David Marnane is looking forward to running Tato Key back at Meydan on Super Saturday after his Argentinian star performed with great promise on his Dubai debut.
The four-year-old from the Southern Hemisphere put up an eyecatching performance to finish a close second to Drafted in the Al Shindagha Sprint.
It looked at one stage as though Tato Key might win the Group Three over six furlongs, but he was outpointed by Drafted, who prevailed by three-quarters of a length.
Marnane was delighted with the run and feels Tato Key will be all the better for it – with the dream being to get an invitation for the Golden Shaheen on Dubai World Cup night on March 30, should all go well on March 9.
“He hasn’t run for about seven months and it was obviously his first go on this surface. I couldn’t be happier with him,” said the County Tipperary handler.
“He got headed and he went again. He’ll come back on Super Saturday and he’ll strip a sharper model for fitness and for experience.
“I like his attitude. We’ve always liked his attitude and he’s got a bit of talent to boot as well. I’d like to think he’d come back on Super Saturday and go forward again then for World Cup night.
“If he got an invite then he’d be getting in there on his third run. I think that would be ideal.”
He added: “He’s a lovely horse. He’s a big powerhouse. He’s not huge, but he’s very strong. Mentally he’s just very solid and that’s what I like.
“It’s a big thing having your first run on that surface in a Group Three. These are good, hardy horses. The winner’s been around here a few seasons now. Our horse is Southern Hemisphere four so he’s quite young.”
The winner was ridden by Pat Dobbs who chose Drafted over last year’s winner and Doug Watson-trained stablemate My Catch.
Watson said: “He just doesn’t have that natural speed. He’s a closing sprinter and he tries every time. It’s just been a delight to train him.
“The smaller field probably helped him as it kept him out of the kickback. He travelled a little bit better. He’s not great with the kickback.”
Watson’s charge earned a 14-1 from 16-1 quote from RaceBets for the Golden Shaheen.
Oisin Murphy enjoyed an armchair ride on Silva, who sprang a 33-1 surprise in the UAE 1000 Guineas.
The Pia Brandt-trained filly broke well and was always in a handy position on the rail, before putting the race to bed with a decisive turn of foot, storming past long-time leader Lady Parma over a furlong out to score with ease.
Godolphin’s Divine Image, the 6-4 favourite, made up an enormous amount of ground after losing her winning chance with a slow start to take second place under William Buick on his return from a six-week suspension.
Murphy said: “I’m very pleased, it was my first ride for Pia Brandt.
“This filly is a typical Kodiac – not very big but a big heart. She’s won impressively. Her next assignment might be a bit tougher, but that was a great result.”
Buick got back in the winning groove when scoring on Godolphin’s Oasis Charm in the Jafza Hasndicap for trainer Charlie Appleby.