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Meet the ‘banker’ of the day!
by Geir Stabell / Globeform
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Betting the races at Nad Al Sheba is not always a straightforward task. International formlines come together, and to make confident comparisons of all contenders is not possible.

Of course, Discreet Cat will be an obvious favourite, as will probably Thor’s Echo, despite a dull effort first time out for his new connections.

There is another runner getting ready though, one that has the look of a rock solid banker. One to key in your Trebles, Pick 3s and have exclusively on top in the Trifecta plan. Oh, and of course, simply hammer in the win betting. This horse is much better than most people realise.

By April Fool’s Day that will all have changed.

Asiatic Boy – flies three flags at once

The colt Asiatic Boy is undoubtedly the truly international flag-bearer of the show when he goes to post as favourite for the UAE Derby (G2) at Nad Al Sheba on World Cup night – and he will be very, very difficult to beat. This colt was bred in Argentina, where he also began his career in good style, he was then bought by Team Valor, a US based group with plenty of success at the highest level both at home and internationally, and he is trained by Mike de Kock – the South African who has made such an impact in Dubai over the past few years. Asiatic Boy will make sure fans are tuning in from three different corners of the world on the big day. And the rest of the planet, of course. This is a colt we all want to see when he runs. And back.

He has been visually most impressive with three wins already at the Carnival, landing the Guineas before stepping successfully up in distance in the Al Bastakiya. He took the 2000 Guineas (G3) over 1600 metres, when beating the English colt Traffic Guard by 4 ½ lengths, with Rallying Cry back in third. Asiatic Boy was by far the best as he took the lead 500 metres from the winning post. He was clearly ridden for stamina and, if staying is his game, he will not be easy to beat in the Derby.

Asiatic Boy had Traffic Guard in second also when he was an impressive 4 ¾-length winner in a 7-furlong event in January, and his form has been improving with every run. On March 1, he turned the 1800-metre Al Bastikyia into yet another procession. As always ridden by Weichong Marwing, Asiatic Boy outclassed six rivals to win by 7 lengths. His runner-up, the Japanese colt Victory Testuni, was beaten 7 lengths, while Rallying Cry finished third. The latter, racing for Princess Haya and the powerful Ismail Mohammed team, is an interesting piece in this puzzle, as he met some of the best juveniles in Europe last year. A son of Breeders’ Cup Mile (Gr 1) winner War Chant, Rallying Cry ran his best race to date when sixth behind top juvenile Teofilo in the Dewhurst Stakes (Gr 1) at Newmarket. He did not quite run up to that level of form in the not so competitive Criterium International (G1) in France, but managed fifth behind Mount Nelson - one of the favourites for this year’s Epsom Derby. These formlines tell us that Asiatic Boy is a top class performer.

His form in Argentina last year was also quite strong. The son of Not For Sale was second, beaten ¾ length by Husson, in the Gran Criterium (Gr 1) over 1600 metres at San Isidro last May, when the subsequent 2000 Guineas (Gr 1) winner Joe Louis was 5 lengths behind him in third place. Losing to Husson was no shame – as that colt had previously also won the Raul Y. Raul E. Chevalier Stakes (Gr 1) - beating a subsequent Group 3 winner, and was in unstoppable form at the time.

As is Asiatic Boy these days – it seems that he just has to repeat the form of his last race to win again.


Last update: 2007-03-31 09:24:01 (First published: 2007-03-20 05:04:04 )

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