25 March 2017, Meydan Racecourse, Dubai ~ Qatar based trainer Julian Smart celebrated a third success in the Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic Empowered by IPIC, when Reda (QA) came with a late but powerful burst down the straight to beat RB Burn (USA) by two and a half lengths.
It was a dream result for His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani‘s son of Burning Sand and Ba’scherit, who had only received the invitation to run in this 2000m event last Saturday.
Ridden by Harry Bentley, he had travelled towards the back of the field that was led by last year’s victor AF Mathmoon (UAE), followed by TM Thunder Struck (USA) and Loraa (FR). Turning into the straight, RB Burn took the advantage and looked to have the race in the bag when Bentley unleashed Reda from the back. In just a few strides he flew past RB Burn.
“I didn’t think anything could come from the back on this track,” said his exuberant trainer. “But I tell you what, he is an underrated horse. We only got the invitation last Saturday and am I glad we did!
“He has only run one time only on the dirt in his career. We ran him a couple of weeks ago to see if he could handle it. And he has handled this.”
Reda’s career has not always been straightforward, as he suffered an accident in the crate when he travelled to France last summer. Even though he had no visible injuries externally, he might have suffered some internal injuries.
“We had some great work done by a chiropractor in Dubai and also in Doha,” explained Smart. “He has been in great form this year in Doha. He really deserves this win.”
Bentley added: “He was a horse that was really improving and I’d liked him a lost last year but he disappointed during the summer. He’s really come of age and matured a lot.”
“For the amount of kickback he was getting he faced it brilliantly. I was quite a long way back. He just kept persevering. He was full of running and it was just a matter of when he’d get there.”
Quotes for Group 1 US$1m Dubai Kahayla Classic
Harry Bentley (jockey Reda (QA) 1st) – “For the amount of kickback he was getting he faced it brilliantly. I was quite a long way back. He just kept persevering and around the bend. He was so full of running and it was just of matter of when he’d get there.
“When you’ve got that many horses ahead of you, you just worry about getting a clear passage. I got squeezed a bit around the top bend but things worked out for me. But I had so much horse underneath me.
“He’d only run once on the sand and that was in Qatar when he won. He was a horse that was really improving and I’d liked him a lot last year but he disappointed during the summer. He’s really come of age and matured a lot.”
Gerald Avranche (jockey RB Burn (US) 2nd) – “I had a good trip through the race and he’s run very well. I took the lead earlier than I wanted, I’d have preferred to have waited and he’s better when you take the lead 200m out. But I had no choice today and the other horse has picked us up.”
Pat Cosgrave (jockey, Sniper De Monlau (FR) 3rd) – “He’s a big horse. He’d be better suited to a bigger more galloping track. He stayed on well there.”
Dane O’Neill (jockey Handassa (FR) 4th) – “He’s run a good race. He doesn’t like the kickback and didn’t break well. I was betwixt and between. But he moved nicely into the race and then couldn’t quicken. The track is riding fairly quick and he’d probably like it deeper.”
Olivier Peslier (jockey TM Thunder Struck (US) 5th) – “I had a good start behind the lead. We had a chance coming around the last turn. He finished fifth and came back well.”
Richard Mullen (jockey, Faucon Du Loup (FR) 6th) – “He missed the kick and he’s a frontrunner and I was stuck out the back. It was a horrible trip. That wasn’t the plan B or C. It just didn’t happen today. He may have been better off drawing out wide today.”
Saeed Al Mazrooei (jockey, Af Maqayes (AE) 7th) – “It was good. My horse was good; it was the first time we tried him at 2000m and he just tired in the last furlong. He needs a shorter trip. And the kickback was very horrible and he didn’t like it. “
Pat Dobbs (jockey, Bon Baiser De Faust (FR) 8th) – “I went too quick and should have sat on him and not tried to hold a position. But he’s still run well.”
Christophe Soumillon (jockey, Loraa (FR) 9th) – “It was not too bad. I had a good trip but the filly just couldn’t accelerate.”
Jim Crowley (jockey, AF Mathmoon (AE) 10th) – “He has bled from the nose.”
Keiber Coa (jockey, RB Madymoiselle (US) 11th) – “She broke great, but she hasn’t run in five months or so. She spit the bit pretty early and got a little tired just before the second turn. The track feels good, but it’s a little soft and not as fast as I thought it would be.”
Silvestre De Souza (jockey, Af Al Hazer (AE) 12th) – “He didn’t enjoy the surface.”
Tadhg O’Shea (jockey, RB Dixie Burning (US) 13th) – “She was never traveling at all and finished slightly lame in front.”