Go Soldier Go (Tapiture) stayed best to land a pulsating edition of the Listed Al Bastakiya at Meydan for trainer Fawzi Nass and jockey Andrie de Vries.
The complexion of the race changed dramatically inside the final furlong when long-time leader and UAE Oaks runner-up Ami Please (Goldencents) began to wilt, leaving Mr Raj (Bolt D’Oro) and Go Soldier Go to surge down the outside late on.
In fighting off Mr Raj to win narrowly, Go Soldier Go identified his claims for G2 UAE Derby glory.
De Vries said afterwards, “He takes time to get going. Actually, he travelled okay but I was stuck behind a wall of horses who were beaten down the backside. The front horses were getting further and further away but there was not much I could do about it. Once I got out in the clear, I had to rush him of course to make up so much ground, but once he’s out of the kickback, he has a beautiful stride and he keeps on going. He has a lot of stamina.”
The jockey added, “He has always worked well at home but when he is in between horses, he is still very immature and, in a bigger field like today, it’s hard to stay out of the kickback. But, once he did, he picked up really good.”
Go Soldier Go and Mr Raj are graduates of the inaugural Goffs Dubai Breeze Up Sale. Go Soldier Go was a $45,000 purchase by Chad Schumer at Keeneland September and sold for over €120,000 to Nass when consigned by Church Farm and Horse Park Stud at last year’s breeze-up. Mr Raj was consigned by Gaybrook Lodge and sold to Ahmad Bintouq for €86,773.