Asiatic Boy Overpowers UAE Derby Field

Asiatic Boy Overpowers UAE Derby Field
Photo: Trevor Jones
Argentina's Asiatic Boy, ridden by Weichong Marwing, wins the UAE Derby Saturday in Dubai.
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By Jason Ford
Asiatic Boy, trained by Michael De Kock,  became the first horse to win the UAE Triple Crown when absolutely annihilating his field in the $2 million UAE Derby (UAE-II) over nine furlongs on the dirt.

An Argentinian-bred 4-year-old colt by Not For Sale, he was not able to get to the front as he has in the past under Weichong Marwing, but skipped clear two furlongs out to win by nearly 10 lengths over runner-up Jack Junior.

Carrying the colours of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa, Asiatic Boy has now won four times in the UAE, including the UAE 2000 Guineas (UAE-III), the Al Bastakiya in his last start, and Saturday's race -- which comprise the UAE Triple Crown.

"This is the best horse in the world," a delighted Marwing enthused. “That was amazing. We could not get to the front and had to race wide but he settled well and really picked up when I asked him. I have ridden some good horses but he has to be the best.”

That is no mean recommendation when you consider that Marwing and De Kock were responsible for Horse Chestnut, widely recognised as the best horse to have come out of South Africa and the winner of his sole start in the U.S.
It was a third win in the race for De Kock, while one time Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopeful Day Pass was a big disappointment in ninth.

Marwing was forced to race wide and behind the speed as Rallying Cry set out to try and make all in the dirt feature. With four Saeed bin Suror runners in the race, De Kock’s charge appeared to face a stiff task entering the long straight when he was still quite wide but once Marwing asked him to settle matters, he did so in a matter of strides.

The winner, who now boasts five wins and two seconds in seven starts with earnings of $1,467,287, is now likely to go to England.

The maiden Jack Junior, passed on the rail during the long straight run, came on again to take second under Richard Hills, with Adil, Kent Desormeaux aboard, taking third.

“For a horse that is still a maiden, mine has run a great race," Hills said of Jack Junior. "He is a horse with a future but the winner today was a very good horse.”

Day Pass, ridden by Garrett Gomez, was well beaten by Asiatic Boy in his Dubai debut in the Al Bastakia earlier this month, and again was no match for the horse trained by Michael de Kock.

"When I came time to make my run, he was nowhere to be found," Gomez said. "Godolphin will go back to the drawing board and I am sure they will figure him out.”

In last year's UAE Derby, seen as a precursor for this year's Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), Discreet Cat ran away with the race, beating U.S. Horse of the Year Invasor, who was fourth.

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