Heavy favorite Asiatic Boy powered to an impressive 1 1/4-length victory in the Al Shindagha Sprint (UAE-III) at Nad al Sheba Jan. 24.
The 5-year-old horse picked up right where he left off last season in Dubai. In 2007, the bay son of Not for Sale captured all four of his starts, which included a sweep of the UAE Triple Crown. Asiatic Boy now has won six of 10 career starts for trainer Michael de Kock.
Asiatic Boy broke slowly under jockey Johnny Murtagh and was outrun early, as Power Politics and Malayeen shot immediately to the front. That pair was quickly joined by Sea Hunter and Valiance, and the four contestants battled through a swift opening half-mile.
Murtagh kept Asiatic Boy toward the back of the pack, knowing he had plenty of horse underneath him. A small gap appeared with a furlong left, and the duo burst into the clear, overhauling leader Salaam Dubai on their way to a convincing win.
Diabolical, making his first start since being purchased by Godolphin last summer, stumbled badly at the break, but recovered quickly under Frankie Dettori and was soon vying for the lead. He was unable to sustain his bid, and faded in the final 200 meters.
Salaam Dubai held on for second, 3 1/2-lengths in front of Malayeen. Diabolical finished fourth, just a short head further back. Time for the six-furlongs was 1:11.27 over a fast track.
Asiatic Boy, who is out of the Polish Navy mare, S.S. Asiatic, was bred in Argentina by Haras Arroyo de Luna. He is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum, a cousin of Sheikh Mohammed.
The Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) was mentioned as a long-range goal for Asiatic Boy, with a possible prep for that coming in the Mahab Al Shimmal (UAE-III) Feb. 21.