Phoenix Reach Stretches Out in Sheema Win

Phoenix Reach Stretches Out in Sheema Win
Photo: AP/Kamran Jebreili
Phonix Reach wins the Dubai Sheema Classic.
By Jason Ford
Trainer Andrew Balding made his first UAE runner a winning one when Martin Dwyer produced Phoenix Reach with a devastating turn of foot to mow down his rivals in the 12-furlong Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) on the grass Saturday at Nad Al Sheba.

Held up in mid-division behind a very steady early pace, Dwyer was able to secure a run inside the quarter mile pole and never looked like being beaten from there on in, winning by two lengths.

"I am over the moon," Dwyer said. "It was a great experience to come here and compete on the world stage. "

Godolphin's Razkalla, under Kerrin McEvoy, tried to make all and would have done so if it was not for Balding's charge, with Alan Swinbank's Collier Hill running on for third.

Mike de Kock's Greys Inn took fourth with the Aidan O'Brien-trained Powerscourt, the mount of Kieren Fallon in fifth. It was O'Brien's first World Cup Day starter.

"Powerscourt was tightened on the turn," Fallon said of his oft-troubled campaigner. "He went OK, ran well."

The winner, a 5-year-old Irish-bred son of Alhaarth has now won five of his 11 starts, having won the Hong Kong Vase (HK-I) in his previous start in December. Winterbeck Manor Stud ownes the winner.

"Martin (Dwyer) has given him a great ride and perhaps now the horse will get the credit he deserves," Balding said. "For some reason people keep underestimating him but he keeps on winning and running with great credit.

"He is a great horse and a real star."

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) runner-up Cherry Mix finished a disappointing tenth. His jockey Frankie Dettori said, "He settled well but he was beaten before the turn. That was not his form. I think the horse just ran flat."

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