Tag Archive for: Stay Foolish

Japan to the fore again as Stay Foolish downs Manobo

A trip to Royal Ascot could be on the cards for Stay Foolish after the Japanese raider outgunned the previously unbeaten Manobo in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan

A winner at Newbury, Kempton and twice in France last year, the Charlie Appleby-trained Manobo made it five from five on his Dubai debut in last month’s Nad Al Sheba Trophy.

The four-year-old was a prohibitively priced 4-11 favourite as he stepped up to two miles for the first time under William Buick, but it was clear from an early stage all was not going according to plan.

With the gallop sedate, Manobo pulled violently for his head, expending valuable energy.

It is testament to his raw ability that he still managed to fight his way to lead in the straight, but he was caught close home by Christophe Lemaire and Yoshito Yahagi’s 4-1 shot Stay Foolish, who was following up his lucrative success in the Red Sea Turf Handicap in Riyadh four weeks ago.

Yahagi was completing a quick-fire double on the card after landing the preceding Godolphin Mile with widely unconsidered 80-1 shot Bathrat Leon.

“Excellent – unbelievable,” said the trainer.

“He’s enjoyed the atmosphere in his training in Dubai and my aim is the Gold Cup at Ascot.”

Lemaire said: “He didn’t break as fast as he did in Saudi so I was behind a good horse but happy to be on the inside.

“He doesn’t have a big turn of foot and I thought the potatoes were done, but in the end he outstayed them. I think he could run in any Group One, anywhere.”

Appleby said of Manobo: “Stepping up from a mile and a half I had it in the back of my mind that it could be the end of the Richter Scale, but considering what he did in the first half of the race he did well to run as well as he did.”

Bathrat Leon was a shock winner of the Nakheel-sponsored Godolphin Mile – dominating from the front under Yahagi’s apprentice Ryusei Sakai.

Bathrat Leon and jockey Ryusei Sakai wins the Group Two Godolphin Mile
Bathrat Leon and jockey Ryusei Sakai win the Group Two Godolphin Mile (AP Photo/Martin Dokoupil)

“I found it easy to get on the lead and he travelled very well. He had good form on turf in Japan, but he loved Meydan,” said the winning rider.

“This is my dream come true. I was not confident but not surprised. He’s a good horse.”

There was further success for Japan in the UAE Derby, with Koichi Shintani’s Crown Pride (11-1) striking gold in the hands of Damian Lane.

Crown Pride won the UAE Derby
Crown Pride won the UAE Derby (AP/Martin Dokoupil)

Crown Pride carries the colours of Teruya Yoshida, who said: “He’s nominated for the Kentucky Derby and I am not against going.

“Things have changed this last five and 10 years. Japan’s trainers have improved and our owners are big investors.”

The Dubai Golden Shaheen went to veteran sprinter Switzerland (22-1), trained by Bhupat Seemar and ridden by the UAE’s all-time leading jockey Tadhg O’Shea.

O’Shea said: “From the off connections planned three races. He won the race here on New Year’s Day when he was electric and then ran in Saudi Arabia (finished sixth).

“Connections have kept his races spaced out as he needs to be fresh but confident. Touch wood, he’s never moved as well.

“I’ve been very fortunate to win nine championships out here, but it’s a big job to get the first Group One off your bucket list.”

Lemaire looks to Riyadh winners to spearhead his Meydan charge

Christophe Lemaire, who since basing himself in Japan has modelled himself into one of the best go-to jockeys in the world, feels he has possibly the best book of rides he has ever assembled for a major international meeting at Meydan on Saturday.

The Frenchman has six mounts on the Dubai World Cup card, but it is Japanese aces Schnell Meister and Authority that he hopes will give him a valuable postscript to his famous haul in Saudi Arabia last month.

Lemaire enjoyed a stellar day at Riyadh racecourse, riding four winners including Neom Turf Cup victor Authority and Red Sea Turf Handicap hero Stay Foolish – both of whom run in Dubai.

Lemaire and Authority after their Neom Turf Cup win
Lemaire and Authority after their Neom Turf Cup win (Keith Hamer/PA)

The rider observed: “Riding in Dubai, it’s always a pleasure to compete against the best riders and horses in the world and I feel confident because two of the horses I won with in Saudi are running again here.

“I think the main reason for the success of racing in Japan is that they breed to a very high level, while the owners and breeders invest heavily in the purchase of mares and yearlings. They are buying horses with tremendous pedigrees, while places like Dubai and the United States really suit the Japanese horses.”

Authority is carded to start favourite for the Sheema Classic and Lemaire said: “He will be running over a mile and four furlongs and is more used to that trip than 2000 metres (one mile and two furlongs). He stepped up last time, and as a runner-up in the Japan Cup, is a proper Group One horse.

“Also, I think he has improved from last year when he was beaten by Contrail, a champion in Japan. He has stamina and is an easy ride, and not as keen as he was.

“On Saturday it depends on the pace. If it’s strong he can sit third or fourth, but if not he can make the running.”

Stay Foolish after his Riyadh win
Stay Foolish after his Riyadh win (Keith Hamer/PA)

Stay Foolish is Lemaire’s mount in the Dubai Gold Cup and the jockey explained: “His win in Saudi was a bit of a surprise. He went there in excellent condition, but I didn’t expect such domination from him.

“It was his first try at 3,000 metres (one mile and seven furlongs) and he really liked it. On Saturday, I hope he will be comfortable and improve his pace in the final straight.”

There is talk of Stay Foolish heading for Australia later in the year and Lemaire added: “Japanese horses have performed perfectly well in the Melbourne Cup and he’s got the ability to do well in it. He’s an easy ride and I think he would be comfortable on Flemington race track.”

Schnell Meister is another big arrow Lemaire has to fire in the Dubai Turf. The jockey is confident that if the likely strong pace materialises, his horse will take a hand in the finish.

He said: “Schnell Meister is a very good horse and has improved again this year. He’s a good miler but I feel he will be better over a longer trip, and 1,700 metres (one mile and one furlong) is perfect for him. He’s a tough horse and a very strong finisher.

“He beat Songline and then that horse won in Saudi, form which is really good. I rode him yesterday and he looks in very good condition. I’m expecting a big run from him and the pace will help him finish off his race at the end.”