Devilish Win in UAE 2000 Guineas
Photo: Trevor Jones
Trainer Mike de Kock celebrates a happy birthday with UAE 2000 Guineas win.
Honour Devil provided trainer Mike de Kock with a perfect birthday gift as he gamely held off stablemate Royal Vintage by a half-length to capture the UAE 2000 Guineas (UAE-III) Feb. 14.

Mike de Kock has now trained three winners of the 2000 Guineas.  He won this race with Victory Moon in 2003 and with Asiatic Boy last year.  Asiatic Boy went on to become the first horse to sweep the UAE Triple Crown, which also included wins in the listed Al Bastakiya and the UAE Derby (UAE-II). 

Honour Devil, like Asiatic Boy, is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, who also owns part of Royal Vintage.  Honour Devil was purchased privately by Sheikh Mohammed after his career debut, a five-length maiden win at Palermo in his native Argentina in 2007.  The 4-year-old son of Honour and Glory is now undefeated in three starts, having also captured a conditions race at Nad al Sheba Jan. 24.

Honour Devil broke alertly under Johnny Murtagh and went immediately to the front.  He was quickly joined by Paveroc, and Murtagh was content to let that colt take the lead.  Honour Devil settled comfortably into second, and the two led the field through the first 400 meters.

Mutabayen, who had been racing in mid-pack, made a bold move on the outside to assume command as the field entered the turn.  Paveroc followed him closely along the rail, with Honour Devil moving easily in third. 

Murtagh moved Honour Devil to the outside as the field hit the straightaway, and they quickly assumed command with 500 meters left.  Kevin Shea had Royal Vintage rolling on the far outside, and the stablemates began to draw away from the rest of the field as they battled to the wire.

Honour Devil ran on strongly to win by a half-length over Royal Vintage.  My Indy got up for third, 3 3/4-lengths further back.  Etched, who was making his first start for Godolphin, made a mild move in the stretch but flattened out to finish fourth.

Final time for the eight furlongs was 1:34.8 over the fast main track.

Honour Devil is out of the Fitzcarraldo mare, Diamond Fitz.  His female family has produced Balboa Native, winner of the 1983 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and Gran Zar, Horse of the Year and champion older horse in Mexico.

Honour Devil was bred in Argentina by Haras Firmamento. 

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