Superstar Japanese filly Almond Eye is looking sharp and shipshape as she heads to Dubai with connections reporting she is on schedule for her run in the Group 1 $6 million Dubai Turf 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 Group 1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic, but has been pointed for the shorter 1800m of the Dubai Turf, instead. Winner of the Group 1 2400m Japan Cup and filly Triple Crown in her native land, she has proven herself versatile, winning thrice wins over 1600m and once over 2000m, in addition to her 2400m victories.
Overall, she has six wins from seven lifetime starts, including four consecutive Group Ones. According to conditioner Sakae Kunieda, Almond Eye has resumed 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 25 November. 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 returned a year later to make amends and win the same race impressively.