Japanese champion Almond Eye has been reported on schedule for her run in the $6 million Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World (G1) on Dubai World Cup night. One of the expected showstoppers of a $35 million global spectacle of an evening, the daughter of Lord Kanaloa owns a world record (2:20.60) for 2400m on turf—roughly the same distance as the $6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1)—but has been pointed for the shorter 1800m of the Dubai Turf, instead.
Winner of the 2400m Japan Cup (G1) and filly Triple Crown in her native land, she has proven herself versatile, including three wins over 1600m and one over 2000m, in addition to her 2400m victories. Overall, she has six wins from seven lifetime starts, including four consecutive Group 1s. According to conditioner Sakae Kunieda, Almond Eye will return to Miho Training Centre on Feb. 22 to resume serious conditioning for her Dubai date.
“When I saw her last week on the farm, she looked good,” Kunieda said. “She has definitely grown a bit and she will probably grow some more, too, I think.”
Almond Eye has not raced since her Japan Cup triumph on Nov. 25. She will try to do one better than fellow Japanese filly Triple Crown winner to whom she consistently is compared, Gentildonna, who won the Japan Cup as a sophomore and was also once beaten when she first ventured to Dubai. The long-striding charge was then second to St Nicholas Abbey in the 2013 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic. She would return one year later to make amends and win the same race impressively.
Almond Eye, picture Japan Racing Association