Sajjhaa has all the firepower

Sajjhaa has all the firepower

Silvestre De Sousa registered his, Emirati trainer Saeed bin Suroor’s and Godolphin’s second triumph of this prestigious meeting here in the Dubai Duty Free with a rousing rail run aboard Sajjhaa.

By Alex Leach

Published: Sun 31 Mar 2013, 10:41 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 12:42 PM

American Hall of Fame Gary Stevens — as expected — sent Little Mike out to the front in his bold bid to make all in a wire to wire win. The American raider reached the turn for home in front though and found reverse gear, allowing the likes of Igugu and The Apache to pass him with ease down the stretch.

De Sousa and Sajjhaa though timed their belated push for the line impeccably by bounding down an unguarded inside channel to prosper at the expense of The Apache and French filly Giofra in this $5million, Group One turf contest over 1,800m. De Sousa’s winning time of 1:47.93s broke Sajjhaa’s own course and distance record.

“I had a good position early on and she made her way through on the inside,” said De Sousa, who took the lead in the Dubai World Cup Carnival jockeys’ championship with this peerless performance. “She’s very tough and genuine and I’m very pleased for her. She’s a wonderful filly, who is full of heart, and it was a great performance. She’s just improved and improved since she came here.”

One-time contender Igugu finished fifth behind the highly fancied Trade Storm, who just couldn’t get involved at the business end of things. “I had a nice position in second,” explained Igugu’s rider Anthony Delpech. “She battled away really well in the straight. She gave me everything, but I think she wants further now.”

Little Mike and Kiwi raider Ocean Park disappointingly were outside of the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively, with Fulbright and Aesop’s Fables trudging home well off the pace set by Sajjhaa and De Sousa.

“I set a nice pace,” Stevens commented. “They really quickened it up around the three and a half and they buried us in the stretch. They came to me quicker than I thought and they got away from me.”

Johnny Murtagh meanwhile summed up his ride on Ocean Park succinctly, adding: “They quickened up and I didn’t.”

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