Australian-bred sprint star War Artist scored a comprehensive victory in the G3 Al Shindagha Sprint at Meydan on Thursday evening.
War Artist (Aus) bounced back from a disappointing run in the G1 Hong Kong Sprint in December to win with a blistering turn of foot under Olivier Peslier. “I’m delighted,” trainer James Eustace said. “I thought he would need the run. Hong Kong was not him and it’s great to see him come back to form.”
Gayego, who was fourth home in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, was all the rage before the race as the even-money favourite. But he couldn’t get on terms and was beaten nearly three lengths into second spot.
War Artist (6g Orpen – Royal Solitaire by Brocco) was a $57,500 buy at the 2005 Gold Coast Magic Millions Sale. He was purchased by World Wide Bloodstock from the draft of Attunga Stud who were acting as agent for breeder Stephen Kirkham.
He made a name for himself as a leading short-course horse in South Africa where he was successful in the 2007 Mercury Sprint (G1). Sent to England last year, he was responsible for outstanding efforts in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and July Cup at Newmarket.
War Artist followed up with victories in the G2 Goldene Peitsche at Baden-Baden and the G3 Prix du Petit Couvert at Longchamp before travelling to the Far East. His connections were convinced their star sprinter would need the run last night and he looks one to follow at the Dubai carnival.
War Artist is a half-brother to Sashenka (Orientate) who won three races and was G1 placed in the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes. She was purchased by Rothwell Park for $420,000 at the 2009 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.