Postponed, ridden by jockey Andrea Atzeni and trained by Roger Varian, wins the Dubai Sheema Classic. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: This was probably the most straightforward race of Dubai World Cup night. The most fancied horse had the perfect race and duly delivered. Roger Varian, who took over the training of Postponed, could not have planned a smoother success and Andrea Atzeni executed it to perfection. The jockey reported that on Wednesday when he rode the horse in exercise the son of Dubawi “had given me goosebumps he worked so well.

When the gates flew open at the finish line leaving a perfect lap of the turf track at Meydan Ryan Moore on Highland Reel, for his principle employers Coolemore, was keen to make the running. From the draw of 8 he shot forward and across the field to take up a two length lead in the early stages. He was shortly to be joined by Gailo Chop and not much changed for much of the race. One And Only and Postponed sat in behind and waited with the rest of field in close attendance.

As they entered the home straight with the minimum of fuss Atzeni made his move and surged clear. The tiring Highland Reel plugged on at one pace and Last Impact also dropped back. It was a racewinning move and although Japanese star Duramente came with a late run it was too little too late. Duramente had lost a shoe before the race and ran without his off fore shoe on. Shoe on or not he would never have caught the mega efficient Postponed who had won the race and stayed on powerfully.

Good position

Winning trainer Roger Varian started: “I’d like to thank Shaikh Mohammad [Bin] Obaid [Al Maktoum] (owner) and the team at home.” He continued: “It was good to watch. I was happy from the outset. We were worried before the race where the pace was, but they look to have gone an even gallop. He was in a good position and the horse quickened well in the straight.”

“He’s a very good horse, he had already won a King George when we got him, but he has thrived out here. The team out here with him did a great job, as did the team at home before that, so big credit goes to my staff.

Winning jockey Andrea Atzeni, who was celebrating his 25th birthday said: “I was really happy when Ryan (Moore) went off in front and my horse galloped out really well. But it’s easy when you are on a horse like him and he ticks all the boxes. It’s great for Roger Varian and the whole operation at Kremlin (House Stables). I would think there’s no doubt he’s the best mile-and-a-half horse in Europe.”

Second place Duramente’s jockey Mirco Demuro said: “He is a wonderful horse and ran a fantastic race in the circumstances. He threw a shoe going to the gate and I could feel it affecting him in the race. He was changing his legs all the time, which isn’t like him. Hopefully he’ll come back as good as ever, because without this he would have finished closer to the winner.”

This race very much leave Postponed with the world as his oyster. He is an outstanding five year old colt who you should expect to see contending many of Europe’s top races throughout the year. A very exciting prospect for all racefans indeed. Varian left it open saying: ““The big mile-and-a-half races will be for him, but I’ll make a plan with the owner when we get home.”