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Gladiatorus – steps up in class and distance
by Geir Stabell / Globeform
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The dual Carnival winner Gladiatorus has been put up as a 14-1 shot in the early betting for the Dubai Duty Free (G1) by English bookmakers. Should he really be seen as such a longshot? Probably not.

Trained by Mubarak bin Shayfa this imposing four-year-old will be stepping up both in class and distance as he goes for his third win on the bounce here in Dubai. The Duty Free distance of 1777 metres, just short of nine furlongs, may be the main worry, as the ex-Italian performer looks a natural miler but he is very talented and, from time to time, turf races at Nad Al Sheba are run at a steady pace and Gladiatorus must have a good chance.

Gladiatorus has been most impressive, in every way, in his two wins over a mile this winter, and local observers would hardly make him 14-1. He has already beaten last year’s Duty Free winner, Jay Peg, albiet on vastly better weight terms. Gladiatorus landed the Jaguar XF Trophy Handicap, when Jay Peg had to settle for fourth on his reappearance, and the latter franked the form with a fine second in the principle prep for the Duty Free, the Jebel Hatta (G2). Not that Gladiatorus needed any help in the promition department. He took well care of that bit once more next time out.

Carrying 12lb less than Jay Peg, Gladiatorius made all to win the Jaguar Trophy with ease, and he followed up with a near six-length verdict over Hunting Tower in the Al Fahidi Fort (G2), also over a mile, four weeks later. A son of Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner Silic, Gladiatorus was one of the most exciting horses seen at this year’s Carnival. A powerful front-runner, he races with great zest and he is an uncomplicated ride.

Back in 2007, this Duty Free contender was one of the best juveniles in Italy, where he won six times. Big things were being predicted for his classic year, but unfortunately he was sidelined throughout 2008. The patience shown when he needed a long break is now beginning to pay off, and he should not be underestimated in the Duty Free.

Published: 2009-03-19 07:44:41

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