Drama in the desert: the best and worst of the weekend racing
Performance of the weekend
There is only one answer: Arrogate. Bob Baffert's superstar produced a performance so special in the Dubai World Cup he reduced this category to a walkover.
The world's best horse became the world's highest earning racehorse, it sounds so simple. And yet it was anything but. Arrogate fluffed the start, then got squeezed out and flushed out the back - a few lengths adrift of the entire field.
Mike Smith expertly wielded the equine scalpel as the pair cut through the field beautifully. It was a display of overwhelmingly superior ability from a truly special horse.
Disappointment of the weekend
The Postponed camp made a brave decision to keep their four-time Group 1 winner in training at six, but so far they have not been rewarded with the six-year-old beaten on his seasonal reappearance and then only capable of finishing a disappointing third in the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic.
Take nothing away from Jack Hobbs, who produced a performance that scored highly with both the style and execution judges, but Postponed was not kept in training to finish third in races like this.
Yes it was a high-class field, and yes the two horses who finished ahead of him are extremely talented, but last year he won the Sheema Classic by two lengths before beating Arc winner Found by four and a half lengths in the Coronation Cup and then getting the better of a battle with King George winner Highland Reel in the Juddmonte International. It is hard to conclude we are seeing the same horse.
Picture of the week
Arrogate (centre, pink cap) fluffs the start in the Dubai World Cup.
Underwhelming contest of the weekend
The Al Quoz Sprint was billed at a meeting of two superstars with the Dubai juggernaut Ertijaal clashing with Henry Candy's speed demon Limato. But it did not materialise.
Whether the weather had anything to do with it – a deluge the day before resulted in the track being described as yielding – or not, it was underwhelming. Limato never travelled and beat just two home while Ertijaal showed better and was still in there swinging at the furlong marker but he too faded out of it to finish a length and a quarter back in third.
It was yet another reminder of just how difficult it is to get horses to turn up and deliver on the day.
Tweet of the week
Lizzie Kelly pays tribute to Reve De Sivola, who died of a heart-attack at Kelso on Saturday.
Quotes of the weekend
"He's the best I've ever seen in my life. I can't believe he's won. When he walked out of the gate I gave him no chance at all - I said why did I bring him? This was a mistake. That's the greatest horse I've seen since Secretariat. That was like the movie Seabiscuit."
Bob Baffert heaps praise upon Arrogate.