Stakes Double for Pride of Dubai

Media Release - Saturday February 18

Pride of Dubai was making news in Australia and New Zealand on Saturday with a stakes double featuring promising juvenile Maharba and progressive three year-old Desert Lightning.

Read about Maharba here.

Desert Lightning gets the better of Waitak (obscured) at the finish of the Gr.2 AJC Avondale Guineas (2100m) Photo: Trish Dunell

Desert Lightning thrust himself to the forefront of discussions surrounding the Group I Auckland Thoroughbred Racing New Zealand Derby (2400m) when he narrowly defeated Waitak to claim victory in the Group II AJC Avondale Guineas (2100m) at Pukekohe.

The Peter and Dawn Williams-trained runner has been highly competitive throughout his Classic season with a half head runner-up finish to Pier in the Group I New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) in the spring preceding an eye-catching late run for third behind Prowess and Wild Night in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at his most recent start.

Advertisement

Racing over a middle distance for the first time, the son of Pride Of Dubai lobbed along nicely in midfield for rider Vinnie Colgan before shadowing Waitak into contention approaching the home bend.

The pair set down to a two-horse duel over the closing stages which went in favour of $3.90 second favourite Desert Lightning by a long head over $2.60 favourite Waitak, with Warsaw ($22.10) solid through the line in third, beaten three-lengths.

An emotional Peter Williams was delighted to see his charge finally gain a victory at stakes level and indicated he was right on track for the Derby, which will be conducted at Te Rapa in a fortnight.

“Everything went well and I’m just so pleased,” Williams said.

“I’ve stuck with Vinnie all the way through and I am just rapt to win this race.

“There’s a way to go yet (to the Derby) but we’re halfway there.

“I don’t know why but the media just don’t seem to go for this horse, but he had the best form in the race and he has run some fast times home, just got beaten in the Guineas and went a great run in the Karaka Million.

“People just don’t seem to give him credit for it.”

Colgan was equally as impressed by the effort of the horse to settle and cope with his first attempt past 1600m.

“Settling and figuring out how to get the 2100m were the main things we had to do today looking forward to the Derby,” he said.

“He did that in perfect order and had a good, tough finish.

“They went pretty slow through the first half and picked up at the half mile, but I was on the back of the right horse (Waitak) at just the right time.

“He has solid form and has been a bridesmaid behind some very smart horses in the past.”

Williams outlaid $150,000 to secure Desert Lightning from the Little Avondale Stud draft during the Book 1 sale at Karaka in 2021 for owners Barneswood Farm Ltd for Sarah Green & Ger Beemsterboer.

Bred by the Mahoenui Partnership, Desert Lightning is out of the High Chaparral mare Isstoora, an unraced daughter of stakes winning juvenile Murjana and from the family of Redoute’s Choice.

Pride of Dubai

He has now won two of his 10 starts for just over $284,000 in prizemoney and is the 17th stakes-winner for Pride of Dubai

TAB Bookmakers reacted to the win by shortening Desert Lightning into the $8 third favourite for the Derby behind Sharp ‘N’ Smart ($2.20) and Prowess ($4). – NZ Racing Desk

 

Advertisment

Race Result - Ajc Avondale Guineas Gr2 2100m

Pukekohe Park Track: Soft(6) Time: 2:11.41
1
Desert Lightning
- 3g Pride Of Dubai (AUS) x Isstoora (AUS) (High Chaparral (IRE))
Tnr: P & D Williams Rdr: V A Colgan 57
Pride Of Dubai
2
0.2
Waitak
- 3c Proisir (AUS) x Repo Bay (NZ) (Shocking (AUS))
Tnr: L O'Sullivan & A Scott Rdr: W B Kennedy 57
3
3.0
Warsaw
- 3g Vadamos (FR) x Stanica (NZ) (Zabeel (NZ))
Tnr: C W Gibbs Rdr: C E Lammas 57
4
3.2
Full Of Sincerity
- 3g Puccini (NZ) x Herman (AUS) (Reset (AUS))
Tnr: Andrew Forsman Rdr: R T Elliot 57
5
4.7
Dimaggio
- 3g Almanzor (FR) x Pinstripe (NZ) (Pins (AUS))
Tnr: A W Pike Rdr: S C Spratt 57
6
4.9
Devildom
- 3g Almanzor (FR) x Sussex Dancer (IRE) (Danehill Dancer (IRE))
Tnr: L O'Sullivan & A Scott Rdr: C J Grylls 57
7
5.2
Andalus
- 3c Almanzor (FR) x Genius (NZ) (Savabeel (AUS))
Tnr: S B Marsh Rdr: M J Mc Nab 57
8
5.7
Channel Surfer
- 3g Derryn (AUS) x My Savona (AUS) (Hotel Grand (AUS))
Tnr: G Richardson & R Norvall Rdr: A C Goindasamy 57
9
5.9
Phantom Dragon
- 3c Highland Reel (IRE) x Suziesaurus (AUS) (So You Think (NZ))
Tnr: M D Moroney Rdr: Jake Bayliss 57
10
6.5
Jaffira
- 3c Iffraaj (GB) x Tickle Me (NZ) (Mastercraftsman (IRE))
Tnr: L O'Sullivan & A Scott Rdr: M Hashizume 57
11
7.0
Bitcoin
- 3g Tarzino (NZ) x Invisible Coin (AUS) (Redoute's Choice (AUS))
Tnr: Andrew Forsman Rdr: W F Pinn 57
12
7.7
Trav
- 3g Almanzor (FR) x Royal Sav (NZ) (Savabeel (AUS))
Tnr: R M Connors Rdr: J K Riddell 57
13
15.4
Orsome Dude
- 3g El Roca (AUS) x The Migrator (NZ) (Duelled (AUS))
Tnr: L Te Keeti Rdr: M J Sanson 57
More Reading...
Sires With Winners - Wednesday June 12
Here is the full list of 50 stallions which had winners throughout Australasia today with winners and result details.
Zoustar Share Sells for $1.3million
A share in Champion sire Zoustar has today become the most expensive stallion share ever sold at public auction in Australia, realising a sale-high $1.3m in the Inglis Digital June (Early) Online Sale.
Invincible Shield Ultra Impresses Gollan
Promising three year-old I Am Invincible colt Invincible Shield failed to place in three starts in good company in Victoria last year including the Group II MVRC Stutt Stakes, but has found a new lease on life since joining the stable of Tony Gollan and powered to an ultra impressive win at Doomben on Wednesday.
Can Your 3YO Run a Mile?
Group I racing restricted to three year-olds is complete for this year so we’ve taken a look at the break down of winners and it’s worth noting that of the 19 Group I races for this cohort, 16 of them are run at distances of 1600m or further.
Pride of Dubai Star Desert Lightning Chasing Another G1
Waikato hoop Vinnie Colgan will trek down to Otaki on Saturday to partner exciting four-year-old Desert Lightning in the Gr.1 Trackside Otaki-Maori WFA Classic (1600m), and he is hoping his charge can live up to his favourite’s tag.
One To Watch - Randwick-Kensington
Six well-related 3-year-olds contested the Toyota Forklifts Maiden Plate (1400m) at Randwick-Kensington on Wednesday, resulting in a remarkable finish.
Kiwi Superstar for Pride of Dubai – Desert Lightning Wins $1million Aotearoa Classic
Desert Lightning has spent the majority of his career flying under the radar, but there was no denying his place at the top of the tree in the inaugural $1 million Elsdon Park Aotearoa Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on Saturday when he defeated the hot favourite Legarto earning an invitation to the $3.6million All Star Mile in Victoria in March.
NZB Karaka Millions Mega Maiden Series Races Announced
Karaka Million riches are set to be amplified next season, with horses eligible for the lucrative NZB Karaka Millions Series racing for an additional $1m in bonuses.
Million Dollar Colts Battle at Randwick
The 1150m maiden at Randwick on Wednesday for colts and geldings produced a quinella for a couple of million dollar two year-old colts with Braveheart, the $1.3million full brother to King of Sparta, too good for Everybody Rise, $1.4million full brother to Russian Revolution.
G1 Goal for Pride of Dubai's Desert Lightning
Peter and Dawn Williams have fond memories in past editions of the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m), and the Byerley Park trainers are hoping another crown lies ahead with Desert Lightning on Saturday.