Long John Powerful in U.A.E. Guineas Romp
Godolphin's Australian group I winner Long John handily dispatched 10 overmatched rivals at the top of the stretch and romped away to win the $250,000 United Arab Emirates Two Thousand Guineas (UAE-III) Feb. 13 at Meydan Racecourse.
In the winning move around the turn, the Street Cry gelding rapidly advanced on the outside from sixth. He blew past frontrunner My Catch entering the stretch and drew off under a hand ride en route to a 4 1/4-length triumph under Mikael Barzalona.
Kicking from near the back of the field, U.A.E. Guineas trial winner Emirates Flyer rallied strongly on the outside in the final sixteenth to take second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of third-place finisher Wednaan.
Long John was the 8-5 favorite in North American pools hosted by AmWest Entertainment. He paid $5.40 and $2.10.
Formerly trained by Peter Snowden in Australia, where he won the Caulfield Guineas (Aus-I) Oct. 12, Long John added a second Guineas to his record as he covered 1,600 meters (about one mile) in 1:36.23 on the Tapeta all-weather track. He improved to six wins from nine career starts while making his first start in Dubai for trainer Charlie Appleby.
Long John was racing for the first time in 3 1/2 months since finishing ninth against older horses in the W. S. Cox Plate (Aus-I), Australia's weight-for-age championship, Oct. 26 at Moonee Valley. That race came two weeks after his Caulfield Guineas win over upset Cox Plate victor Shamus Award.
Appleby said the U.A.E. Guineas win revealed more about Long John, who typically shows little in morning work.
"He galloped out well and had a nice blow," Appleby said of the newcomer to his stable. "We knew fitness-wise we were there. He's a lovely horse."
The United Arab Emirates Derby (UAE-II) on the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) undercard March 29 is likely Long John's ultimate goal at the Dubai World Cup Carnival.
Bred in Australia by Darley, Long John is a half brother to Australian stakes winner Ribald. He is out of the winning Night Shift mare Hosiery, a half sister to the 2005 Hong Kong Gold Cup (HK-I) winner Masked.
Long John is among 75 stakes winners for Street Cry. The 16-year-old son of Machiavellian is based at Darley in Lexington.
Two races later on the card, Marcus and Ingrid Jooste's two-time South African Horse of the Year Variety Club scored a frontrunning two-length victory in the $200,000 Firebreak Stakes (UAE-III).
Making his first start in eight months and first in Dubai, the 5-year-old son of Var extended his winning streak to nine as he cruised across the finish line to win comfortably from Haatheq, who outfinished Empire Storm by three lengths for second in the nine-horse field.
Ridden by Anton Marcus for trainer Joey Ramsden, Variety Club took command soon after the start and maintained a clear lead before drawing off. The 3-5 favorite in North American pools, he was timed in a swift 1:35.67 for the 1,600 meters on the all-weather track.
Variety Club, who was bred by Beaumont Stud out of the Secret Prospector mare La Massine, has won 15 of 20 career starts. His 11 group wins include four at the top level in his native country.
The Firebreak is a steppingstone to the $1 million Godolphin Mile (UAE-I) on World Cup night.
Also on the card, Antoinette Kavanagh's Russian Soul broke through for his first victory at Meydan, taking the Al Shindagha Sprint (UAE-III) by a length from Jamesie, with Complicate a neck back in third.
Overcoming difficult post 13 while making his seventh start in Dubai, the 6-year-old son of Invincible Spirit burst powerfully from the pack in midstetch to lead 200 meters out and ran out a strong winner under Shane Foley at 7-1 odds. He entered off a close second-place finish to United Color in the Dubawi Stakes Jan. 16 at Meydan.
United Color, the 5-2 favorite in the Al Shindagha Sprint, found traffic in the final 400 meters and finished 10th.
In finishing in 1:10.61 for the 1,200 meters (about six furlongs), Russian Soul tallied a sixth win from 23 career starts for trainer Michael Halford.
The Al Shindagha Sprint is a prep for the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) on World Cup night.
Russian Soul was bred in Ireland by Societe Civile de L'Ecurie de Meautry. He is out of the Indian Ridge mare Russian Hill.
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