It was a glorious day for the Dubai entrepreneur Khalifa Dasmal as his horse, Dream Ahead, finally showcased his considerable ability by winning the July Cup under Hayley Turner.
Dream Ahead delights his owner Dasmal
NEWMARKET, ENGLAND // It was a glorious day for the Dubai entrepreneur Khalifa Dasmal as his horse, Dream Ahead, finally showcased his considerable ability by winning the July Cup under Hayley Turner.
Dream Ahead, last season's joint-champion juvenile alongside Frankel, had disappointed on his seasonal debut at Royal Ascot when finishing fifth in the St James's Palace Stakes.
His true colours were on show on Saturday as he won by an easy half a length from Prince Khalid Abdullah's Bated Breath.
An hour earlier, Dasmal's Noble Citizen, also trained by David Simcock, had won a valuable handicap at Ascot, and he could barely contain his euphoria in the winners' enclosure afterwards.
"I'm over the moon. It is brilliant, fantastic. It is a dream come true. You could say it has been a dream ahead because we have waited so long," he said. "We've had good times with this horse and hopefully it will continue."
Dasmal founded the Bin Dasmal group of companies in Dubai and is a former UAE tennis champion.
His family clearly have inherited his sporting bent as his daughters Leila and Ameena, as well as his younger son Mohammed, are all champion show jumpers.
Dream Ahead is Dasmal's second Group 1 winner; Shaamit carried his pink-and-green silks to victory in the Epsom Derby in 1996.
"Shaamit was the beginning of my success and I've been lucky enough to have worked with some good people," he said. "This is different, though. These are different times. Hayley is amazing, isn't she?"
In winning the race, Turner became the first woman jockey to secure an outright victory at the highest level; Alex Greaves dead-heated aboard Ya Malak with Coastal Bluff in the Nunthorpe Stakes in 1997.
Turner took over the reins aboard Dream Ahead after William Buick, the colt's regular rider, was engaged by John Gosden at York on Saturday.
She looked to be in trouble in the final 400 metres of the race as she was stuck in a pocket behind Elzaam, who eventually finished eighth. But Turner has not become the most successful woman rider in Britain by being a shrinking violet, and she angled out her mount for a run, passed Bated Breath, and pushed to the line.
Godolphin's Delegator could finish only fifth, and his rider, Frankie Dettori, reported that an outside draw was his mount's undoing. The Australian challenger, Star Witness, was 10th.
Simcock said that his star colt will stay at sprinting distances and will head back to France next month to contest the Prix Maurice de Gheest, a race at Deauville which offers the winner automatic entry into the Breeders' Cup Turf sprint.
Although the trainer praised Turner, he was quite clear that Buick would be back in the saddle on August 7.
"She's a fantastic rider but loyalty is very important in this game and there not enough of it around at the moment," he said.
"The majority of the time the result is about the horse and not the jockey. Sebastian Vettel would not win the Monaco Grand Prix in a Mini, would he?"