where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2023-03-26 02:57:03  
Sibelius runs 'em down in Golden Shaheen

If you thought Ryan Moore couldn’t leave a winning challenge any later than that he executed on Broome in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup, then the final lunge up the rail aboard Sibelius in the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (1200m) was even more of a heart-stopper as he denied last year’s winner Switzerland by a nose.

In doing so he gave Irishman Jeremiah O’Dwyer by far the biggest win of his career.

Deep into the straight it looked as if the finish would be an all-American one, fought out between Frankie Dettori on Hopkins and Tyler Gaffalione on Gunite.

But the race changed complexion at the 200 metre mark, with Switzerland launched down the outside by Tadhg O’Shea and Moore moving up on the rail.

Sibelius is born, bred and trained in the United States but O’Dwyer’s role will ensure celebrations in Ireland’s County Tipperary, while owners Jun Park and Della Nash can reflect on the wisdom of placing their trust in the young handler.

O'Dwyer said: "The race worked out quite the way I had predicted. You know you can read these races a hundred times but it will never go the same way. To be honest, he just sat back in the gates and was a bit slow but when you have a master rider like Ryan Moore, he gets you out of trouble.

"It really is a proud moment for us. I am grateful to the owners. They let me do what is best with the horse every step of the way and never interfere.

"He trains like a good horse, he acts like a good horse, he rides like a good horse.

"Junior Alvarado gave him his last breeze before we shipped out. He was not able to make it over and there's some Derby trials and big handicaps in America so he could not be here."

Moore said: "I was very lucky to pick up the ride. He actually stepped a little slowly, I was a half-length further behind than I wanted to be. We had a charmed run, they just drifted off which meant we didn't have to change lanes and the horse dug in really deep. He showed a lot of courage and heart to get there.

"He has form over a little bit further which I think really helped too."

Switzerland (2nd), jockey Tadhg O'Shea said: "He's a tough horse. He's done everything right, he's just unfortunate to come out the wrong side of a photo, but he's lost nothing in defeat."

Trainer Bhupat Seemar added: "It’s hard to get beat like that; he did everything right. These horses if you take care of them they pay you back. We had a plan to just give him two races and keep the miles off his legs and I thought we had it there."

Muammar Ameen, representing owners RRR Racing, continued: "He ran a good race and didn’t do anything wrong. This year the competition is stronger than last time. It’s just a matter of seconds. He was supposed to kick on a little earlier, if you see him in the last furlong he was seventh or eighth. He will bounce back."

Gunite (3rd), jockey Tyler Gaffalione said: "My horse ran a huge race and a good effort from him. Post position 13 might have cost us in the long run to give a bit of ground but he followed right off to the finish. Hats off to the winner."

Assistant trainer Scott Blasi said: "It was another great run and this horse shows up every single time. Our gate meant we probably had to compromise and Tyler had to use him a little harder than we would have wanted to so he could get position getting into the first turn, but a solid run and he keeps progressing."

Hopkins (4th), jockey Frankie Dettori said: "It was a good run."

C Z Rocket (8th), jockey Antonio Fresu said: "It was a fast race and my horse couldn't keep up with the pace."

Sound Money (9th), jockey Mickael Barzalona said: "He travelled well but he wasn't able to pick up."

Super Ocho (11th), jockey Hector Berrios said: "He always goes to the lead but we were in behind and maybe he didn’t enjoy the kickback in his face. He never got involved in the race."

Mouheeb (13th), jockey James Doyle said: "It was kind of a disaster from stall 14."

Road Bloc (14th), jockey Oscar Chavez said: "My horse stumbled twice at the start and the race was over then."

Winning time: 01:10.69 (race record 01:09.01)


Image: Korean connections celebrating the win

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