South African-bred sprinter Shea Shea broke his own course record in winning the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan on Saturday.
The victory could set the stage for a possible clash with World Champion sprinter Black Caviar later in the year. The win also completed a double on World Cup night for trainer Mike de Kock after the win of Soft Failling Rain in the Godolphin Mile.
Shea Shea, a five-year-old, who has now won 10 of his 19 starts, scorched over the five furlongs on the straight turf track in 56.41.
Jockey Christophe Soumillion made full use of Shea Shea’s speed in keeping him well away from the inside rail throughout.
Jockey Tye Angland, who rode runner-up Joy And Fun, said the nine-year-old ran very well. ‘’He felt like the winner all the way. I could see Shea Shea coming and he was just too good.”
De Kock said that although Shea Shea was expected to win by most fans, ‘’it is never easy winning a race like this.”
Soumillion said he was confident of winning for most of the way. “He likes to come last and catch them on the line and it worked out perfectly.”
De Kock said She Shea would now be set for the King’s Stand (1000m) at Royal Ascot in June. There is a very good chance Black Caviar, unbeaten from 24 starts, who won the race last year will return to defend her crown.
Shea Shea/Hopwood photo