They Said It: Quotes from Dubai World Cup night
To complement our Dubai World Cup night recap-and-videos blog, here are selected quotes from the Dubai Racing Club.
DUBAI WORLD CUP
Jockey Victor Espinoza on California Chrome: “I was just trying to keep my balance (with the saddle slipping) and not move my body. I wasn't that concerned about it, I just kept looking forward and thinking 'where's the wire'. It was not coming fast enough.
“Today it proves how he can run when he's 100 per cent.
“My goal after winning the Triple Crown was to win the Dubai World Cup. Last year he finished second and it was not very fun.”
Trainer Art Sherman on California Chrome: “He is a once in a lifetime horse.
“It (Chrome’s surpassing Curlin as all-time North American leading money winner)) was a goal in the back of my mind. You think of all the great trainers in the history of this game and you really appreciate that it happened to us.”
Jockey Christophe Soumillon on runner-up Mubtaahij: “He’s back to his best. It was an excellent run. I had a nice position but California Chrome is just a superb horse.”
Jockey William Buick on fifth-placer Frosted: “The race went well. We were tracking California Chrome the whole way, but Frosted came off the bridle a little bit earlier today than what he usually does. He wasn’t as good today as he was last time and I’m not sure why.”
Jockey Frankie Dettori on sixth-placer Mshawish: “It was just too long.”
Trainer Yoshito Yahagi on Real Steel: “I am so happy. I really thought that my horse was the best in the field going into this race. He settled well, though I thought he’d be a little further back. Ryan (Moore) rode him to perfection. Just as I thought, breaking from box 14 wasn’t a problem at all.
“Ryan was never able to get an inside position because the other jockeys would not allow him. But I still thought he could win despite not having cover.
“As I’ve said before I think Ryan Moore is the number one jockey in the world and I trust him completely. If we had been beaten with Ryan on board then there would have been no excuses.”
Jockey Ryan Moore on Real Steel: “He’s a beautiful horse, he’s got lots of quality. It was a big effort from the horse, he had a tough trip and was out wide but has toughed it out. He never runs a bad race. He’s a very brave horse and had to do it the hard way.”
Jockey William Buick on third-placer Tryster: “He ran great. He missed the break, that’s what he does when he runs his best races. It is by far the best run of his life and the first time he has ever taken on horses like that. He’s been beaten genuinely by racing the best way for him. It rode like a very good race and I don’t think he’s ever been this fast in his life.”
Jockey James Doyle on sixth-placer Very Special: "She ran a good race. She may have been just one race too far in her campaign. She was a little bit flat. A bit quiet to the gate. I felt that. When I let her go in the straight she didn't give her as much as I had hoped. Solid effort. I'm proud of her."
DUBAI GOLDEN SHAHEEN
Jockey Paul Hanagan on Muarrab: “Those last 200 meters felt like a long way, to be honest. Every time I kind of got his head in front, the second horse kept battling back with me.
“When it’s like that, it’s too close for comfort. But I knew my horse is so genuine and tough that he would give his all for me, which he did.”
Jockey Emisael Jaramillo on runner-up X Y Jet: “I got beaten fair and square but he’s run his heart out. There was no let up from the go and there was no chance to get a breather into him. He still managed to run like a champion. He was very tough to pass and it was only close to the wire that the winner got past. Although he was second he was still a champion to me.”
Trainer Jorge Navarro on X Y Jet: “I am very proud – you cannot ask for more than that. What he accomplished was big. We’ll come back next year.”
Jockey Joao Moreira on fifth-placer Super Jockey: “He knocked himself and pulled off one of his shoes. He was very much imbalanced and not able to bring his A-game because of it.”
Jockey William Buick on sixth-placer Confrontation: “Look, he's not a six-furlong horse, he's a miler. He just never got into the race. He was off the bridle the whole way. He's just not quick enough. The way this track is you want to be up towards the front and you can't if you're not quick enough."
AL QUOZ SPRINT
Trainer Robert Heathcote on Buffering: “I don’t know if I have the vocabulary to describe it but I think a coldie (drink) is going to taste pretty good pretty soon!
“He’s not necessarily the fastest horse in the world, but, gee, he is tough. I knew he would be hard to beat once I saw (jockey) Damian (Browne) sitting motionless on him halfway up the straight. He has beaten some brilliant horses tidily in the end.
“I think it is part of our Aussie psyche as he was an underdog for so long. He has raced against the likes of Black Caviar, Hay List and Sepoy but now he has shown that he is a pretty good horse himself.
“He has taken on the best in the world today and I’m just damn proud of him. He has run a time which is a career best for him and he has done it at the age of eight.”
Jockey Damian Browne on Buffering: “He’s such a warrior. He’s getting better with age.”
Jockey Paul Hanagan on runner-up Ertijaal (Ire): “He got very upset in the gates, he can have his day in the gates. The more upset he gets the more it can affect him. Having said that he had every chance and we can’t take anything away from the winner.”
Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. on seventh-placer Lady Shipman: “She looked to the side when they sprung the gate and broke a little slow. She put me in a good position on her own. She just didn't go on. That is not her race. She would have done well with a better break."
Jockey Yutaka Take on Lani: “He’s a very strong horse so I really thought I had a good chance in the race. Even though he tripped at the start he traveled really well throughout. Right now he’s still rather immature so he’s got a lot of growing up to do. He’s getting better and better and I’d like to go to Kentucky (for the Derby).”
Trainer Doug Watson on runner-up Polar River: “She was tight for room at a critical point after the turn-in. She stayed on very well again at the end. If anything she’s still a bit green. But going forward she’s going to be a superb filly as she matures. It was still a good run.”
Jockey Frankie Dettori on sixth-placer Lazzam: “I went to war with a water pistol. That tells you everything.”
Jockey Mario Gutierrez on the trailing Frank Conversation: “I don't think he got a hold of the track. He broke good and I tried to keep him in the clear the whole time. By the time I tried to go after those leaders, he didn't really fire. It was maybe the track, maybe the travel, who knows? I think he'll be a better turf horse."
DUBAI GOLD CUP
Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre on Vazirabad: “He was behind (early), but his main quality is his big turn of foot, and we are not afraid to use it.
Trainer Doug Watson on One Man Band: “When he gets out in front and gets an easy lead he gets a big heart.”
Watson on winning rider Sam Hitchcott: “Sam is a great guy. He’s great for our stable. He’s an integral part of our team with the works. He brings so much to the yard, and just his personality too. He just lights everybody up in the yard. I’m very happy for him.
Jockey James Doyle on fourth-placer Marking: “He's a horse with an engine but he's meant to be immature. He missed the break. He was a step slow again, but that wasn't really the concern. We were right behind One Man Band. Once we started to turn he started to get a few scoops of kickback and he just didn't face it and I felt I was beaten two strides."
California Chrome photo courtesy Dubai Racing Club/Andrew Watkins.