SPIRIT DANCER STRIKES GOLD IN THE BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL TROPHY
Trained by Richard Fahey in Malton, North Yorkshire, SPIRIT DANCER (GB) has today won the $1million Group 2 Bahrain International Trophy in style at the Rashid Equestrian and Horseracing Club.
The six-year-old gelding is by 2023 Champion Sire elect FRANKEL (GB) and was homebred by legendary former Manchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson with Niall McLoughlin and is owned in a partnership with Peter Done, Sir Alex Ferguson and Ged Mason.
Spirit Dancer’s previous win was in Group 3 company at the York Ebor Festival in the Strensall Stakes in August which secured his spot in today’s race. In what was the strongest renewal in the race’s five-year history, the 14-strong field included runners from five different countries and three previous Group 1 winners. ISRAR (GB) came second for owner-breeder Shadwell Estate and trainers John and Thady Gosden while ASTRO KING came sixth for husband-and-wife trainer duo, Daniel and Claire Kübler.
Great British Racing International (GBRI) spoke with a jubilant Richard Fahey just after the win:
“It's great for Sir Alex and Ged here, and Peter. They've been very patient with him and have earned their reward.
“He didn't have a good start this week, he was very warm the first day and didn't look great the first couple of days. The best he's looked funnily enough is today when I went up to stick the saddle on him.
“When we went past the favourite and the fancied ones and hit the front, I thought that it would take a special horse to catch us. It's fantastic for myself, the owners, my yard and Oisin [Orr].”
Co-owner Ged Mason in celebratory mood told GBRI:
“It’s our biggest win on the flat. And with Sir Alex having bred him, makes it more special. I am so pleased for Sir Alex. We will celebrate tonight, in modest fashion.”
And finally, Sir Alex summed up his feelings by adding:
“It’s fantastic, just great!”
The result echoed Sir Alex’s belief in his horse when he spoke to GBRI about the choice of stallion and the trainer prior to the race:
“I have a friend who worked for Juddmonte. He helped to organise the cover, which was fantastic. Now you see Frankel stands for £350,000. So we are very lucky.
“We wanted someone we can visit quickly rather than going south. So we chose Richard [Fahey]. He is a marvelous trainer. He looked after the horse well, was always informative with how he is doing, and he got us to Bahrain!”