SOUTH African-bred sprinter Shea Shea broke his own course record and set himself up for a possible clash with World Champion sprinter Black Caviar later in the year with his win in the $US 1 million Al Quoz Sprint (1000m), sponsored by Emirates NBD.
The win also completed a double on World Cup night for Mike de Kock after the success of Soft Failling Rain in the Godolphin Mile.
Soumillon goes low down on Shea Shea as they hit the winning line. (Andrew Watkins).
The five-year-old, who has now won 10 of his 19 starts, scorched over the 1000 metres on the straight turf track in 56.41 seconds, running the last 800 metres in 44.70.
Jockey Christophe Soumillion made full use of Shea Shea’s speed in keeping him well away from the inside rail and he looked to have the race under control from at least the final 400 metres although Joy And Fun proved hard to run down.
Jockey Tye Angland, who rode Joy And Fun, said the nine-year-old ran very well. ‘’He felt like the winner all the way. I could see Shea Shea coming and he was just too good.”
Shea Shea won by three-quarters of a length from the Hong Kong veteran Joy And Fun who had won the race in 2010 and also finished third last year.
Mike said that although Shea Shea was expected to win by most fans, ‘’it is never easy winning a race like this.”
Soumillion said he was confident of winning for most of the way. “He likes to come last and catch them on the line and it worked out perfectly.”
Shea Shea would now be set for the King’s Stand (1000m) at Royal Ascot in June. There is a very good chance Black Caviar, unbeaten from 24 starts, who won the race last year will return to defend her crown.