Breeders' Cup International Horse Profile: Emaraaty Ana

December 30th, 2021

Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

The only European trainer to win the Turf Sprint, Kevin Ryan returns not only with defending champ Glass Slippers, but also her resurgent stablemate, Emaraaty Ana. Indeed, the five-year-old, who had looked thoroughly exposed for a couple of seasons, has only just turned his career around in a hurry.

Emaraaty Ana is fulfilling the potential he’d once shown as a juvenile in 2018. Precocious enough to show speed over five furlongs in his convincing Windsor debut that April, he closed for third in the Rose Bowl while still learning on the job. Emaraaty Ana took a step forward in a front-running win in the Gimcrack (G2) at York, staying on gamely to repel challengers. Although he weakened to fifth in the Middle Park (G1), pedigree held out hope that he could develop into a 2019 classic contender.

By Shamardal, Emaraaty Ana is out of the Cape Crossmare Spirit of Dubai, winner of the 1 1/2-mile Princess Royal in 2009. Thus he’s bred on the same cross as Turf queen Tarnawa. But Emaraaty Ana couldn’t cope with the mile classics, let alone anything further. Beaten a long way after flashing speed in both Newmarket’ s 2000 Guineas (G1) and the Irish equivalent, he immediately reverted to sprinting.

Yet in his proper division, Emaraaty Ana was still a bit player. Sidelined after wiring a Salisbury conditions race in September 2019, he resumed with thirds in the 2020 Abernant (G3) at Newmarket and Queensferry at Chester (where he drifted a little wide out of the left-handed turn). Emaraaty Ana experimented with cheekpieces in that summer’s Nunthorpe (G1), but it was a short-lived one as he trailed home at 40-1.

Gelded and later undergoing a procedure to correct his breathing (“wind surgery”), Emaraaty Ana renewed his minor-award habits in early 2021. He put up a tussle in the Mar. 27 Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster before succumbing in second, and his thirds back at Newmarket in the Abernant and Palace House (G3) followed a familiar pattern: on or near the early lead, but unable to persevere. Emaraaty Ana came closer in the five-furlong Palace House, but regressed when unplaced back over six in the May 12 Duke of York (G2) and July Cup (G1).

Emaraaty Ana dropped in class and trip for a Hamilton conditions race July 31 and finally ended his long losing skid. Positioned right behind the pacesetter in single-file style, preferring to draft rather than see daylight too early, he switched out and offered a much stronger finish. He rattled off five furlongs on his optimal good-to-firm in :57.24, and carried that form forward in his subsequent starts at the highest level.

In the Aug. 20 renewal of the Breeders' Cup “Win and You’re In” Nunthorpe, Emaraaty Ana was held up a little further off the pace, and accordingly the 40-1 shot had more left in the concluding stages. As Winter Power put away the weakening Golden Pal and forged clear, Emaraaty Anna closed the gap to 1 1/4 lengths in a fine second.

Those new tactics paid dividends in an 11-1 upset of the Sept. 4 Haydock Sprint Cup (G1). Despite racing a bit keenly under restraint early, Emaraaty Ana found plenty to take command about a furlong out. He was looking for the wire late in the six-furlong affair, and just lasted by a desperate head from even-money favorite Starman in 1:09.10.

Ryan has been effusive about how Emaraaty Ana is “tailor-made for the Breeders’ Cup this year.” With the other speed on tap, he can travel well in striking range, and the short Del Mar stretch means he won’t have to sustain a move for too long. Whether Europe can beat the American sprinters for two years in a row is another question, but Emaraaty Ana is better than ever.