Veteran jockey Jim Cassidy urged the best from Dissident when challenged by El Roca in the closing stages of the Randwick Guineas (Aus-I) March 15, and the colt gamely dug in to win by a narrow margin.
Trainer Peter Moody co-owns the Sebring colt, who won by a short half head from 3-1 favorite El Roca. Dissident turned the tables on his rival after El Roca soundly defeated him by two lengths in the Eskimo Prince Stakes Feb. 15 at Rosehill Gardens. The victory, his first at the group I level, took his record to 3-4-1 from 11 career starts.
Dissident and El Roca were handy behind early pacesetter Romantic Touch, last year's T. J. Smith (Aus-I) winner, before Cassidy moved Dissident to lead with a half-mile to run in the 1,600-meter (about one-mile) race. With Romantic Touch fading out, El Roca raced up under Hugh Bowman to challenge with 300 meters to run and matched strides with Dissident in a thrilling duel. El Roca bumped Dissident with 100 meters to run and briefly led for a stride, but the winner did not lose stride and instead fought hard to prevail.
Dissident was timed in 1:36.33 on turf rated good.
"He is starting to turn from a boy to a man, he is starting to learn; he loves to fight," Cassidy told TVN after notching is 101st group I win.
"You don't win these group I's at the 100 (meters), you win them at the line, I knew my bloke wasn't going to lay down, it was a good effort for him to fight back."
Moody indicated the Rosehill Guineas (Aus-I) March 29 was next for Dissident, who was bred by Widden Stud Australia out of the stakes-placed Anabaa mare Diana's Secret. Moody bought the colt for $210,000 ($216,762 in United States funds) out of the Widden Stud consignment at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale.
Also on March 15 at Royal Randwick, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Matkoum's Appearance unleashed a torrid rally from last to win the Canterbury Stakes (Aus-I).
With Kerrin McEvoy riding for trainer Guy Walter, the 5-year-old Commands mare won by 1 1/4 lengths and tallied a third consecutive win and fourth group I victory. She covered the 1,300 meters (about 6 1/2 furlongs) in 1:17.20.
Not Listenin'tome finished second, and 3-1 favorite Red Tracer was third in the 10-horse field.
Darley-bred Appearance is out of the winning Grand Lodge mare Disguise and is a half sister to stakes winner Mascareri.