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Bob Baffert suggests Arrogate could compete at Dubai World Cup: ‘I think we’ll roll the dice’


A final decision is set to be made next week as to whether Arrogate will take his chance in next month’s Dubai World Cup and his team of advisers appear to want to travel.

Arrogate worked for the second time on Tuesday since his victory in the inaugural Pegasus World Cup last month and posted a time of 59 seconds for the 1,000-metre gallop.

The world’s highest-rated horse, owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, was ridden by Martin Garcia and worked in company with stablemate and Grade 3 winner Whiskey Ticket.

Trainer Bob Baffert supervised the workout at Santa Anita Park in California, where Garrett O’Rourke, the US manager of Prince Khalid ’s Juddmonte Racing operation, also looked on.

"We don’t want to be hard on Arrogate and Prince Khalid is very clear he wants him to be fresh come the end of the year" for the horse’s Breeders Cup defence, he told The Blood-Horse.

"If there was any doubt about that, we wouldn’t even consider going. But the horse seems to be in an exceptionally good state physically and mentally. We’ll discuss the case and if Prince Khalid agrees, I think we’ll roll the dice."

Baffert underlined that the grey son of Unbridled’s Song was in rude health, but also that the Santa Anita Handicap on March 11 is also a realistic target.

"We have a lot of options, but we probably won’t know until the beginning of next week maybe," Baffert said. "The Juddmonte team has to discuss it. The prince has to decide between all the spots. Everything is under consideration. We don’t say no to anything. We have Dubai, we have the Big ‘Cap here. He is ready for the Big ‘Cap today. He could run this week. He’s just ready and he always stays ready."

The presence of Arrogate could well prevent other American horses from travelling to Dubai for the March 25 date.

Gun Runner was an impressive winner of a Grade 3 handicap at Oaklawn Park on Monday and has been pencilled in for the trip by trainer Steve Asmussen, who won the World Cup with Curlin in 2008.

Gun Runner was third in last season’s Kentucky Derby, second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and secured his maiden Grade 1 victory in the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs in November.

Owner Ron Winchell said on Monday: "We’ll make a decision as far as Dubai probably in the next few weeks, see how he comes back.

"We’ll see who else is on that airplane."

Article by Geoffrey Riddle
The National

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