30 March 2019

$2,500,000 UAE Derby Sponsored By The Saeed And Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (Group 2)

Winner: Plus Que Parfait

Owner: Imperial Racing LLC

Trainer: Brendan Walsh

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Official Time: 1:58.41 (1900m, Track Record: 1:55.18 – Mendelssohn, 2018)

Margin of Victory: ¾ lengths

Brendan Walsh, who once spent a decade working on the Godolphin team in Dubai before heading to the USA with hopes of becoming a trainer, saw his long-held dream come true when his his first runner in the Dubai, Plus Que Parfait, won the $2.5 UAE Derby Sponsored by the Saaed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2).

Under a perfect ride by Jose Ortiz, who won his second race on the Dubai World Cup card in as many tries, Plus Que Parfait earned 100 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby in May. The son of Point of Entry found racing room in the field of 14 at the top of the straight and after the rider switched him to the inside, he accelerated between Gray Magician and Manguzi and dug in to prevail by three-quarters of a length.

Plus Que Parfait, which means more than perfect in French, covered the 1900m on a fast track in 1:58.41. He boosted his lifetime earnings to US $1,949,800 with his share of the purse and the Imperial Racing LLC's colorbearer now has a record of 7 2-1-2.

The remaining order of finish is Derma Louvre, Swift Rose, Stubbins, Walking Thunder, Superior, Van Beethoven, Razeena, Jahbath, Al Hayette, Divine Image, and Golden Jaguar.


Brendan Walsh, Trainer, PLUE QUE PARFAIT (1st)—“This is huge - Jose gave him such a great ride and what a night for him with two winners. This has been the plan for quite a while and his owners are based out here. We said if things didn’t work out to get to the Kentucky Derby then we would come here. He had a bad day the last time he ran but we didn’t hold it against him and it has worked out. Brilliant.”

Jose Ortiz, Jockey, PLUS QUE PARFAIT (1st)—“I have a nice horse. He was running well and around the turn I was trying to find spaces. I was happy that I saved the whole ground in the race. And when I was able to find a way through, he responded really well, so I am very happy and very happy for Brendan. He deserves it. Brendan, he works so hard and he gave me so many shots and we haven’t been lucky and now I was able to deliver for him. To win means a lot. It’s tough to come all the way and win and I have been blessed to have two winners, so I am very happy.”

Peter Miller, Trainer, GRAY MAGICIAN (2nd)—“ I thought he’d run a big race and he looked like a winner at the (200m pole), but maybe Joel didn’t see the horse coming up on the inside because he didn’t use the whip in the last strides. Still, I’m very proud of the horse. It’s not likely that he’ll go for the Kentucky Derby, but he’s got 40 points so it’s not out of the question.”

Joel Rosario, Jockey, GRAY MAGICIAN (2nd)—“He’s run his best race. I thought he was moving like a winner in the stretch and we got momentum when he went to the front, but the other horse has come on strong.”

Fernando Jara, Jockey, MANGUZI (3rd)—“From the 14 post, I couldn’t be more happy – doing it from that draw. He has been so good to us this year, he’s so consistent. We’re looking forward to next season, hopefully he’ll keep improving.”

Christophe Lemaire, Jockey, DERMA LOUVRE (4th)—“We had a good trip behind the horse who finished third (Manguzi). He was not fast enough out of the gate and it took time to find his rhythm, but he finished well.”

Patrick Cosgrave, Jockey, SWIFT ROSE (5th)—“Super run. We were drawn wide so I had to sacrifice some juice to be up on the pace. With a lower draw we could have waited a little longer and finished closer but she’s a lovely filly with a future.”

Flavien Prat, Jockey, STUBBINS (6th)—“He was up on the pace but the distance is too far for him and he got tired.”

Frankie Dettori, Jockey, WALKING THUNDER (7th)—“I had a good position but my horse didn’t stay, just faded on me.”

Connor Beasley, Jockey, SUPERIOR (8th)—“He travelled very well, but once they quickened away on the bend, he kept on the one pace. It’s only the fourth start of his life. He’s going to be a nice horse for next year for sure.”

Ryan Moore, Jockey, VAN BEETHOVEN (9th)—“Missed the break.”

Patrick Dobbs, Jockey, RAZEENA (10th)—“She jumped a little bit slow and my race was over from there. She doesn’t like the kickback.”

Jim Crowley, Jockey, JAHBATH (11th)—“He didn’t have the gate speed or tactical speed that you need in that sort of race. It is a very different style of racing to what he is used to in England and he was beaten before the home turn.”

Fabrice Veron, Jockey, AL HAYETTE (12th)—“My filly was a filly against the colts and it showed. She had a very bad draw today and I needed to ask a lot from her. In the straight, she took a breath and then she came again, so that was good. I think she’s a filly that will win a good race but this was too soon.”

William Buick, Jockey, DIVINE IMAGE (13th)—“She just sat back as the gates opened and I had to give her a bit of a squeeze, but we ended up in a good spot. I had to work for it a little bit. She felt OK down the back but approaching the last turn, about half a mile (800m) out, she came underneath me and had kind of ran her race. It was disappointing.”

Oisin Murphy, Jockey, GOLDEN JAGUAR (14th)—“I’d love to see him back on turf over seven furlongs (1400m) or a mile (1600m). He’s quite a nice horse and that won’t have done him any harm, but he just didn’t adapt to the trip and the dirt today.”