Arrogate puts 'Frankel on dirt' tag on the line at Dubai World Cup
Arrogate will start the Dubai World Cup as heavy favourite and his trainer Bob Baffert believes the colt is the dirt-track version of the legendary Frankel.
The four year old races under the same green, white and pink colours of Prince Khalid Abdullah as flat-race great Frankel, who enjoyed a stunning unbeaten 14-race career in England.
An unbeaten status is not something Arrogate can lay claim to after he was beaten on debut, but his pedigree is undeniable.
He has emerged victorious in his six starts since that defeat 11 months ago, claiming a Breeders' Cup Classic triumph in November as well as the richest purse in racing at the $12million Pegasus World Cup in Florida in January.
Those successes have led Baffert to believe Arrogate is the best in the world and comparable to Frankel.
"It's pretty amazing the Prince has had a superhorse like Frankel and now he's got a superhorse like this horse," Baffert said in quotes reported by The Guardian ahead of the event at Meydan. "Turf versus dirt, it's so different.
"Frankel was an incredible horse, I remember every time he ran I made sure I got up real early to watch his races in England and he was spectacular.
"I think this horse is like the dirt version, in the States, of Frankel, so it's pretty amazing he would own two of the best horses that we've seen.
"I trained [2015 Triple Crown winner] American Pharoah, and I thought when he retired it was going to be really tough to fill those shoes, and then here comes Arrogate. He got into those shoes and just kept on.
"Arrogate is the best horse in the world but this is still a challenge for him, to bring him over here and for him to run his race. Hopefully he takes to it but it's different here.
"The barn area is so far away, that walk really changes things because our horses aren't used to it. So far he's handled everything well and I haven't seen anything that tells me he's not going to run his race."
Steve Asmussen-trained Gun Runner is second favourite behind Arrogate, and has previous with seven wins from 13 starts over eight different tracks.
Baffert is also wary of the pace of Neolithic and he is taking nothing for granted despite the expectation on Arrogate.
"He's the heavy favourite but he still has to have racing luck and get around there, so it's not a gimme," he added.