Rebel's Romance Romps In UAE Derby


Any discussion of the world's leading turf sires must include Darley in Europe's Dubawi (Ire), but for all the success he has had with his runners on the grass, his strike rate on the dirt–particularly in Dubai–is nothing short of stunning. The sire of World Cup winner Prince Bishop (Ire) (and Monterosso {GB} on the Tapeta), Dubawi has also accounted for such horses as Hunter's Light (Ire), Benbatl (GB) and Mubtaahij (Ire). The latter took out the 2015 UAE Derby, and as the sun began to set Saturday at Meydan, Rebel's Romance (Ire) put pay to an international field to punch a possible ticket to the GI Kentucky Derby May 1 at Churchill Downs.

Let go at overlaid odds coming off a first career defeat when fourth to Pink Kamehameha (Jpn) (Leontes {Jpn}) in the Saudi Derby in Riyadh Feb. 20, Rebel's Romance was beaten for speed from gate 11 and had just a couple of rivals behind him as the previously unbeaten Panadol (Flatter) led them under the line the first time with New Treasure (Ire) (New Approach {Ire}) also prominent. In the clear down the backstretch, Rebel's Romance was allowed to improve into a midfield position through the middle stages, then was tucked in for a bit of cover on the back of Pink Kamehameha entering the turn. Felt for fully 650 metres out, Rebel's Romance warmed nicely to the task, was three wide into the lane, raced past Panadol while finally switching his leads a furlong from home and came away to an easy score while covering 16 metres (about 5 1/2 lengths) more ground than Panadol in a strong staying performance.

It was a ninth UAE Derby for Godolphin, but a first for trainer Charlie Appleby, and was worth 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Seven of the last eight winners of the race made their next appearance beneath the Twin Spires. If that is to be the case with Rebel Romance, Appleby was not admitting to it just yet.

“He is still very much a work in progress and he looked much better tonight than he did in Saudi Arabia,” he said. “I think the biggest attribute to him today is that he was going to stay. We were always confident he as going to stay. Stepping up in trip was going to be his forte.

“It's great for the team,” he continued. “Most importantly, it's good for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, who has a lovely horse win on Dubai World Cup night. I'm just delighted we've managed to put one into the back of the net.”

Rebel's Romance was perfect in a pair of all-weather starts at two, winning his maiden at first asking at Newcastle ahead of a four-length success at Kempton Nov. 18. He rallied from mid-division to best Mouheeb (Flatter) by a head in the Jan. 14 UAE 2000 Guineas Trial Jan. 14 ahead of his Saudi Derby effort.

Pedigree Notes:

Rebel's Romance became the 199th worldwide black-type winner and 129th group/graded winner for Dubawi and first since Thunder Snow (Ire) (Helmet {Aus}) scored in 2017 before following up with back-to-back wins in the World Cup. He is out of a stakes-placed daughter of MGSW & MG1SP Short Skirt (GB), the dam of Volcanic Sky (GB) (Street Cry {Ire}), winner of this year's G3 Nad al Sheba Trophy over a mile and six furlongs on the turf. Fittingly enough, Rebel Romance's third dam produced English highweight Whitewater Affair (GB) (Machiavellian), whose son Victoire Pisa (Jpn) (Neo Universe {Jpn}) posted a poignant victory for his tsunami-affected nation in the 2011 World Cup. After failing to produce a foal in 2019, Minidress dropped a colt by Frankel (GB) in February 2020.

Saturday, Meydan, Dubai
UAE DERBY SPONSORED BY EMIRATES NBD-G2, $750,000, Meydan, 3-27, 3yo, 9 1/2f, 1:56.28, fs.
1–REBEL'S ROMANCE (IRE), 121, g, 3, by Dubawi (Ire)
1st Dam: Minidress (GB) (SP-Eng), by Street Cry (Ire)
2nd Dam: Short Skirt (GB), by Diktat (GB)
3rd Dam: Much Too Risky (GB), by Bustino (GB)
T-Charlie Appleby; J-William Buick. $435,000. Lifetime Record:
5-4-0-0, $474,879. *1/2 to Petticoat (GB) (Cape Cross {Ire}), SP-
Ire. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick
   Rating: A.
2–Panadol, 121, c, 3, Flatter–Arradoul, by Dixieland Band.
($180,000 2yo '20 OBSJUN). O-Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed
Al Maktoum; B-Chester Broman & Mary R. Broman (NY);
T-Salem bin Ghadayer. $150,000.
3–New Treasure (Ire), 121, g, 3, New Approach (Ire)–
Maoineach, by Congaree. (90,000gns HRA '20 TATAUT).
O-Prince Faisal bin Khaled; B-J S Bolger (IRE); T-John Gosden.
Margins: 5HF, 1 3/4, HD.
Also Ran: Takeru Pegasus (Jpn), Mouheeb, France Go De Ina, Speight'spercomete, El Patriota (Uru), Mnasek, Pink Kamehameha (Jpn), Ambivalent, Lugamo, Fire Group, Soft Whisper (Ire).
Click for the Racing Post chart or the free catalogue-style pedigree. Video.

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