Al Aasy wins the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes
Long held in the highest regard by William Haggas, Shadwell’s still unexposed Al Aasy began what could be a big 2021 in ideal fashion as he came through to dominate Saturday’s Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes. Better known as the John Porter, this race has a tradition of launching classy older horses with the likes of Defoe and Harbinger two of its most recent luminaries. Al Aasy had looked destined for a tilt at big prizes when impressive in the 13- furlong G3 Bahrain Trophy on unseasonably easy ground at Newmarket last July.
Held up in rear by a confident Jim Crowley, the 6-4 favourite moved into contention in the straight and when delivered out wide rolled by approaching the furlong pole. Pushed out with hands and heels to the line, his rider was understandably taken by the performance. ‘He’s a very high-class horse and just a good-ground horse, we hope he’ll be a King George type, but he has to keep progressing. The way he travels in his races, I’d say a mile and a half is his best trip’.
Bred by the Tsui Family’s Sunderland Holding, Al Aasy is the first foal out of the winning Shamardal mare Kitcara, who was sold to Lillingston Bloodstock for €120,000 at the 2015 Arqana December Mares Sale.