DUBAI, UAE – Yard-Arm scored an impressive start-to-finish victory in the Group 3 Al Fahidi Fort over 1600m on turf at Nad Al Sheba on 11 February, writes MIKE DE KOCK. He stopped the clock in a time that was a fraction faster than the time set by our star filly Ipi Tombe when she doddled this race in 2003.
Yard-Arm made the pace at his leisure and wasn’t extended at the finish, which underlines the merit of this victory and gives me great hope for the rest of his campaign. Although this was his first run in more than seven months, Yard-Arm was fresh at the pull-up and clearly enjoyed his run.
If all goes well he’ll be going next for the third leg of the Maktoum Challenge over 2000m on dirt on 5 March, and then on to the Dubai World Cup over the same course and distance.
I was also very encouraged by the superb run of Greys Inn, who raced over a distance which is now well short of his best. He could conceivably have finished second, instead of fourth, if a crucial gap between horses didn’t close on him in the latter stages of the race.
That Greys Inn didn’t make it into second is immaterial, because with the kind of improvement I expect from him, he is bound to be a huge factor in the 2400m Dubai City of Gold on 5 March.
My congratulations go to Mike and Norma Rattray and Sally Jordaan of Lammerskraal Stud, who own Yard-Arm, and I am not forgetting the important role of Geoff Woodruff, who trained this superb son of Western Winter to many wonderful wins and a Horse of the Year title in South Africa. Well done and thanks to all of you.