Dubai: When you’re spoilt for choice what do you do?
Go with your gut-feeling, weigh the pros and cons or simply pick who you think is the best of the best.
This was the dilemma jockey Frankie Dettori had to deal with in the 2002 Dubai World Cup.
Godolphin handler Saeed Bin Surour had an abundance of riches in barn that year and went into the race with four genuine chances, Sakhee, Street Cry, Best Of The Bests and State Shinto.
During that time, Dettori was top jockey for Bin Surour would have first choice and so it was that he elected to ride Sakhee, who went into the race with a huge reputation having won eight times in his already illustrious career.
It didn’t seem a bad choice as international bookmakers rated him a ‘dead cert’, a horse that would lose, only if he chose to lose.
With that out of the way, Bin Surour was left with allocating his three other contenders with the best jockeys available, including a certain Jerry Bailey, who had already won the Dubai World Cup on three occasion – Cigar, Singspiel and Captain Steve.
The American great was offered the ride on Street Cry, with Jamie Spencer partnering Best Of The Bests and UAE champion jockey Ted Durcan picking up the 66/1 outsider State Shinto.
If you ask me, personally I was a big fan of Sakhee. He was a lovely horse, like most Shadwell home breds are. He had a beautiful coat, majest gait and such a fluid running style. No wonder he was a piping-hot 2/5 favourite with British bookmakers to win the race.
But, that did not happen.
Bailey had his way once again and with a willing partner in Street Cry romped to his fourth and final Dubai World Cup victory.
Sakhee and Frankie had to settle for third place behind the Argentinian-bred, American-trained outside Sei Mi, the mount of John Velazquez.
Although the big favourite was beaten, the celebrations as Street Cry and Jerry Bailey, a huge smile wrapped around his face, were led into the winner’s enclosure by Saeed Bin Surour.
It was another unforgettable Dubai World Cup, for all of us.