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Quotes for the Group 1 US$5 m Dubai Sheema Classic, presented by Longines

Joseph O’Brien (St Nicholas Abbey, 1st) – “There didn’t seem much pace on paper and (part-owner) Mr. Smith said maybe we should ride him a bit further forward and see what happens. This horse is very tough, very special, gives his best every day, relaxes, and finds plenty. It turns out you can ride him any way you want.”

Aidan O’Brien (trainer, St Nicholas Abbey, 1st) – “I’d always felt this horse wanted to be ridden back but Joseph and Derrick (Smith) said they wanted him to be ridden forward and they got their way today, so perhaps they were right.”

Yasunari Iwata (Gentildonna, 2nd) – “She ran very well and was in good form today. She traveled wide and might take bit and that’s why she couldn’t catch the winner.”

Olivier Peslier (Very Nice Name, 3rd) – “He gave me a good finish. Third place is very good and he sets the standard in Qatar. I was expecting him to run well and I’m very happy for my boss.”

Jamie Spencer (Dunaden, 4th) – “We were very happy with the performance. It was a course record and I had all of the right horses around me at the finish so we were very pleased.”

Patrick Cosgrove (Await the Dawn, 5th) – “He ran a very good race. It was a top field; these are top-class horses and it was probably the best race of the night. He had a nice trip around and ran a good race. I can`t complain.”

Christophe Lemaire (Shareta, 6th) – “I was happy with my position but it was her first time out this year and she may just have needed it. It didn’t help that we had the winner behind us all of the way as he was pushing us through the race, right to the final turn and that may have made her do a little too much.”

John Murtagh (Royal Diamond, 7th) – “I had a nice position behind the leader. They steadied it up a little bit down the baclk and then quickened away from me. My fellow would want further.”

Andrasch Starke (Girolamo, 8th) – “We were never prominent but he ran a good race. We were never going to be near the winner but he finished close to the placed horses. We have no excuse.”

Silvestre De Sousa (Sharestan, 9th) – “He just wasn’t good enough. He reared up in the stalls and he wasn’t good enough to be there.”

Mickael Barzalona (Prince Bishop, 10th) – “He ran all right but the ground is a little too firm for him.”

Yutaka Take (Trailblazer, 11th ) – “No gas. He got a little bit tired. He jumped well and traveled well until the third turn but didn’t have the same turn of foot as the others. I don’t know why he isn’t the same as he used to be.”