MEYDAN SPRINT (Group 3)
Meydan, Turf, 1000m
8 March 2014
For the second year running, the Mike de Kock-trained Shea Shea won the Group 3 Meydan Sprint over the same 1000m turf course and distance.
Shea Shea, the South African star sprinter will be defending his 2013 Al Quoz Sprint crown on Dubai World Cup day from a position of strength, after an ultra-confident performance in the official prep race, the Meydan Sprint.
The track record holder, having broken the existing mark in this race last year, before again lowering that time on Dubai World Cup night three weeks later, was initially held up well off the pace by an imperious Christophe Soumillon. At first the Belgian rider seemed keen to find cover before traversing the track to the nearside rail where Shea Shea was asked to quicken 300m out, responding well and hitting the front with about 200m to run.
The winning margin was only a head but he appeared to win a lot more comfortably than that would suggest, especially considering he was without a prep run this season.
De Kock said: “It was his first run since August and he should certainly improve for that run but we knew he was in good shape and fit enough to go very close. Christophe has given him a lovely ride and not been at all hard on him. Hopefully he is the one they have to beat back here in three weeks time. Waiting for Super Saturday was always the plan, followed by Dubai World Cup night and hopefully Royal Ascot in England.”
Soumillon, explaining his move across the track from stall six said: “He likes to follow the rail because he’s a horse who likes some cover. If he hits the front too soon or there’s no horse to follow then he can stop a bit.”
Extracts from Dubai Racing Club