HAYDOCK PARK, ENGLAND // Dream Ahead survived a lengthy stewards' inquiry and a photo-finish yesterday to become the first horse for 25 years to follow up a victory in the July Cup with a win in the Sprint Cup.
Khalifa bin Dasmal's exciting three-year-old was the 12th horse to have tried the ambitious double since Ajdal, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, scored in 1987.
Despite hanging badly inside the final 400m he held on to deny Bated Breath, owned by Prince Khalid of Saudi Arabia. Lee Westwood, the golfer, and Andrew Chandler his manager, recouped the £13,000 (Dh77,400) they paid on Monday to supplement Hoof It when their colt picked up £25,372.08 for finishing an unlucky third.
At the halfway stage Dream Ahead, trained by David Simcock, was duelling for the lead with Bated Breath and Wootton Bassett. William Buick, Dream Ahead's jockey, looked to have made a winning move with 400m to go when he galvanised his mount to a length advantage.
Much like he did in the Middle Park Stakes last season at Newmarket, however, Dream Ahead started to hang badly and as Buick has his whip in his left hand the pair drifted right towards Bated Breath in the centre of the track. Graham Gibbons, aboard Hoof It, saw his chance and tried to take Dream Ahead on the outside with around 100m to run but Dream Ahead then edged left which allowed Bated Breath to close him down close home.
"I always thought we had won," Buick said, as bin Dasmal led his colt into the winners' enclosure. "The colt's got a big head, so it helps in a photo-finish. If we had got beaten I would have told David that he threw his chance away."
There was disappointment for the Godolphin camp as Delegator could only finish tenth under Frankie Dettori, although the Dubai-based operation had some joy at Ascot where they registered a 1-2-3. Falls of Lora, trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni and ridden by Kieren Fallon, led her stablemate Kunooz in juvenile fillies' conditions contest. Ittasal, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, followed them home.
Earlier in the day Bauer, who finished second in the Melbourne Cup in 2008, teed up another crack at Australia's marathon handicap for trainer Luca Cumani with a fluid success in the Old Newton Cup.
It was the eight-year-old's fourth start since going down by a nose in the 'race that stops a nation' and his first victory since he won the Group 3 Geelong Cup before his agonising run at Flemington racecourse.
Dettori flew from Haydock to Ireland last night to compete aboard Snow Fairy in the Irish Champion Stakes. He was to then fly back to London before flying out to Turkey Sunday morning for his rides aboard Campanologist and Invisible Man at Veliefendi.
Invisible Man runs in the International Topkapi Trophy over 1,600m, a race in which Mike De Kock has entered Musir, the 2010 dual UAE classic winner. Musir will be ridden by Christophe Soumillion who has partnered the five-year-old to all seven of his starts at Meydan racecourse during the past two seasons.