Rich Tapestry emerged as a serious contender for the US$2 million Golden Shaheen on March 29 with a stirring victory in the Group Three Mahab Al Shimaal at Meydan in Dubai last night.
Michael Chang Chun-wai's Rich Tapestry again demonstrated his affinity for synthetic surfaces when he raced away under Olivier Doleuze to win by one-and-a-quarter lengths.
Among the vanquished were the last two Golden Shaheen winners - Reynaldothewizard finished second while Krypton Factor was a well-beaten 11th.
And given both had won the Mahab Al Shimaal before their success in the Golden Shaheen, the signs look good for Rich Tapestry, who may suddenly have found himself as the headline horse among the eight-strong Hong Kong contingent.
The six-year-old began brilliantly from gate five and took the early lead, but Doleuze was happy to let other runners cross him and he took the box-seat.
At the top of the straight, the gelding was pulled out to challenge and he bounded up with such ease that Doleuze snuck a peek over his right shoulder.
"He lived up to what he had shown at home on the dirt, and I think he'll be better for the run," Doleuze said. "It was the right move bringing him over early."
Chang had insisted before the race that he would finish top three, and he was far from surprised last night.
"At home, he's never been beaten on the all-weather track, and he's one class better on the all-weather track than on turf," Chang said. "It's a great feeling. I hope he can repeat that performance in three weeks' time."
In other news, Christophe Soumillon is the latest overseas jockey to gain a ride in next Sunday's BMW Hong Kong Derby.
The French jockey, who won the Derby on Viva Pataca in 2006, will ride Peter Ho Leung's Flame Hero in the four-year-old classic.