StableMates Breeders' Cup contest open

StableMates Breeders' Cup contest open

WinStar Stablemates is again holding its Breeders’ Cup contest with players choosing two horses in each of the 14 Breeders’ Cup races run over the two days of the championship event. The contest is now open to play on the WinStar StableMates website at www.WinStarStableMates.com...

[read more]

WinStar duo headlines $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1)

WinStar duo headlines $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1)

Grade 1 winners Carpe Diem and Daredevil top perhaps the deepest field in the history of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1)...

[read more]

16 WinStar-sired contenders in Breeders' Cup

16 WinStar-sired contenders in Breeders' Cup

Below is a list of all 16 Breeders' Cup contenders sired by WinStar stallions...

[read more]

Look for the Star…Keeneland November pre-sale inspection show

Look for the Star…Keeneland November pre-sale inspection show

As a prelude to the upcoming Keeneland November sale, WinStar Farm is holding a one-day, pre-sale inspection show at the WinStar training center from 10:30 a.m. to Noon Eastern time on Oct. 28...

[read more]

WinStar buys into Champagne (G1) winner Daredevil

WinStar buys into Champagne (G1) winner Daredevil

Kenny Troutt’s WinStar Farm has acquired half interest in undefeated Champagne S. (G1) winner and leading 2-year-old colt Daredevil in a partnership with Let’s Go Stable that was announced Friday...

[read more]

MdSpWt daily double for Super Saver
Super Saver

MdSpWt daily double for Super Saver

Leading First-crop sire Super Saver upped his total of winners this year to 10 with a pair of maiden special weight winners on Thursday...

[read more]

WinStar Farm sets 2015 stud fees

WinStar Farm sets 2015 stud fees

WinStar Farm announced 2015 stud fees for most of its 22-stallion roster, which is headed again by leading sire Distorted Humor at $100,000 S&N, and includes a new fee for leading freshman sire Super Saver...

[read more]

Tiznow, More Than Ready shine at Fasig
Tiznow

Tiznow, More Than Ready shine at Fasig

Tiznow and More Than Ready added to the luster of WinStar’s sales results at the Oct. 20-22 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Yearlings sale...

[read more]

Super Saver colt tops Day 1 at F-T Oct. sale
Super Saver

Super Saver colt tops Day 1 at F-T Oct. sale

Super Saver, who has one of his generation’s best yearling sale averages, at $94,190, had the session-topper during day 1 of the Oct. 20-22 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Yearlings sale...

[read more]