22 March 2017

Medicean Man Still The Man For Gask

Slow starter, fast finisher: that has been the career path for Medicean Man

by Howard Wright

Slow starter, fast finisher: that has been the career path for Medicean Man (GB), who at the age of 11 would become the oldest winner in the history of Dubai World Cup nights if he were to carry off the Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments.

Yet British trainer Jeremy Gask could not have dreamed of being anywhere near the Meydan winner’s enclosure when he took over the son of Medicean following his purchase by Angie Loder for 80,000 guineas (£76,190) as a yearling in 2007.

“We couldn’t sell him, and he was so slow as a two-year-old that it would have been embarrassing to run him that season,” Gask recalled, as he prepares Medicean Man for a third tilt at the Al Quoz Sprint on his fifth visit to the Dubai World Cup Carnival in a row.

“We gelded him, gave him six months off and the operation turned him around, but he still didn’t show us much in his early three-year-old days, until we took him to a racecourse four or five times to try and get a spark out of him and one morning the penny suddenly dropped.”

Three races in, Medicean Man went to Doncaster and with Claire Lindop, Gask’s fellow Australian who was in Britain on a working holiday, in the saddle, he got off the mark in a low-grade maiden event. He was bought by Doncaster businessman Stuart Dobb immediately after the race, and eight years and 73 outings later he has compiled a career tally of 13 wins, 15 placings and more than £625,000 in earnings.

“He’s taken us to all the best places and rarely let us down,” Gask said. “I missed his first win at Meydan in 2013, when I was stuck in England because of a problem with my passport. So, the biggest thrill he’s given me would have to be when he won here in January, because of his age and the fact my daughter Darcie, who’s obsessed with racing, was here, plus he was ridden by my apprentice David Parkes, who’s had a lot of bad luck with injuries.”

Adries de Vries has the mount in the Al Quoz Sprint for the first Group 1 test in what will probably be Medicean Man’s last season. “It will be difficult to bring his career to an end, because he just loves racing,” Gask said, “but two things are certain – we will miss him, but he will always have a good home.”