December 5, 2023

Broome cleans up in course-record Dubai Gold Cup

Broome collars Siskany in the two-mile Dubai Gold Cup (Photo by Horsephotos.com)

Ballydoyle globetrotter Broome expanded his resume, and opened up a whole new series of options, by acing his test in the stayers’ division in Saturday’s $1 million Dubai Gold Cup (G2) on World Cup night. Kicking into high gear late for Ryan Moore, the Aidan O’Brien charge nabbed Godolphin’s hotpot Siskany in a course-record 3:16.83 at Meydan.   

“Aidan was very confident he would handle the trip,” said M.V. Magnier of Coolmore, which campaigns the son of Australia in partnership with Masaaki Matsushima. “He’s danced every dance and traveled around the world. We are lucky to have him.

“Very happy for all involved. Mr. Matsushima has supported us well over the last few years, so it is great to share a win with him.”

Broome’s portfolio runs the gamut from Group 1-placed juvenile, to near-miss fourth in the 2019 Epsom Derby (G1), and older warhorse especially in the 12-furlong range. Aside from memorable wins in the 2021 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) and 2022 Hardwicke (G2) at Royal Ascot, Broome came so close to Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) glory in 2021 at Del Mar.

Yet the step up in trip wasn’t a total surprise. Broome had tried it once before, but in circumstances that made the experiment useless. He raced just twice in 2020, and his second start, off a four-month layoff, came in the British Champions Long Distance Cup (G2) over two miles on soft going. He ended up being eased, an indication that one couldn’t read too much into his aptitude, or lack thereof. After a series of losses in the second half of 2022, and a fifth in his reappearance in the Feb. 18 H.H. The Amir Trophy in Qatar, it was time for another chance at two miles.

The uncertainty in the Dubai Gold Cup created value, and Broome furnished $28.40 to win. The seven-year-old thrived on plenty of pace over a quick surface.

Global Storm went forward, attended by the wide-drawn Quickthorn and Subjectivist, who settled better than in his too-keen Red Sea Turf H. (G3) comeback. When Subjectivist ranged up turning for home, and grabbed the lead in the stretch, he briefly sparked thoughts of an amazing win after his tendon injury. But he could not hold on.

Siskany traveled like a dream and overhauled Subjectivist, only to find Broome rallying in his wake. Broome lowered his head, gradually reeled in Siskany, and thrust his neck in front. He was lowering the course record of 3:17.77 that had been set by none other than Subjectivist in the 2021 edition.

Subjectivist soldiered on gallantly in third, another 4 3/4 lengths adrift, in a far more encouraging effort in this second start back. Ardakan plugged on in fourth, trailed by El Habeeb, Quickthorn, Sisfahan, Enemy, Giavellotto, Al Nayyir, Al Qareem, Passion and Glory, Global Storm, Trawlerman, and Get Shirty.

Broome’s resume reads 32-9-6-0, with a $2.7 million bankroll, and wins or places in a grand total of 14 stakes. Indeed, he’s been competing at a high level ever since his Galway maiden win in the summer of 2018.

“He’s a very brave horse,” Moore said. “He’s a Group 1 winner, he’s got high-class form. The pace was strong and we just had to wait for a bit of room at the top of the straight. He’s so brave, though, he puts his head down and he gave me everything. It’s a pleasure to ride a horse like him. 

“He’s done a lot of racing and he always runs his race, but you’re never quite sure how they will handle a step up in distance until they come out and do it.”

Siskany was answering the distance question himself in his first attempt.

“Super run,” jockey William Buick said. “We were worried the distance might just test him in the last furlong or so, but he gave me everything, and the race went exactly to plan apart from being headed late by a good horse.”

Mark Johnston, who was Subjectivist’s trainer before handing over the reins to son Charlie, is holding his breath until they know that his tendon is holding up.

“The next few days will be a bit stressful to see if he has come through it all OK. If he is good to go, though, it’ll be the Ascot Gold Cup (G1) next.”

Regular rider Joe Fanning was accentuating the positive takeaways.

“I am delighted with that,” Fanning said. “It felt like he is back to himself and he seemed to pull up well. From the wide gate we were posted a bit, but he settled for me a few lengths off the lead. I got going on him off the home turn and though he got headed, he kept on for me to place. Off that, we can maybe look forward with a little confidence for the season ahead, hopefully.”