June 19, 2024

Tuz explodes up the rail in Dubai Golden Shaheen

Tuz wins the Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan racecourse (Photo by Horsephotos)

Tuz is capable of a big effort on his day, and the Bhupat Seemar trainee picked a good time to deliver an explosive display in Saturday’s $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) at Meydan.

Sent off at 8-1 after a 10th in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint (G3) on Saudi Cup Day, Tuz was bouncing back to the level of his 8 1/2-length romp in the Jan. 5 Dubawi (G3) at this track and trip. There was a precedent for the exact same turnaround for the same stable, when Switzerland turned the page on a Saudi disappointment to win the 2022 Golden Shaheen.

Tuz leveraged his early speed on the inside and matched strides with Japan’s Don Frankie, with Colour Up chasing on the outside. Don Frankie appeared to have the upper hand turning into the lane, as Tuz was in a bit tight against the rail. But Dakki Stable’s colorbearer re-engaged in the stretch and burst 6 1/2 lengths clear and clocked about six furlongs in 1:10.15.

“He’s very fast,” winning rider Tadhg O’Shea said. “We had a great gate number (2), but we were getting pressured a long way out. He had to be good and tough. There wasn’t much room to maneuver down the inside, but I had a good, willing partner. He’s a big horse. When he straightened up, he went through the eye of a needle. I was a length down off Cristian (Demuro on Don Frankie) on the home turn. I gave (Tuz) a squeeze and the response was immediate. 

“He’s a high class horse and when he gets a rail to shoot at, he’s very, very, very good.”

Don Frankie saved second by three-quarters of a length from Wesley Ward’s Nakatomi, who had to recover from a tough trip. Remake, the 2-1 favorite, was also hampered en route to a fourth-place finish. Run Classic wound up seventh, and the other American contenders were further back – Bold Journey (10th), defending champion Sibelius (11th), and Hopkins (12th), whose waywardness interfered several rivals. Colour Up faded to last in the 14-horse field.

Tuz, who started his career in sensational fashion in Russia, has also won the 2021 Dubai Creek Mile and 2023 Al Shindagha Sprint (G3). The Calumet Farm-bred son of Oxbow was only seventh behind Sibelius here a year ago, but his new career high enhanced his record to 19-6-3-4.

“He’s got so much natural speed; his weapon is his speed,” Seemar said. “He’s always been a fast horse and it’s like Switzerland – he ran poorly in Saudi and then won the Shaheen. Sprinters mature and they know what to do. I had some confidence.”

Tuz would be the opening act for an even bigger win for Seemar and O’Shea, who later teamed up with Laurel River in the Dubai World Cup (G1).