Jockey Anton Marcus celebrates aboard Jay Peg after winning the Dubai Duty Free.
The first of two turf races on Dubai World Cup night is the $5 million Dubai Duty Free (G1), contested at a distance of 1777 meters (about 1 1/8 miles) at Nad al Sheba Racecourse, with a full field of sixteen runners entering the gate. Godolphin entrant Literato was sent off as the 3-1 favorite in the international pool, exiting three straight wins including the Champion Stakes at Newmarket. Tied for second choice on the board were 4-year-old filly Darjina, third in the Hong Kong Mile last time out, and the other Godolphin entrant, Creachadoir, who was second by a nose in the Hong Kong Mile.
Down the stretch with eventual winner Jay Peg on the far outside and second place Darjina one out from the rail
5th RACE NAD AL SHEBA - DUBAI DUTY FREE (Group 1) 14 Jay Peg $75.20 $13.20 - 11 Darjina $5.40 - 7 Archipenko $12.80 - Running time - 1:46.20 $2 Exacta 14-11 $1,288.40 $2 Trifecta 14-11-7 $16,658.80 $2 Superfecta 14-11-7-12 $45,898.40
Left: Jay Peg heads to the barn in his winner's blanket.
Right: Jay Peg in the post parade. Winning jockey Anton Marcus said, "He likes a scrap and I wasn't worried when other horses went past him. I'm pleased that we had horses on either side of us. That really helped at the end. My saddle slipped 1 1/2 furlongs out and I was nearly unseated. It's a very proud day because my brother Basil used to train this horse and my older brother Selwyn owns a share."
The trophy presentation with winning trainer Herman Brown on the left with the blue tie. Brown said, "I really didn't think they went that fast, but anyway it doesn't matter now. Some people were disappointed with his last run but I really could not split my runners and I knew this horse would fight when it came to a battle. He's kept improving and I think this shows that you've got to train a horse to peak on Dubai World Cup night and not for the beginning of the carnival. It's great for the owners also because if you convert this currency into our (South African) rand, it amounts to an awful lot."
Left: Second place finisher Darjina crosses the finish line. Her jockey Christophe Soumillon, who seems to be looking over at winner Jay Peg, said, "She's given me a perfect ride but in the end she's really just 85% today and we'll see her at 100% soon."
Right: Third place finisher Archipenko. His jockey Kevin Shea said, "I never had a clean run at all, he just wouldn't go between the horses. Once he had a clean run he came good. He is very unlucky to lose, we should have won. We will win a big race with this horse."
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