Jack Hobbs ran out an easy winner of a high-class renewal of the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.
Trained by John Gosden for Godolphin, the 2015 Irish Derby winner looked a cut above a host of other Group One winners.
Highland Reel set out to make all, as is his wont, but William Buick was keen not to let Ryan Moore loose on the lead.
While everyone else was riding for all their worth, Buick was sat motionless before pressing the button down the straight and shooting clear.
Seventh Heaven ran a big race for Aidan O’Brien, staying on stoutly for second to suggest she is likely to be a tough filly to beat this year, while Postponed, the winner 12 months ago, has not quite looked the force of old so far this season but still finished third.
Gosden said: “When Godolphin bought into him they wanted to run him in this race and I said ‘as a five-year-old, not at four’.
“We had a quiet year last year, but his form at Ascot was rock solid (in the Champion Stakes).
“It was interesting Ryan stayed off the rail for the better ground, but that meant it was wide open in the straight and William was cool, just like he was when Dar Re Mi won this – he didn’t go straight away.
“He’s a lovely horse. He’s got semi-blinkers on, they’re only little, but in the Champion Stakes he spent the whole time dreaming.
“We’d had him out at 5am trying to get used to the lights, first time he was taken aback but he’s got used to it.
“This is great, he’s a family horse – Sheikh Mohammed, Princess Haya, Rachel (Hood, Gosden’s wife) – it’s great.”
Buick said: “Blinkers first-time and there’s a strong wind, so he was a little keen but he’s done it very well.
“He’s a classy horse, the blinkers probably have helped, John said earlier in the week he was in great shape and he was proven right.
“This night is horse racing’s Olympics, it’s very important, certainly when wearing the royal blue (of Godolphin), so I’m very happy.”
Source: The Sun