Hector Crouch 'hoping to nick some more' after shock first Group 2 winner
Hector Crouch enjoyed the biggest success of his career as he guided the Saeed bin Suroor trained-Desert Fire to victory in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya Presented By Riviera Beachfront By Azizi.
The seven-year-old, who was the least fancied of the five Godolphin horses in the 11-runner field, won by a length at odds of 18-1 to the delight of Crouch.
Speaking to Sky Sports Racing a few hours after his shock victory, he said: "It's a bit of a surprise. It's right back down in trip from what he normally runs over, but the race worked out perfectly for me and I'm just delighted he was able to capitalise on what worked out to be a great position.
"He's got bags of ability this horse, and he's always threatened to put it all together. I'm just lucky I was on him today when he did.
"It's good to recharge the batteries during the week and to come to Meydan with some good rides is exciting.
"I've been here all week and hopefully we can try to nick some more through the carnival and keep going until we kick back off in England on the turf."
Bin Suroor's Island Falcon earlier followed up his win in a Nottingham maiden when last seen to take the 1m1f conditions race under Frankie Dettori, before the trainer completed a treble when Dubai Icon ran away with the closing 1m2f rated conditions race under Pat Cosgrave.
The other Group 2 on the card, the Al Fahidi Fort Presented By Mina By Azizi, went the way of 2,000 Guineas fourth Naval Crown.
The son of Dubawi, who won a Listed race over a mile at the course last year, justified 8-11 favouritism to land a first win at Group level. It completed a short-priced double for Appleby and Buick after Silent Speech landed the 6f conditions race.
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