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Solow Takes Flight For Guyon

Photo: Erika Rasmussen (www.erikarphotography.com)

Solow (GB) came home solo to provide legendary French jockey-turned-trainer Freddy Head with a first Meydan success in the $6m Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World.

The veteran handler has a glittering roll of honour in the saddle and his ability to travel horses internationally has never been questionable with wonder filly Goldikova winning him three Breeders’ Cup Miles.

Head had been brimming with confidence in the days building up to the 1800m event and that confidence was transformed into sheer equine brilliance as his grey forged clear under Maxime Guyon.

Guyon swung relatively wide into the straight but appeared to have his nine rivals covered from some way out and he steered the five-year-old to a thumping four-and-a-half-length triumph over French Derby winner The Grey Gatsby (IRE), with Msawish (USA) a further three-quarter lengths adrift in third.

An impressive-looking individual, Solow had been raced over longer trips but has been a revelation dropped in distance and has now won his last five starts.

“This was a big test for the horse as he had never run in a Group 1 race but I could not have had him better and he has shown what a good horse he is,” said an ecstatic Head.

“Maxime rode a perfect race - he was quiet and cool and he is among the best there is. This has been a long time coming with this horse but we now have him 100% and had to geld him to try to curb his growth as he was getting so big.

“This is my first ever winner in Dubai and it is brilliant as I love the place and I love coming here. I am thrilled too as I also train for HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum."

“I can’t tell you how good this horse is – he is a world champion. He can quicken and do anything you ask of him.
“The aim now is to come back and win this race again next year, but before then we will look at the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot.”

Guyon added: “That was unbelievable. We thought coming here that he was a very good horse and he was very easy to ride. Good horses make this job easy.

“This is my first Group 1 in Dubai so this win is an honour.”

The Grey Gatsby was having his first outing since beating Derby winner Australia in Ireland last September, and the four-year-old finished an honourable second under Ryan Moore.

His trainer Kevin Ryan said: “I was delighted with him. The winner has run well but my horse has run a good race and he’ll come on for it.

“I’d say we could go on to the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh now, and hopefully then Royal Ascot.”

Quotes for the Group I US$6m Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World


Maxime Guyon (jockey, Solow (GB), 1st) – “That was unbelievable. We thought coming here that he was a very good horse and he was very easy to ride.

“Good horses make this job easy. This is my first Group 1 in Dubai so this win is an honour. This is my first ride in a Group 1 race since I have been contracted for the owners and it is fabulous to win this. And I think it`s a first Group 1 for Freddy Head here in Dubai.

“I had a great race. Before the race we didn`t know if there was pace or not, so the trainer told me if there is no one to go in front, you can go in front. But we went fast and I got a good position and he really had a great turn of foot and won very easily tonight.”

Freddy Head (trainer, Solow (GB), 1st) – “He is a very good horse. But this was a big test, as it was his first Group 1 race. But I couldn`t have had him better and he showed what a good horse he is. Maxime Guyon rode him perfectly, very quiet, very cool. This is my first winner in Dubai, it`s fabulous. He is one of the best I have trained.”

Kevin Ryan (trainer, The Grey Gatsby (IRE), 2nd) - “I was delighted with him. The winner has won well but my horse has run a good race and he’ll come on for it.

“I’d say we could go on to the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh now, and hopefully then Royal Ascot.”

Frankie Dettori (jockey, Mshawish (USA), 3rd) – “It was a good race. He was a bit fresh, as you know he had three days in the box with a sore foot. He ran on a good third and I`m delighted.
“Would he have been closer hadn`t he been in the box? Yes, second, but I don`t think we would have caught the winner.”
Bradley Weisbord (US racing adviser, Mshawish (USA), 3rd) – “I feel like we won the race.

“48-72 hours ago everyone was saying it’s a tendon, a suspensory (injury). Our vet diagnosed the problem quickly to be a bruised hoof.

“I can’t say enough about the team. Nick Bush and Ginny Depasquale lived with this horse 24 hours a day. Coordinated everything with (trainer) Todd Pletcher by phone. We soaked the hoof. No medication. No nothing. Pure horsemanship.”
Joao Moreira (jockey, Euro Charline (GB), 4th) – “It didn`t happen the way we wished it to. She wound up in front, which was not the best place for her to be, but she jumped so well.

“She put two lengths in front of them going a slow tempo, I just couldn`t hold her back and let someone else come across. She`s coming back from a long break and ran a huge race.

“If she would have relaxed a little bit more she would have finished a little bit stronger. If we could have taken back and sat in the pocket in fourth she would have had an even better finish.”

Mickael Barzalona (jockey, Earnshaw (USA), 5th) – “He ran a beautiful race. He tried his best. We just got beaten by better horses today.”

Christophe Soumillon (jockey, Cladocera (GER), 6th) – “She was a bit shy when I took her between horses and she didn`t quicken the way she did in her last race here. But the class of horse she ran against was better today.”

Johnny Geroudis (jockey, Umgiyo (AUS), 7th) – “The horse wasn`t strong enough to compete in this class. Otherwise I had a clean trip, there are no excuses. That was a little bit stronger (competition) than he wanted tonight.”

Pat Dobbs (jockey, Limario (GER), 8th) – “He was travelling okay until they quickened in the straight and he couldn’t go with them. He’s been on the go for two years but still ran well enough.”

Oisin Murphy (jockey, Farraaj (IRE), 9th) – “The pace was solid enough. Euro Charline went on, and I didn’t expect the pace to be that solid.

“I was able to sit second, and that’s the way he races, but unfortunately it’s been three months since he’s had a run, he was short a piece of work and he got tired. But he’s a horse to look forward to.”

Andrea Atzeni (jockey, Trade Storm (GB), 10th) – “Not his day today. He’s a come-from-behind horse but he didn’t today.”