The man on the call said it best when he screamed that “chrome turns to gold” at the 2016 Dubai World Cup. The marquee race of Meydan Racecourse did nothing to disappoint the hype and buildup. A year removed from a second place finish that began a season ending tailspin, California Chrome closed out the field in decisive style down the stretch to announce that he is back to his winning form without any doubts.
“Today it proves how he can run when he’s 100 per cent,”said winning jockey Victor Espinoza. “In the prep, he felt strong. He won easy. I didn’t want to override him because I knew he was going to have a tough race today.”
The 2016 Dubai World Cup was a battle from the onset. Keen Ice fell to the back almost immediately despite getting the inside post, while Mshawish set a riveting pace. He was shadowed closely by Special Fighter as California Chrome perched on the outside after bursting out of the eleventh post.
The pack all held tightly together waiting for the first move to be made. Intense drama followed the race out of the second turn as almost every horse in the pack turned on the jets.
Nobody’s afterburners were hotter than California Chrome who cracked open the tight slugfest with an unbeatable burst of speed down the stretch to claim the 2016 Dubai World Cup in a time of 2:01.83.
Mubtaahj put up a heroic effort in placing second and satisfied the attention he garnered at the window with 15/1 odds. “It was an excellent run,” jockey Christophe Soumilion said with praise. “I had a nice position but California Chrome is just a superb horse.”
Hoppertunity was also brilliant down the stretch after overcoming some traffic problems through the entire first three-quarters of the 2016 Dubai World Cup. If the race was just a few lengths longer, he may have overtaken Mubtaahj for second instead of finishing third.
Mshawish and Frosted, the latter of which boasted a 2/1 number as the second favorite, fell back to 5th and 6th respectively. Special Fighter was another surprise, coming in at fourth despite 15/1 odds. Hoppertunity was 12/1.
Now is the time for celebration for California Chrome who will return to the states at the end of the month and is due to enjoy a month-long period of rest before working towards the rest of what everyone hopes will be a season to remember. If the 2016 Dubai World Cup is any indication, we’re all in for a wild ride from one of this generation’s finest.