RIVER JETEZ swooped down on her opposition to secure the $US200,000 Ballanchine (Group 2) for Mike de Kock, Christophe Soumillon and owners Cedric and Mrs Amm, and Marsh Shirtliff, on Friday evening. (headline photo, Andrew Watkins).
A victory pat for River Jetez from Soumillon (Andrew Watkins).
Soumillon settled the seven-year-old in the rear and she made her way steadily into a challenging position before putting matters beyond doubt with 150m to run.
As it turned out the only challenge came from stablemate Reem, who’d come across well from a wide draw and set sail for home near the inside running rail under Kevin Shea.
Reem stayed on strongly in second, providing a good line on the ability of this season’s three-year-olds, including the stable’s UAE Derby contender, Mahbooba.
“We were hopeful of a big run but another 1-2 was a great result. I am not sure where we will go with River Jetez but she has plenty of options,” said Mike.
Soumillon commented: “River Jetez is a champion, she should have won easily last time!”
Someone opined in a race preview before the Personal Banking Conditions Race that Golden Sword’s impressive last win “may have been a fluke”, a remark the five-year-old must have heard.
Golden Sword, new track record! (Andrew Watkins)
If ever a horse was travelling with the proverbial “double handful” coming into the business end of a race, this was him! Golden Sword (Soumillon) won by 2.75-lengths, setting a track record for 2000m on the All-Weather, the course and distance of the Dubai World Cup.
With this win his rating has been hiked to 117 which may well secure him a place in the world’s richest race on 26 March and is likely to give the De Kock yard a mighty hand in this year’s renewal.
“Golden Sword was very impressive, he’s been a revelation this year and I am reluctant to switch him back to turf. The Dubai World Cup is probably the right option now and it looks like he’ll be able to qualify.”