Panther Pounces For Cool Kingscote

Photo: Erika Rasmussen (

Brown Panther (GB) raced away from the field early in the straight to win the Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors by three and a quarter lengths and give connections including ex-England, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United football star Michael Owen success with their first runner at the Dubai World Cup meeting.

“Unbelievable” was the immediate reaction from Owen, who bred the six-year-old. Trainer Tom Dascombe had tasted success at the meeting in 2003 and 04 as assistant to Mike De Kock, while jockey Richard Kingscote only recently returned to riding after sustaining serious injuries in a five-horse race pile-up.

Brown Panther, the highest-rated runner going into the race, was reappearing for the first time since an unhappy trip to North America last autumn, which included having to be withdrawn after bolting on the way to the start, but he showed no signs of being too keen in the preliminaries, where he was accompanied by a pony, or in the race itself.

Kingscote held Brown Panther in second place as Mushreq (AUS) set a steady pace before edging off the rail on the run to the home turn, where he quickly sent his mount past the leader and into a three-length lead.

The move proved decisive, and success in the $1m race the biggest for each of horse, owners, trainer and jockey – was assured a long way out.

Mushreq’s stablemate Star Empire (SAF), fifth and third in the race for the last two years, stayed on in the straight to take a short-head verdict over Ahzeemah (IRE) for second place.
Havana Beat (IRE), who was always in the first half-dozen, and Dubday (GB), who was caught wide on the home turn, were fourth and fifth respectively but no match for the leaders.

As cool as his horse on pulling up, Kingscote said: “He was really relaxed today and I soon got into a nice position. After that, he looked after me all the way round.

“Brown Panther has been unbelievably good for my career and it means a lot to be in the winning position today.”

Dascombe was associated with four winners at the meeting from the De Kock yard before starting training on his own account, and to win under his own name with his first runner was “something special”, he said.

Dascombe added: “After 100m I was confident this could be our day, and really well done to Richard Kingscote. He kept telling me he was fit for the ride after his injury, and although I was a bit sceptical, he’s proved his point, and how.”

Owen, who owns Dascombe’s stable, as well as Brown Panther, in partnership with Andrew Black, laid off all congratulations in the direction of his team.

“All I do is sign the cheques,” Owen said. “There’s a massive difference between horse racing, where I can’t really have any influence, and football, where at least I could do something about what went on on the field.”

Quotes for the Group 2 US$1m Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors

Richard Kingscote (jockey, Brown Panther (GB), 1st) –"He relaxed before the start today and had a pony with him.
“He cantered around here on Thursday and took it all in, and he has done that well.

“He felt great during the race and we got an early tow into it and we had a nice position. This horse has been unbelievably good to my career and to Tom’s (trainer, Dascombe). He means a lot to me and this is the biggest win of my career so far."

Christophe Soumillon (jockey, Star Empire (SAF), 2nd) – "I rode him like usual and when he started passing horses in the straight I thought he might be third or fourth. But the pace was quite good and my horse has real stamina. He finished lame last time so it was great to see him bounce back."

James Doyle (jockey, Ahzeemah (IRE), 3rd) – "It sounds silly but we were drawn wide in 15 and it took time to get across, but we did get over and get a nice position.

“We had a lovely trip around and he is a tough horse, it is just a shame we didn`t keep second. I have no complaints and the winner looks a very good horse."

Ryan Moore (jockey, Havana Beat (IRE), 4th) – "He ran well. Honest horse. He`s not better than them."

Frankie Dettori (jockey, Dubday (GB), 5th) – “My trip was okay. It was his first time at two miles (3200m) so it was a good effort.”
Paul Hanagan (jockey, Almoonqith (USA), 6th) – “I thought he ran fantastic but he probably just didn’t get home. He had every chance to get the trip, but he’s run well.”

Maxime Guyon (jockey, Bathyrhon (GER), 7th) – “He had a nice position. He didn’t pick up. First run of the season. Found it tough.”

Pat Dobbs (jockey, Meandre (FR), 8th) – “I didn’t have a great trip. He’s a funny horse – he didn’t travel very well. He probably wants soft ground to be at his best.”

William Buick (jockey, Marzocco (USA), 9th) – “Disappointing really. He ran badly. He was in the right place and then he went backwards.”

Wayne Smith (jockey, Brass Ring (GB), 10th) – “He was reluctant in rear. Then he made some headway but he was gone at the three-pole.”

Dane O’Neill (jockey, Mushreq (AUS), 11th) – “He had nice position early. He ran okay but just didn’t stay.”

Andrea Atzeni (jockey, Vaasa (IRE), 12th) – "One pace, one slow pace. But, look, he is okay. He gave me a great ride. I had a lovely spot but just couldn`t go with them when they quickened."

Oisin Murphy (jockey, Dormello (IRE), 13th) – “We had an unfortunate draw with the one. We were shuffled back and ran even from there. The best horse won.”

Mickael Barzalona (jockey, Rio Tigre (IRE), 14th) – “You the saw the race. He was never travelling.”

Adrie De Vries (jockey, Cooptado (ARG), 15th) – "He was never happy when Brown Panther snuck in and I kind of clipped heels with him. He was never really going on the back straight and he pulled up immediately in the straight. There is probably something wrong with him.”