French Guineas for Global Spectrum after Al Biddah Mile victory
It was surprising Gay Kelleway was still able to speak after screaming breakthrough stable star Global Spectrum down the straight as he streaked to victory in the Al Biddah Mile at Al Rayyan.
Owned by Dr Johnny Hon, the three-year-old was given a perfectly-timed ride by Gerald Mosse to edge past local runner Luchador in the dying strides to win by half a length.
Global Spectrum, who won his two previous starts on the all-weather, is held in high regard by Kelleway, who hopes to aim him at the Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Longchamp in May.
Jubilant scenes at @Q_REC as the @GayKelleway trained GLOBAL SPECTRUM (GB) takes the Al Biddah Mile making it a third win in three years for British trainers! Owned by @DrJohnnyHon, bred by @newsellspark and ridden by Gerald Mosse. @TheTBA_GB @theTDN @bloodstocknews @RacingPost pic.twitter.com/4RZ8K3L8ZH— GBRI (@GBRI_UK) February 23, 2019
"The last horse I trained like this was Sorbie Tower [third in the St James's Palace at Royal Ascot in 1996]," said the trainer.
"I haven't had a horse this good for a long time. He was a bit inexperienced coming out here, but his preparation has been really good and I was quietly confident."
She added: "He's entered in the French 2,000 Guineas and I might look at a trial in France beforehand, but Gerald thinks he might get further, so the French Derby isn't out of the question.
"He's an exciting horse to have and Gerald said he was only in second gear – I keep having to throw in high-rated sprinters to work with him on the gallops."
Fellow British contender Ours Puissant finished fifth, with the George Scott-trained Concierge, a winner here last December, back in eighth.
Unlucky Destiny goes close
Stone Of Destiny came agonisingly close to winning the valuable Dukhan Sprint for Andrew Balding when overcoming some trouble in running to finish second behind Anima Rock.
The four-year-old, fourth in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last year, ran into traffic on the bend, but finished strongly and was narrowly denied under Oisin Murphy.
"He got into a bit of trouble round the turn but I'm really pleased with the way he finished the race – he's a good horse who just needs things to go right for him," said Balding.
"We'll give him one more run on the all-weather which will qualify him for the finals at Lingfield."
No joy for foreign raiders
The wait goes on for a British or Irish winner of the HH The Amir Trophy after French King ran out a game winner under Olivier Peslier, who was winning the race for the third time.
"He was really impressive," said the jockey. "He jumped well and is happiest when he's in front."
Hunting Horn finished third behind another French raider, Royal Julius, for trainer Aidan O'Brien, while the Richard Hannon-trained Raymond Tusk claimed sixth from the widest draw.
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