Rich Tapestry’s love affair with Dubai continued last night (11 February) as the Hong Kong galloper earned another overseas laurel with a decisive victory in the G3 Al Shindagha Sprint (1200m, dirt) at Meydan Racecourse.
The Holy Roman Emperor gelding has enjoyed his finest moments on foreign soil: a groundbreaking G1 triumph in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (1200m, dirt) in October, 2014 and, at Meydan, success in the 2014 G3 Mahab Al Shimaal (1200m, Tapeta), as well as two placed efforts in “the big one” the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen.
If all goes to plan, Rich Tapestry will once again line up for the Dubai Golden Shaheen at the course and distance on 26 March and the eight-year-old could take in another tilt at the Super Saturday (5 March) warm-up, the Mahab Al Shimaal (1200m, dirt) en route.
“He loves Dubai, he loves the dirt,” said Michael Chang after his stable star had made all for a smooth triumph. “In the last two years, he just missed winning the big one (the Dubai Golden Shaheen). I hope I can have him right for the big one. I think he is better staying in Dubai longer and so we came earlier. If he pulls up fine, we might run him on Super Saturday as well.”
Rich Tapestry broke sharply from gate nine and quickly snared pole position against the rail. Jockey Gerald Mosse had a trouble-free run, allowing the classy bay a breather before kicking for home. The Irish-bred pulled away for a length and a half verdict over runner-up Muarrab, with Reynaldothewizard third. Godolphin’s highly-touted Marking stumbled at the break and unseated his rider, James Doyle.
“He made me very happy today,” said Mosse, who was registering his second win in the UAE, 15 years after his 2001 Dubai Duty Free victory on Jim And Tonic. “Better late than never! I needed to ride a horse tonight that I never rode before. He loves the surface, loves the dirt, and has so much natural gate speed. He played with them all the way around and I tried to keep something for the big days too. He is a beautiful horse to ride and has a great mentality. He wasn’t even blowing and is a very serious horse.”
Rich Tapestry has now won five of eight career starts on dirt or synthetic tracks, with his only unplaced effort a sub-par last in the 2014 G1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Photo 1, 2
Michael Chang-trained Rich Tapestry, with Gerald Mosse on board, makes all to win the G3 Al Shindagha Sprint (1200m) at Meydan on Thursday night. (Photo 2 �V by courtesy of Andrew Watkins / Dubai Racing Club)
Winning owners Ho Chi Keung (first from right), Cheung Yuk Tak (second from right), trainer Michael Chang and jockey Gerald Mosse celebrate their success after the race.