The vibes had been extremely positive ahead of Dubai To Sydney’s debut and with some justification as the Dubai Destination two-year-old battled gamely to land the 1000m contest at Randwick on Saturday, 26 January in front of a bumper Australia Day crowd.
Sporting Nick Moraitis’ white, grey and pink silks, which were carried to many memorable victories by Exceed And Excel, the striking dark brown colt came three wide round the home turn having been settled in mid-division in the early stages. Asked to quicken after hitting the front at the 200m mark, Dubai To Sydney rallied well to fend off a sustained challenge from Typhoon Fury despite showing signs of greenness.
He is the first foal of the Quest For Fame mare Sydney’s Quest, a dual winner at two and half-sister to Todman and Galaxy Stakes winner Charge Forward. His sire Dubai Destination has made a great start to his stud career in the northern hemisphere with 15 first-crop winners, including Sheikh Mohammed's G1 winner Ibn Khaldun, currently one of the favourites for this season's Classics.
At Caulfield, Believe'N'Succeed became the latest Exceed And Excel juvenile to gain black type with third in the Listed Blue Diamond Prelude, again on her racecourse debut. She is out of the American-bred mare Arctic Drift, by Gone West. The following day, Lee Freedman unleashed yet another first up winner for Exceed And Excel when Wilander (pictured) scored by an impressive eight lengths at Ballarat.
A good weekend for the Darley stallions also saw Carnegie Dancer (Carnegie) take fourth in the G1 Wellington Cup at Trentham, New Zealand