Shadwell's Danyah Shocks The Al Quoz Sprint

Danyah and Dane O'Neill Erika Rasmussen


Under a cagey Dane O'Neill ride, Danyah (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) stunned a field loaded with quality sprinters to take the $1.5-million G1 Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by AZIZI Developments for Shadwell and trainer Musabbeh Al Mheiri.

One of 16 entered in the 1200-metre turf feature, the 6-year-old gelding laid off the leaders as Miqyaas (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) set the pace while shadowed by Group 3 winner The Astrologist (Aus) (Zoustar {Aus}). At the halfway point, it appeared that half of the field was in with a shot as the tempo increased. Happy Romance (Ire) (Dandy Man {Ire}), favoured Al Suhail (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), Danyah and The Astrologist formed a line of four out in the centre of the course and were moving better than the stands' side horses.

Al Suhail established a slender advantage 100 metres from the wire, but both Danyah and The Astrologist were rolling with lots of momentum. Strides from the winning post, Al Suhail slid back to third as Danyah asserted himself, pushed all the way home by the Aussie shipper. The winning margin was a head, with a neck back to Al Suhail in third. Ex-Aussie and current Hong Kong raider Sight Success (Aus) (Magnus {Aus}) rounded out the superfecta three-parts of a length back for trainer John Size.

Al Mheiri said, “He had been running over seven furlongs and a mile and we had an invite for the Godolphin Mile but we thought we would try him over six [furlongs] in the Al Quoz. We felt he had enough speed to run well and maybe finish in the placings but to win is a very nice surprise. Great credit to Shadwell for how they planned it and it is a special day for us all.”

O'Neill said, “I'd be lying if I said we were confident beforehand. We thought possibly prize-money and that would be great as he has a good cruising speed. It was worth a chance but the low draw in gate five was a concern. It was funny they stayed away from the stands' side and I got a great draft into the race behind the second horse and he finished very strongly like a horse that gets further.”

The Astrologist's managing owner Nathan Bennett said, “We mapped out a plan back in Australia. We thought the horse was good enough to come over and he proved that when he ran [sixth] in the [G1] Newmarket H. He's flown the flag well for the Aussies back home. We've been invited to Royal Ascot so he won't go back to Australia, he'll go to Newmarket and to Marco Botti.”

Of Al Suhail, William Buick said, “He travelled well and I was probably the last one off the bridle. I don't think being caught the far side of the field helped him but that's where the finish ended up. Still, it was a very good run over six furlongs.”

Successful in a heritage handicap in July of 2021, Danyah improved off of a 446-day break to run second in the Listed Dubai Creek Mile in December. Off the board in the G2 Al Maktoum Challenge R1 behind G1 Dubai World Cup second Algiers (Ire) (Shamardal) in the Dubai World Cup Carnival curtain-raiser on Jan. 6, he bounced back with a win in the Listed Business Bay Challenge on Feb. 10, but trailed in behind Al Suhail in the Ras Al Khor conditions race on Super Saturday earlier this month.


Pedigree Notes

One of 146 stakes winners for Irish National Stud stalwart Invincible Spirit, Danyah is the 26-year-old's 75th group winner and 22nd Group 1 winner. He is bred on the same cross as Coolmore Stud stallion Magna Grecia (Ire), who won the G1 2000 Guineas and G1 Futurity Trophy and celebrated his first winner with his first runner earlier this week. The duo are out of Galileo (Ire) mares.

Danyah's deceased dam, who won Group 3 races in both England and Ireland as a juvenile, progressed to run second in the 2009 G1 1000 Guineas. Of her six foals, four raced, and all are winners, with her best being the Al Quoz victor. A full-sister to G3 Meld S. heroine and G1 Moyglare Stud S. runner-up Scintillula (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), the stakes winner The Major General (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), and Gile Na Greine (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), who placed in both the G1 Coronation S. and 1000 Guineas, Cuis Ghaire is kin to G1 National S. winner Verbal Dexterity (Ire) (Vocalised), among others.

Saturday, Meydan, Dubai
AL QUOZ SPRINT SPONSORED BY AZIZI DEVELOPMENTS-G1, $1,500,000, Meydan, 3-25, NH & SH 3yo/up, 6fT, 1:08.61, gd.
1–DANYAH (IRE), 131, g, 6, by Invincible Spirit (Ire)
                1st Dam: Cuis Ghaire (Ire) (GSW & G1SP-Eng,
                                  GSW-Ire, $342,897, by Galileo (Ire)
2nd Dam: Scribonia (Ire), by Danehill
3rd Dam: Smaoineamh (Ire), by Tap On Wood (Ire)
1ST GROUP WIN. 1ST GROUP 1 WIN. O-Shadwell; B-
Shadwell Estate Company Limited (IRE); T-Musabbeh Al
Mheiri; J-Dane O'Neill. $870,000. Lifetime Record: 17-6-3-3,
$1,089,888. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report &
   5-cross pedigree. Click for the
   free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–The Astrologist (Aus), 131, g, 6, Zoustar (Aus)–Aquada (Aus),
by Flying Spur (Aus). (A$150,000 ylg '18 MMLJAN; A$9,500
HRA '22 INGFEB).  O-Bennett Racing; B-Rangal Park Stud (Aus);
T-Leon & Troy Corstens. $300,000.
3–Al Suhail (GB), 131, g, 6, Dubawi (Ire)–Shirocco Star (GB), by
Shirocco (Ger). (1,100,000gns Ylg '18 TATOCT). O-Godolphin;
B-Meon Valley Stud (GB); T-Charlie Appleby. $150,000.
Margins: HD, NK, 3/4.
Also Ran: Sight Success (Aus), Duke Wai (NZ), Happy Romance (Ire), Al Dasim (Ire), San Donato (Ire), Ladies Church (GB), Thunder Of Niagara (Ire), Flaming Rib (Ire), Raaed (Ire), Pogo (Ire), Cazadero, Miqyaas (GB). Scratched: Logo Hunter (Ire).


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