Wildman Jack dazzles in Dubai

American challenger tees up Al Quoz bid in record style.

  • Saturday 07 March
  • News
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Wildman Jack blew away the opposition with a scintillating display in the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint at Meydan.

The American challenger, trained by Doug O’Neill, drew clear in the final furlong to easily take Group Three honours in a record time for the six furlongs.

Wildman Jack was always prominent before cruising into the lead under Fernando Jara two and a half furlongs from home.

The Charlie Appleby-trained Space Blues, the 4-6 favourite, was unable to get in a blow as the 40-1 shot romped to victory by three and three-quarter lengths from Ekhtiyaar, who was also runner-up last year. Laieth came from the clouds to snatch third place at odds of 100-1.

Tom Dascombe’s Angel Alexander had a good position throughout the race, but failed to take a hand in the finish.

O’Neill said: “That was insane. I don’t even know what to say. That was so powerful and he looked like a winner very early on in the race.

“I’m now fired up to stay injury-free and go on to the big day (Al Quoz Sprint World Cup night). He’s always acted special, but you never know how they’re going to mature. He’s just handled everything like a complete pro.”

RaceBets gave the winner a 5-1 quote for the Al Quoz on March 28, and Jara said: “I was so impressed by him and someone told me he broke the record.

“He was just cantering around. He was so relaxed. He seems to be a nice horse.

“He was a different horse today from last time, but they shortened him up in distance. They ran him over seven furlongs last time.

“He’s definitely stepped up today.”

Salute The Soldier relished the switch to dirt with a convincing victory in the Burj Nahaar.

Formerly trained at Lambourn by Clive Cox, the five-year-old won over a mile on turf in January and instantly took to the different surface.

Now with Fawzi Nass in Bahrain, Salute The Soldier (13-2) swept to the front a furlong and a half out under Adrie de Vries and went on to score by five and a half lengths from Axelrod.

Nass said: “He’s always shown he likes the surface and it was good to see him perform like that today. Obviously, the only worry was the kickback, but he has enough speed to keep himself out of it. We’re learning about him.”

Matterhorn (6-4) never looked in any danger as he made virtually all the running in the Al Maktoum Challenge R3.

Mickael Barzalona soon had the five-year-old into a rhythm and the former Mark Johnston inmate had the mile and a quarter Group One wrapped up.

Salem bin Ghadayer’s admirable entire got lonely in front close home, but second-placed Military Law (11-8 favourite) came from too far back to mount a challenge and was still five and a half lengths down at the line.

The trainer said: “We were very pleased with his first start when third to our Capezzano in the Firebreak. We knew this longer trip would suit him and the plan was always to be positive on him, so Mickael has given him a great ride.”

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