Three wins in the six feature events on Dubai World Cup night gave South African Racing its greatest ever international result. Sun Classique won the US$5m Sheema Classic (2400m) in brilliant style.
Ridden by Kevin Shea, the four-year-old was completing a hat-trick at Nad Al Sheba this term for the formidable Mike de Kock, who earlier saddled the one-two in the UAE Derby. The win was the third on end at Nad al Sheba for the mare who has now won 9 of her fifteen starts.
Sun Classique, a dual Group One winner in South Africa at three, burst between the two leaders 400m out and sprinted to clear to easily withstand the short-lived burst of Hong Kong’s Viva Pataca, which started favourite.
Trained by Mike de Kock, who has made Dubai his second home, Sun Classique is now likely to run at either Royal Ascot or in the Arlington Million in Chicago. Earlier in the night Mike De Kock had collected a fourth UAE Derby with the Argentinian-bred Honour Devil while his compatriot Herman Brown trained Jay Peg to score a 50-1 win in the Dubai Duty Free.
The only Australian-trained runner at the meeting, Niconero, finished 11th in the Dubai Duty Free.
The David Hayes representative settled in midfield and failed to improve at any stage, finding the class beyond him. New Zealand’s champion mare Seachange finished an honest sixth after racing on the pace and appearing to get little galloping room in the final 200m. The five-time Group One winner appeared to have something to give when she was crowded against the fence in the run to the line.
Click here to watch Sun Classique winning the Sheema Classic 2008.
Extract from Stallions Daily Bulletin