Well Armed shoots clear to nail World Cup

There have been better winners of the Dubai World Cup than Well Armed but there has never been one that put his rivals to quite such a wide- bladed sword as he did last night. Not even the best of them all, Dubai Milennium, could take the world's most valuable prize, £2.5m, by 14 lengths. The record distance, though, said more about the quality of the contest than that of the winner.

Well Armed is a talented horse, and an honest one, but has been beaten in elite company more often than he has won, including in last year's World Cup where he was third, eight lengths in mighty Curlin's wake.

It had been judged beforehand a sub-standard edition of the ten- furlong dirt finale to the Dubai carnival season, and it was, but what the race lacked in superstars and charisma, Well Armed's solo tour de force under the Nad Al Sheba floodlights made up for as a spectacle. As he had 12 months ago, jockey Aaron Gryder bounced the son of Tiznow out of the stalls in front; the difference was that this time he was never challenged.

Allowed a soft lead, the 10-1 shot powered further and further away down the demanding straight with Gryder spending most of the last furlong patting his mount's neck. "He settled better in front this year," said the rider. "I dropped my hands and he wasted no energy, just put his ears up and enjoyed the ride round. As I did."

Well Armed, in the colours of Winstar Farms, is trained by California-based Eoin Harty and was the eighth US-based winner in 14 runnings. "He benefited from the way the track was riding," said the Irishman. "He's a front-runner and when there was no pressure on him I felt confident. And there was no Curlin this year."

French challenger Gloria De Campeao took second, in front of the Saudi Arabian pair Paris Perfect and Muller. Asiatic Boy, the 2-1 favourite, beat only two of the 14 runners home.

Jockey honours at Nad Al Sheba's last meeting – state-of-the-art Meydan takes over as the Emirates' premier track later this year – went toAhmed Ajtebi, who took the two Group One grass contests with markedly contrasting displays.

In the nine-furlong Dubai Duty Free he controlled from the front on Gladiatorius, setting up a long lead and saving enough to cope with Presvis and Ryan Moore. Then in the Sheema Classic he stormed from last to first on Eastern Anthem to thwart Spanish Moon and Presvis's Luca Cumani stablemate Purple Moon, with Jamie Spencer on board, in a three-way finish more of whiskers than noses.

Ajebti – who has ridden 16 winners in Britain, attached to Clive Brittain's yard for the past two summers – started racing in a very different arena. "I was riding camels when I was six," he said, "and switched to horses at 14. Not quite the same games, but both are about four legs and speed."

Ex-Italian Gladiatorius and former Godolphin inmate Eastern Anthem are trained by Mubarak Bin Shafya and carry the colours of sons of Sheikh Mohammed, Mansoor and Hamdan respectively. The Godolphin team ended a two-year barren spell on World Cup day when Frankie Dettori took the opening Mile on favoured Two Step Salsa, with stablemate Gayego second. Another one-two for the blues followed in the UAE Derby, but in reverse market order, when Dettori, on odds-on Desert Party – on trial for the Kentucky Derby – failed by half a length to peg back Regal Ransom.

The grey chill of the first day of the Flat turf campaign at Doncaster yesterday was in stark contrast to the heat of a desert night, but Expresso Star warmed punters' hearts as he landed a gamble in the Lincoln Handicap.

Backed from 10-1 to 100-30 favourite following a scintillating workout two weeks ago, the upwardly mobile four-year-old, trained by John Gosden for Sheikh Mohammed's wife Princess Haya, took the charge down the Town Moor Mile by a comfortable two and a half lengths from Zahid.

"He's a really nice horse," said rider Jimmy Fortune of the handsome, well-bred colt, "and I wouldn't like to say how far up the ranks he'd go or where he'd end up." Given his connections, Dubai a year from now might not be wide of the mark.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence Co-ordinator

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Required skills include SQL querying, SSRS, u...

Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...

Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

Recruitment Genius: Property Manager

£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?