Ipi Tombe, the champion filly trained in South Africa but bred in Zimbabwe, burst into calculations for the US$2,000,000 Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) or possibly the $6,000,000 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) after her devastating display to win the listed Al Fahidi Fort at Nad Al Sheba last Thursday night.The 1998 filly by Manshood -- Carnet De Danse (Dance In Time) races for the American-based Team Valor, Winstar Farm and Sunmark Partners. In defeating Royal Tryst (Kingmambo) and Trademark (Goldmark), Ipi Tombe set a 1-mile course record of 1:37.Team Valor president Barry Irwin said Ipi Tombe, who was making her first start for the American partners, would come to the U.S. to the care of trainer Elliott Walden upon completion of her Dubai campaign.Immediately after the event Dubai World Cup chairman Les Benton, issued an invitation to the connections of Ipi Tombe for the filly to run in the Dubai Duty Free however consideration will also be given to running her in the Dubai World Cup on March 29.The filly demolished a class line-up conceding weight to all, smashing the race record by over two seconds in what was the one of the best trials seen for the Dubai Duty Free in recent years.The filly provided her rider Kevin Shea with a winner on his first ride at Nad Al Sheba and ironically, Naheef1s win in the evening1s other feature, the listed Al Rashidiya, provided his rider Kerrin McEvoy with his first win in the Emirates since arriving a week ago.Ipi Tombe arrived in the Emirates with a huge reputation, having won eight of her ten starts and despite having to concede weight to all rivals, she justified the high praise."She does it all for you, all I have to do is make sure I am in the right place," Shea said.
Shea said that luck had gone his way when he was forced to stay on the fence aboard Ipi Tombe however he clarified that had she been beaten she would have been unlucky."I was stuck there, there was nothing I could do so I took my chances," he said. "I had a bit of luck tonight, had I not won would have been a most unlucky loser."Ipi Tombe continued the magnificent run of success enjoyed by Shea and trainer Mike de Kock after a year in 2002 that saw them "win just about every feature race in South Africa" while she gave her trainer his second Pattern win in the Emirates having earlier won the Al Nakhlee with Victory Moon.