Team Valor's 4-year-old Irridescence, a champion filly in South Africa last season, beat double group-winning French filly Satwa Queen by 1 1/4 lengths Friday evening at Nad al Sheba in the listed Balanchine Stakes.
Making her first start since early July, the daughter of Caesour stalked the pacesetter from the start in second, took over with a quarter-mile remaining and held favored Satwa Queen safe through the lane to win eased down nearing the wire.
Irridescence has now won 4 of her 5 starts since being bought by Team Valor from trainer Mike de Kock and Tony Moodley. Her victories include the grade I Woolavington and the South Africa Fillies Classic.
"She will now go for the $5 million Duty Free, that's been the plan all along," said de Kock, who trained Team Valor, WinStar Farm and Sunmark Partners' Ipi Tombe to win the Duty Free (UAE-I) in 2003.
"It rained for the last two days here and she handled the yielding turf just fine," de Kock said.
"I sort of tied Mike's hands before this race, because I told him that we only wanted to run the filly once in Dubai, unless she won well enough to consider the Duty Free," Team Valor president Barry Irwin said.
"We don't like to over race our horses in Dubai, because we want them available for a full campaign for the rest of the year.
"I thought if she was really a worthy candidate for the Duty Free, then she should be able to win this race without a prep. She carried more than 136 pounds and beat a solid French filly that had a prep over the course and got her kind of course. It was what we were looking for."
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