Hong Kong racing’s premier globetrotter Rich Tapestry added another trophy to his burgeoning cabinet overnight, taking out a dramatic Group Three Al Shindagha Sprint (1,200m) at Meydan in Dubai.
Michael Chang Chun-wai’s Rich Tapestry was the beneficiary of an inch-perfect front-running ride by Gerald Mosse, kicking clear to beat Muarrab by a length and a half with veteran Reynaldothewizard third.
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The race changed complexion as soon as the gates opened with heavily backed favourite, Godolphin’s Marking, going down on his nose and throwing jockey James Doyle over his neck.
Did you miss Marking, Reynaldothewizard and Rich Tapestry in the Al Shindagha Sprint? Here's the replay: https://t.co/JLZLDWa2dO— TVG (@TVG) February 11, 2016
Meanwhile, Mosse on Rich Tapestry had bounced straight to the front, a plan the top rider had decided upon after studying earlier races on the Meydan dirt.
“I had seen the first couple of dirt races and they all seemed to be winning from the front,” the veteran French rider said. “At least, it seemed to be better to be handy to the speed. I know this horse has superior gate speed so I thought I would use it. What did surprise me though was that I had plenty of horse all the way to the end, he was always travelling strongly. I was always in control of the race.
“Going into the turn, they started to put pressure on but I never really thought they were going to beat him, he was always going to kick on. He was extremely fit, he didn’t even blow when he came back. He really has made me very happy, he’s always been a serious horse and though he may be an eight-year-old now, he’s still a top horse over the dirt. I just hope I can keep the ride now!”
Rich Tapestry makes easy work of the Al Shindagha Sprint under Gerald Mosse. pic.twitter.com/Vm20Q7lRSx— Erika R. Photography (@erikar_photos) February 11, 2016
Chang indicated that his initial instinct was to stick with his original plan of running the horse in the Group Three Mahab Al Shimaal on Super Saturday, a race the son of Holy Roman Emperor won two years ago, ahead of the Group One Golden Shaheen on March 26. It will be his third attempt at the US$2m Golden Shaheen after finishing second to Sterling City in 2014 and third to Secret Circle last year.
“This is probably his last big overseas campaign, and the races here are good for the owners,” he said. “He’s taken us all over the world, and for him to keep performing like he does, it’s fantastic. I’m so proud of him and so lucky to have a horse like him. Hopefully, there might be more wins for him in the next six weeks.”
He is likely to be joined on Super Saturday by Caspar Fownes-trained Gun Pit, who will run in either the third round of the Group One Al Maktoum Challenge (2,000m) or the Group Three Burj Nahaar (1,600m), while other Hong Kong horses slated for the Golden Shaheen include Tony Millard’s Super Jockey and David Hall’s Master Kochanwong.