One Hump Or Two?

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 11, 2009 in Breeders Cup, General Discussion | No Comments >>

On November 7th, 2009, a young man stepped out of the sand dunes and into the winner’s circle. It was unlikely, and probably not part of his plans. But on this day, he was the toast of the town.

The 27-year-old former camel jockey, Ahmad Ajtebi, stepped up his game quite a bit. He went from being a one time camel man, to a professional rider going to get his picture taken on the biggest day of the year.

Ajtebi wanted to raise his game. He is riding for the powerful Godolphin stable. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor is recognized as one of the rising stars of the game. He tried his hand at every jockey school around the world. I guess the travel paid off.

It was on Dubai World Cup night when he took the world by storm. He won two races on the best day of racing in the desert.  When Vale of York stormed to win on this day, it now leads to Derby dreams for the Godolphin clan once again.

A winner for his third time out of six starts, Vale of York was a second place finisher in the Group-I Gran Criterium in Italy. This gave an impression that he may hold a bit of promise. I guess that is what makes the win so special. A horse that was a cut below most of the field, and a former camel rider taking his game to the stratosphere.

Ajtebi acknowledged this as one of the greatest in his life. To win at the top level gives one hope. It shows promise. Oh, and by the way he schooled Garrett Gomez down the lane, would put him in a handful of people that could pull off that stunt.

Godolphin always comes loaded. That will be a bet you will always win. But the victory at this level with Vale of York probably wasn’t expected at first asking. Maybe for all of  the billions spent on horses, they may have found the jewel of the desert in the most unlikely of places.

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