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Almond Eye’s silky Dubai Turf win throws down Arc challenge to Enable

• ‘It was beautiful,’ says Christophe Lemaire after filly’s victory
• Thunder Snow becomes first to win Dubai World Cup twice

Almond Eye took the first step here on Saturday on a path towards Longchamp and a possible meeting with Enable in the Arc and she did so with a flourish. She is the most exciting horse to emerge from Japan since Deep Impact in 2006 and, though she finished only a length and a quarter in front of Vivlos in the $6m Dubai Turf, her class was obvious as she seized control a furlong out before idling just a little in the closing stages.

The conclusion of Saturday’s race had echoes of Almond Eye’s success in the Japan Cup last November, when she broke the course record having sat close behind a lightning pace. When the four-year-old quickens she does so almost imperceptibly, closing in on the lead with little sign that Christophe Lemaire, her jockey, has told her to go.

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