Dubai Dream Ahead, owned by Dubai businessman Khalifa Bin Dasmal, bounced back to his brilliant best to win a thrilling renewal of the Darley July Cup (Group 1) at Newmarket yesterday and give jockey Hayley Turner a place in racing history.
Jointly rated alongside the unbeaten Frankel as the best two-year-old last season, the son of Diktat produced a devastating turn of foot to win the £400, 000 (Dh2.3 million) contest by a half-length from Bated Breath (Steve Drowne) while 28/1 Hitchens, ridden by Silvestre De Souza, was one-and-a-half length away in third.
Frankie Dettori, the rider of 11/2 favourite Delegator, blamed a bad draw (17) for his horse's fifth place effort while hotly-fancied Australian speedball, Star Witness, could only finish 10th.
"I'm absolutely over the moon, this is unbelievable," Bin Dasmal told Gulf News from Newmarket. "I have always believed in this horse, he's such a fighter. You don't win races like this every day.
"A great training performance from David (Simcock) and Hayley (Turner) gave him a smashing ride. I'm absolutely thrilled with this result."
Bin Dasmal, a former UAE national tennis champion in the 80s and currently a Steward with the Dubai Racing Club, is no stranger to big-race wins, having won the Epsom Derby in 1996 with Shaamit.
"Dream Ahead is the best horse I have owned since Shaamit," he said. "I don't want to compare the two. Shaamit was a great mile-and-a-half horse. Dream Ahead is a sprinter. They're both great in their own way."
He also confirmed that Dream Ahead's subsequent target will be the €250,000 Prix de la Forêt (Group 1) at Longchamp on Arc de Triomphe weekend in September.
Turner, who only got the ride because regular jockey William Buick was riding at York from his boss John Gosden, was gushing and said: "I'm delighted, absolutely delighted about it. I haven't sat on the horse before so I cannot take much credit. But it's a fantastic feeling. I'm thrilled to pieces."
Turner became only the second female jockey to win a Group 1 in Britain after Alex Greaves dead-heated on Ya Malak in the Nunthorpe Stakes 14 years earlier.
Dream Ahead had provided Simcock with a career-first Group One victory when he landed the Prix Mornay at Deauville last season and the trainer was visibly elated after yesterday's victory.
"It's fantastic. "I'm relieved and excited and really pleased for the horse," said the trainer.
"I'm pleased he enhanced his reputation from last year. It's all about the horse."
On the choice of Turner, Simcock added: "Hayley was very confident and more than capable. She's got a good strike-rate for me and has ridden winners for Khalifa [Bin Dasmal, owner]."