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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 March, 2005, 15:10 GMT
Dubai success for Phoenix Reach
Martin Dwyer on Phoenix Reach
Phoenix Reach, trained by Andrew Balding, put in a storming run late on to clinch the Dubai Sheema Classic at the Dubai World Cup meeting.

Balding's charge, ridden by Martin Dwyer, looked impressive on his first run since victory in the Hong Kong Vase in December.

Dwyer kept the horse well back early on as Omnikron and Razhalla set the pace.

But with 100m to go, Dwyer picked up superbly to find a way through and take the lead and hold on for victory.

Razhalla, Godolphin's second string, held on for second with Collier Hill, trained by Alan Swinbank and ridden by Dean McKeown, back in third.

"He's better than ever and has been working really well," admitted Balding after the race.

"We were quietly confident, but you never know, what with taking the blinkers off and a bad draw. I am really pleased.

"He's a really talented horse. If it wasn't for the beginning of last summer when he was wrong, he's only run two bad races in his life. He's an underrated horse, but he's pretty decent.

"We will hopefully take him to Hong Kong for the QEII and see what happens."

He travelled quite well for me all the way
Blues and Royals jockey Kerrin McEvoy

Phoenix Reach is the fourth British-trained winner of the race.

Aidan O'Brien's first runner in Dubai, Powerscourt, ridden by Kieren Fallon made no impression and was well down the field.

Earlier, Shamardal failed to shine in the UAE Derby when he was well beaten by his Godolphin stablemate Blues And Royals.

Shamardal, running for the first time on dirt, went off favourite but faded tamely in the straight under the guidance of Frankie Dettori.

Australian Kerrin McEvoy seized the initiative on Blues and Royals and he was easily able to land the spoils on board the 33-1 chance.

He will now bid for further success at the Kentucky Derby.

McEvoy felt that the application of blinkers on the winner played a big part in his performance.

"He's just been going quietly about his business at home and he was really switched on tonight with the blinkers," he said. "They were a good addition for him.

Nash Rawiller rides Elvstroem to victory
Elvstroem claimed Australia's first ever success at the meeting

"He travelled quite well for me all the way. I was really pleased.

"I was tracking the leader on the fence and there was only half a gap, but he was going that well that he just went straight through it."

Elvstroem became the first Australian horse to win in Dubai with an impressive success in the Dubai Duty Free.

A slow start allowed jockey Nash Rawiller to take the rail and when it mattered, his horse upped the pace to record a comfortable win.

Elvstroem is now expected to travel to Britain for some high-profile races this summer including the Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May.

"A lot of the decision to come is down to Nick Smith from Ascot and a very long lunch we had in Sydney one day," explained the horse's principal owner Frank Tagg.

"I have never been to England but I've heard a lot about the races we are targeting and seen videos of previous winners.

"I'm already looking forward to trying some pie and mushy peas!

"The three races I imagine we'll run in are the Lockinge, The Prince Of Wales's Stakes at York and the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

"I would have really liked to run the horse in the King George too, but he will have had to have returned to Victoria by then for the start of the Australian breeding season."





SEE ALSO
US tipped for Dubai World Cup win
26 Mar 05 |  Horse Racing


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