Godolphin's Rebel's Romance Reigns Supreme in Sheema Classic


Rebel’s Romance showcased his prowess with a commanding victory, extending Godolphin's dominance in the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic.

In a strategic affair with limited contenders, the resilient six-year-old secured HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s team their fourth triumph in the 2410m turf classic since 2017, following the successes of Jack Hobbs, Hawkbill, and Old Persian.

Jockey William Buick secured a record fifth win in the race, guiding Rebel's Romance effortlessly. Taking an early lead, Point Lonsdale set a steady tempo while Buick trailed closely in second position, with Shahryar maintaining a respectable distance.

Approaching the final 600m, the leading trio maintained a considerable advantage over the pursuing pack, with Rebel’s Romance displaying superior form. Accelerating decisively in the last 300m, he crossed the finish line two lengths ahead of the competition.

Shahryar held on for second place, while the highly anticipated Japanese contender, Liberty Island, made a strong finish to claim third. Unfortunately, Derby winner Auguste Rodin struggled and finished at the rear.

Rebel’s Romance, victor of the UAE Derby in 2021 and subsequent Breeders’ Cup Turf, demonstrated a return to form under trainer Charlie Appleby's guidance. Preparing for the Meydan challenge with a Group 3 victory in Qatar, he clocked a time of 2:26.72.

Buick commended the horse's adaptability, stating, "He showed in Qatar what a versatile horse he is. His best form has usually been when he’s held up, but in Qatar, I tried something new. I was keen today to adopt a similar tactic, and it paid off."

Reflecting on the significance of Godolphin's victory on Dubai's premier racing day, Buick emphasized the team's dedication and Sheikh Mohammed's commitment to attracting top-tier talent. He praised the training performance and the entire team's effort.

Appleby acknowledged the challenges leading up to the race, commending the team's perseverance and Sheikh Mohammed's support. Despite earlier setbacks, Rebel's Romance's triumph marked a crowning achievement for Godolphin on the grandest stage of Dubai racing.

Image extraction DRC

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