Beaten Seachange still on track for Duty Free

The Sportsman Special Issue - - 2 -

CHAM­PION New Zealand mare Seachange fin­ished a fad­ing sixth in the $US250,000 ($A270,358) Jebel Hatta-Nayef in Dubai yes­ter­day. (AEDT).

Seachange, who went into the 1777m race as third favourite, had a tough task racing with 58kg in un­fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory and drew widest with bar­rier 16.

Lo­cal jockey Ted Dur­can im­me­di­ately jumped her to the front and set­tled in sec­ond place for most of the race.

The seven-time New Zealand Group One win­ner ini­tially looked to be run­ning home strongly, but faded in the fi­nal 200m of the 600m-long straight.

The race was won by Lord Ad­mi­ral who made up a lot of late ground to pip Jay Peg and Traf­fic Guard at the post.

The Group Two race was the leadup to the Group One $US5 mil­lion ($A5.41 mil­lion) Dubai Duty Free, run over the same dis­tance on March 29, which is the main tar­get for the Cape Cross five-year-old.

Rick Wil­liams, man­ager for Seachange’s Queens­land owner Dick Kar­re­man, said the build-up wasn’t ideal but he was happy with the run af­ter watch­ing it from home.

I think she showed signs at the back of the gates and dur­ing the race that she was a bit on the fresh side, she just showed signs of ag­i­ta­tion which she doesn’t usu­ally show ...,’’ he said.

But Wil­liams said Seachange fin­ished close enough to the lead­ers to give her con­nec­tions con­fi­dence lead­ing into her next planned start in the Dubai Duty Free.

Hope­fully the three-kilo drop in weight and a few lengths im­prove­ment in her and we’ll be com­pet­i­tive in the big race,’’ he said.

Wil­liams said Seachange would be im­proved by the run and be­lieved she was still in yes­ter­day’s race with less than 100m to go.

I think it was only the last 70 me­tres that re­ally found her out it won’t find her out next start,’’ he said.

Trainer Ralph Man­ning said Seachange was pretty much where con­nec­tions wanted her lead­ing into the big race and Dur­can also took a lot of con­fi­dence from the run.

We al­ways thought she would blow out. She hadn’t had much prepa­ra­tion for it, she’s only had a 1200 and a 1400 in New Zealand and a month with­out a race ...,’’ Man­ning said.

He said the track had long grass and was dead and tough to run on, but all things con­sid­ered the run was pleas­ing and would have done her a world of good.

Dur­can told Man­ning af­ter the race he thought Seachange could win at the 200m mark, but then she flat­tened out a bit in the fi­nal stage.

He said Dur­can told him he wouldn’t want to be rid­ing any­thing else in the Dubai Duty Free.

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