Beaten Seachange still on track for Duty Free
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.