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Dubai World Cup: Almond Eye on a mission to make history

‘Start before her,’ said William Buick this week, when asked if he had a plan to beat the new beast from the east at Meydan

There has been a buzz around Meydan racecourse in Dubai this week, an unmistakeable fanfare for a horse that could be a freak of nature. It is the sound of a hundred cameras firing at 12 frames per second every time she steps onto the track, and the hubbub of reporters descending on her trainer and rider whenever they break cover. International racing, meet Almond Eye: the new beast from the east and a horse on a mission to make history.

Japan’s best racehorses do not leave home to take on the world very often. Why would they? The Japanese programme is richly-endowed with prize money, racing is the only major sport on which gambling is allowed and about £1bn is returned to the sport from betting every year.

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