Dubai: Trainer John Moore described victory as “serious” after Sterling City won the Dubai Golden Shaheen on the Tapeta at Meydan.
It was the second sprint win in a row for Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira after he guided Amber Sky to victory in Al Quoz Sprint.
Ling Chiu Shing and Gary Ling Kay Wai’s five-year-old was really impressive and won in the manner of a horse with more to come.
Rich Tapestry jumped out and tried to snatch the lead from his wide draw, but Olivier Doleuze had to settle his mount in third as Zee Bros, under Frankie Dettori, towed them along with Complicate in second.
As they entered the straight, Doleuze made a move and it looked like Michael Chang’s Rich Tapestry was going to score again at Meydan, but Moreira was getting a fine tune out of Sterling City and he soon emerged from the pack to challenge. In a beautifully timed run, Sterling City managed to overtake his countryman to score a famous one-two for Hong Kong.
Moore said: “That was fantastic. I think it was all the jockey’s skills that got the horse to gather him in and he got to line really strong. We are thrilled and I’ve won my first Group One offshore race in Dubai. Thanks to Team Moore.”
He continued: “He’s [Moreira] a magician and got the horse to close off like we thought he would actually.”
Winning jockey Moreira was understandably ecstatic, commenting: “Well, he’s a very good horse. He should have won his last race, and unfortunately I got boxed in and wasn’t able to get a clear run on the straight.
“But today, even if he wasn’t travelling on the bend, once I gave him a dry run he just showed off what he’s up to. He’s a very good horse and he proved himself today. Rich Tapestry had experience of Tapeta and my horse didn’t but, once I got on his inside, I knew my horse was going to kick on.
“He’s a lovely horse and it’s a such a pleasure to be riding him. This is his first win in Dubai and hopefully there’s more to come.”
He added: “I want to dedicate this win to my family: My two kids, my wife, my parents and my family. When he was travelling off a bit on the bend I thought it was going to be tough but, when he kicked off on the straight, I knew he was going to win.”
— The author is a racing journalist, broadcaster and GM of Draiton Feed Commodities
(With inputs from Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter, and Ashley Hammond, Staff Reporter)
Race 6. Golden Shaheen (TB Group 1) Purse: $2,000,000 Dist: 1200m AW:
1.Sterling City (J Moore) Joao Moreira; 2. Rich Tapestry (M Chang) Olivier Doleuze; 3. United Color (D Selvaratnam) William Buick; 4. Reynaldothewizard (S Seemar) R Mullen.
Also ran: Nawwar, Zee Bros, Russian Soul, Balmont Mast, Complicate, Krypton Factor, Jamesie, My Catch, Bello.
Winning distances: 0.75length, 2.25, 1.