Sibelius gave US-based Irishman Jerry O’Dwyer the biggest win of his career when winning the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan on Saturday.
The US born, bred and trained Sibelius, under jockey Ryan Moore, got the better of last year’s winner Switzerland at the line by a nose.
Deep into the straight it looked as if the finish would be an all-American one, fought out between Frankie Dettori on Hopkins and Tyler Gaffalione on Gunite.
But the race changed at the 200 metre pole, with Switzerland launched down the outside by Irish jockey Tadhg O’Shea and Ryan Moore moving up on the rail.
Jerry O’Dwyer said of his biggest training success to date:
“The race worked out quite the way I had predicted. You know you can read these races a hundred times but it will never go the same way. To be honest, he just sat back in the gates and was a bit slow but when you have a master rider like Ryan Moore, he gets you out of trouble.
“It really is a proud moment for us. I am grateful to the owners. They let me do what is best with the horse every step of the way and never interfere.
“He trains like a good horse, he acts like a good horse, he rides like a good horse.
Winning jockey Ryan Moore, who had earlier won the Dubai Gold Cup aboard Broome for Aidan O’Brien, spoke of his Group 1 delight with Sibelius:
“I was very lucky to pick up the ride. He actually stepped a little slowly, I was a half-length further behind than I wanted to be. We had a charmed run, they just drifted off which meant we didn’t have to change lanes and the horse dug in really deep. He showed a lot of courage and heart to get there.
“He has form over a little bit further which I think really helped too.”