Jack Hobbs came back to his best when the impressive winner of the 12-furlong G1 Dubai Sheema Classic on turf at Meydan, UAE, on Dubai World Cup night, Saturday, March 25.
The five-year-old Halling horse, from John Gosden’s Newmarket, UK, stable, was always going well in the seven-runner contest.
He was initially in second, racing a bit keenly, and then dropped back to third.
Jack Hobbs cruised up to retake second entering the straight as the other Godolphin runner, Prize Money (Saeed bin Suroor/Adrie de Vries), briefly hit the front.
He soon had the advantage and went into a clear lead, with William Buick able to ease down the Godolphin winner in the closing stages.
The winning margin over long-time leader Highland Reel was two and a quarter lengths in 2m 32.39s on yielding going, with another length and three quarters back to the third Postponed.
John Gosden commented: “It has been a very long time for Jack Hobbs. When Godolphin bought into the horse before the Epsom Derby, they wanted to run him in this race and I said he could run in it as a five-year-old, not a four-year-old. So we have kept to the plan.
“We had a quiet season with him last year but his form at Ascot in October was rock solid. I thought it was very interesting that Ryan Moore (on the leader Highland Reel) stayed off the rail. He gave us a lovely lead but it did mean that the door was open in the straight. William didn’t go straight away but he waited and waited.
“We have put little blinkers on Jack Hobbs. In the Champion Stakes, he spend the whole time dreaming - he likes to look at the top of the grandstand and see who is in the boxes.
“He is very genuine but I just needed him to focus. We have been out here at five in the morning with the lights and he has got used to it.”
William Buick remarked: “Jack Hobbs has done it very well and is a classy horse.
“The blinkers have probably helped him a little bit and John told me earlier in the week that the horse was in great shape.
“This night is like our Olympics - it’s a very important night, certainly when you are wearing the royal blue. We had to step up our game and I am very pleased to be having such a big winner.”