Postponed - Dubai Sheema Classic

Postponed, the son of Dubawi – sire of South Africa’s own Willow Magic, had been viewed as the favourite ahead of the Dubai Sheema Classic and he lived up to that billing as he triumphed in a new course record time over the 2,410m distance on turf on Saturday.


Postponed stretched his winning streak to four since his success at Royal Ascot on August 25 under Andrea Atzeni, who was celebrated his 25th birthday on the night.

“It was very straight-forward, he travelled brilliantly and was in a nice position all the way," said the winning jockey. “I knew it would take a good horse to beat him today. Everyone has done a really good job with him. It means a lot, it’s what racing’s all about."

The five-year-old son of the Irish 2000 Guineas winner Dubawi travelled well throughout the trip and when Atzeni stepped on the gas he cruised on the home stretch to claim the victory in a new record time of 2 mins, 26.97 secs, lowering the previous best time by 0.53 seconds.

The Japanese pair Duramente under the 2011 Dubai World Cup winning jockey Micro Demuro and the Joao Moreira-ridden Last Impact finished second and third respectively.

“To win here tonight is right up there with the best, and it is great for the team back home," said Varian. “This is one of the biggest nights of the calendar on the global stage. The prize money is nice but it is winning these big races which excites us all."

Ryan Moore on Highland Reel set the early pace, leading by three lengths on the backstretch, followed by One And Only and Gailo Chop. However, they faded as the field approached the final bend. Duramente took over at the home stretch before Atzeni powered to the front to put the race to bed.

“I was quietly confident watching the race as tactically Ryan Moore set an even gallop and I was happy with our position," said Varian. “I knew that if he picked up in the same way as when winning his prep race here three weeks ago then it would take a good horse to get past him. He is a heck of a good horse as a King George winner. He is versatile and professional and ticks all the right boxes. I imagine the King George will again be his mid-summer target with a run or two before."

Demuro said the runner up Duramente ripped a shoe off before the race and then they could not re-plate him.

“It was unfortunate," he said. “He wasn’t comfortable on that firm ground with only three shoes. He was changing his legs. It was all unusual for him. Still, he ran very well and was beaten by an excellent horse. We still have a lot to look forward to."

Postponed will now return to his Newmarket base and be aimed at some of the top prizes in Europe in the summer.

Extract from The National