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His most recent run was almost “too bad to be true” / compared to his career best.
Asiatic Boy could manage only third in the Burj Nahaar (G3) on Super Thursday, when he was considered the banker of the day. Being beaten by two horses was hardly the Dubai World Cup (G1) prep we had expected. Can he bounce back on the big night?
Elusive Warning and Blackat Blackitten, who both beat him, are very nice horses but is it really true that they are both as good as, never mind better than, Asiatic Boy. Probably not. All horses can have a bad day and something was not quite right with Asiatic Boy in the Burj Nahaar, where he was labouring and looking a bit flat as he came home 3 ¼ lengths behind the winner.
His trainer Mike de Kock is a world class horseman. If he can get Asiatic Boy to the Dubai World Cup (G1) in top form, the colt will get out of the race with a big pay-cheque for his owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.
ASIATIC BOY (USA)
5 b c Not For Sale – S.S. Asiatic / Polish Navy
Trainer: Mike de Kock
Asiatic Boy made a winning comeback over 6 furlongs in the Al Shidagha Sprint (G3) in January, when he worked his way gradually up from a position at the back, to gain quite a comfortable 1 ¼-length win over Salaam Dubai, who is a specialist sprinter and ran third to Kelly’s Landing the Golden Shaheen (G1) last year.
That he has the speed to win a G3 over a straight sprint distance, tells us what a classy runner Asiatic Boy is. He ran twice on turf in England last summer, both time quite respectably in Group One company, but was not up to his best dirt form. He was only 2 lengths behind Godolphin’s champion miler Ramonti when fifth in the Sussex Stakes (G1) at Goodwood (a tricky course) and then 7 ¼ lengths behind the Epsom Derby (G1) winner Authorized when fifth in the Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) at York.
The son of Not For Sale is without doubt the international flag-bearer of the show at Nad Al Sheba. This colt was bred in Argentina, where he also began his career in good style, he was then bought by de Kock – the South African who has made such an impact in Dubai over the past few years. Asiatic Boy makes sure fans are tuning in from different corners of the world when he runs for big money in Dubai. He was deeply impressive when winning the UAE Derby (G2) last year, coming home alone - nearly ten lengths clear.
Prior to his Derby win, Asiatic Boy took the UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) before stepping successfully up in distance in the Al Bastakiya. He won the Guineas over 1600 metres, when beating the English colt Traffic Guard by 4 ½ lengths, and he turned the 1800-metre Al Bastikyia into yet another procession. His runner-up, the Japanese colt Victory Testuni, was beaten 7 lengths. Then came the Derby on Dubai World Cup night, and as soon as he was being pulled up after winning again people started talking about the 2008 Dubai World Cup. Asiatic Boy belongs with the best. He won the classic by 9 ½ lengths from Jack Junior. His runner-up has done little for the form since but Asiatic Boy’s Derby form was excellent. He had no fewer than six Group or Graded stakes winners further behind.
His form in Argentina in 2006 was also quite strong. Asiatic Boy was second, beaten ¾ length by Husson, in the Gran Criterium (G1) over 1600 metres at San Isidro, when the subsequent 2000 Guineas (G1) winner Joe Louis was 5 lengths behind him in third place. Husson had previously also won the Raul Y. Raul E. Chevalier Stakes (G1) and was in unstoppable form at the time – and Joe Louis has this year won the The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup (Saudi Group 1) at King Abdulaziz.
Asiatic Boy’s overall form is so solid. The only weak point in his CV is the result of his most recent race. Ah, well, it was just a ‘prep’ for the big one – and at least he did not leave his best form behind in that race. He goes to the World Cup with a decent chance of finishing in the first three.
Published: 2008-03-09 08:55:04
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