Jockey Ryan Moore and Presvis after winning the Dubai Duty Free.
The $5 million Dubai Duty Free (G1) is an 1800-meter (about 1 1/8 mile) trip around one turn of the turf course at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. A full field of 16 older horseswent to post on Saturday night, with Presvis sent off as the lukeware 5-1 choice off his close third place finish in the Jebel Hatta (G2) after winning the Al Rashidiya (G2), the two major local preps for this race. In to challenge him included 6-1 second choice River Jetez, off her win in the Balanchine Stakes (G2), and 7-1 third choice Wigmore Hall, winner of the Jebel Hatta (G2) last time out.
Jockey Gerald Mosse sent 9-1 Beauty Flash to the lead exiting the chute and he set the pace down the backstretch while being pressed by 18-1 Debussy and 30-1 Strawberrydaiquiri. Ryan Moore kept Presvis out of trouble at the back of the field. Turning for home, River Jetez, who sat midpack early, came out for room and took over the lead at the 3/16 pole. However, Presvis picked up runners on the turn and was closing strongly late, hooking River Jetez at the 1/16 pole and outfinishing the mare by 3/4 length in 1:50.27 over good turf. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to late-running Wigmore Hall third.
6th RACE MEYDAN - DUBAI DUTY FREE (Group 1) 6 Presvis $12.60 $4.40 - 3 River Jetez $4.80 - 5 Wigmore Hall $3.60 - Running time - 1:50.27 $1 Exacta 6-3 $38.90 $1 Trifecta 6-3-5 $212.50 $1 Superfecta 6-3-5-4 $3,632.50
Right: Trainer Luca Cumani (right) and Presvis in the winner's enclosure. Cumani said, "Fantastic. It was a great ride, a very brave ride, as Ryan always does. He has to be ridden that way and it's always a question whether he gets the gaps or not. My heart was in my mouth at the top of the straight, because it looked like he might have been held up but Ryan got him there at the end. I love the horse so much. Hong Kong next, but they've moved the race to May 1 and it clashes with the Guineas, so I don't know who will ride."
Left: Presvis in the paddock before the race. His jockey Ryan Moore said, "He's a very talented horse – he deserved that. A lot of hard work goes into him in the mornings and this is one for the whole team. They went a good gallop initially, then the pace slackened a bit and he got the gaps when I needed them. When we got there he had to work hard and has probably worked harder than he's had to before. Usually, he quickens between horses and he had to fight to beat off the mare."
Right: Presvis heads back to the barn in his new winner's blanket.
Left: Second place finisher River Jetez in the paddock before the race. Her jockey Bernard Fayd'Herbe said, "I thought we had it. At about the 200m, I thought surely there's nothing that could get us, but Previs came to me. He's just a really, really good horse. He's a freak but my mare ran superbly."
Right: Third place finisher Wigmore Hall in the paddock before the race. His trainer Michael Bell said, "That was a nightmare," Bell said. "He couldn't get out, he was desperately unlucky. He was murdered at the head of the straight. I'm not saying he would have won though. Hong Kong here we come. We'll meet Presvis again there." Jockey Jamie Spencer added, "He's brave because he got his head in a space where he shouldn't have. I needed a helicopter to get out of there, but that's the nature of the beast and you can't be too disappointed with that. We got lucky last time and Presvis got lucky this time."
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