Jockey Gary Stevens' immense talent was much in evidence Saturday night in the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) over the 12-furlong turf track at Nad Al Sheba, when the Americam maestro guided Polish Summer to a convincing victory.Stevens, en route to France from Dubai to take up a retainer with Andre Fabre, rode that trainer's Polish Summer with polish.Always travelling well off a moderate pace, the 7-year-old son of Polish Precedent, who would look a Juddmonte sire waiting to happen, was produced with a steady challenge in the home straight. He responded with an extra burst when asked in the final 100 meters to snatch the spoils comfortably under the inspired jockey. This was a first group I win for the consistent horse who has won in group II company previously and been Group 1-placed. The victory obviously bodes well for the Fabre/Stevens partnership. Stevens said, "I was always travelling well in behind and when I asked him he has answered all the questions in great style. It is a great way to start my partnership with Mr. Fabre and I am really looking forward to returning to Europe."The winner is a half-brother to three winners out of Hunt The Sun, a placed Rainbow Quest full-sister to group I winners Sunshack and Raintrap from a very successful Prince Khalid Abdullah/Juddmonte family.
Ken McPeek's Hard Buck showed his run in last year's UAE Derby to be all wrong when running out a superb second – this proving that the grass brings out the best in him. Hard Buck, ridden by John Velazquez, fought hard on the front end all the way, getting the lead deep in the final straight before yielding close to home.