DUBAI // The notoriously tricky Presvis turned on the brilliance to claim the USD$5million (Dh18.36m) Dubai Duty Free in a thrilling finish from Mike de Kock's River Jetez last night.
Presvis must have woken up on the right side of the stable yesterday morning because the quirky thoroughbred flawlessly followed the script set down by Ryan Moore, his jockey, to win the race at the third time of asking.
Presvis tucked into the back of the field immediately after the start and made his move when asked by Moore, accelerating through the field and avoiding runners to hold off a challenge from the plucky River Jetez to triumph by three-quarters of a length.
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He finished a disappointing 11th in this race last year and was runner-up to Gladiatorus the year before that.
"That was incredible to watch," said Luca Cumani, his trainer, who is kept busy devising ever more creative ways to exercise the horse on the track as he refuses to gallop from starting post to finish post like most horses.
Presvis threw off the memory of his third-place finish in his Group 2 prep race when he was beaten by Wigmore Hall, who finished third last night.
"If he was a man he would be a loner," Cumani said. "He's not very sociable. He likes to do things the way he wants to do them. We just have to play around with him and try and confuse him."
Presvis, who has been misbehaving during morning work this week, was the model racehorse for Moore yesterday. The rider has been in the plate for seven of Presvis's eight wins.
"There's a lot of work that goes into this horse in the mornings," he said.
"At the races you can tell quite early on if he's in the right frame of mind."
Cumani said Presvis would not be trained in Newmarket, England, any more.
"He knows exactly where all the gallops and canters start and he just gets to the start, spins round and laughs in your face," Cumani said. "In fact, we are going to give up training him there and he will go to Hong Kong and Singapore now."