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Just A Way Goes All The Way In Record-Breaking Victory

Just A Way (JPN)
Photo: Erika Rasmussen (www.erikarphotography.com)

Just A Way (JPN) unleashed lightning acceleration to win the US$5m Group 1 Dubai Duty Free sponsored by Dubai Duty Free, in the process slicing more than two seconds off the Meydan Racecourse track record for 1800m on turf.

One of three challengers from Japan, Just A Way (JPN) had impressed in his attitude to morning work all week and took that mood to the track.

The 5y/o son of Heart’s Cry was towards the rear early as compatriot Tokei Halo (JPN) set sail through some sizzling early fractions.

The field closed as one on the leader with 500m remaining but Just A Way’s jockey, Yuichi Fukunaga, chose to make his move on the wide outside.

“I wanted to take a midfield position but Vercengetorix was where I wanted to be,” said the winning jockey. “I decided to follow him and when I got to the straight he accelerated very well – as I thought he would.”

Ryan Moore, by contrast, kept Dank (GB) towards the inside and encountered trouble before running on into third place.

“The winner was alongside me for the first half of the race,” Moore said. “I was caught in traffic and felt she (Dank) was the second-best horse in the race. She ran a great race after her five-month absence (from the track).”

The South African challenger, Vercengetorix (SAF), weaved through to strike the front with 300m left but no sooner did jockey Christophe Soumillion entertain thoughts of victory than he was swamped by the winner.

“I thought I’d win when we turned for home so I was left speechless when the Japanese horse came flying past me,” Soumillon said.

Having cruised past Vercengetorix (SAF), Just A Way (JPN) opened up in the last 200m, drawing away with every stride to register by 6¼ lengths from Vercengetorix (SAF). Dank came home a further 1¾ lengths adrift, with Mshawish in fourth.

Just A Way came into the race having won his last two starts, the first of them a facile defeat of the Group 1 Japan Cup, Gentildonna (subsequently winner of tonight’s Group 1 US$5m Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines), over 2000m. His trainer, Naosuke Sugai, oozed confidence ahead of claiming the US$3 million winner’s purse – and rightly so, as it turned out.

“We had two plans and went with the second one, which was to sit behind in midfield,” the winning trainer said. “That’s what we did when we won the (Group 1) Tenno Sho and the jockey gave my horse one of the best rides I have ever seen.”