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Aust-bred Sun Classique Wins Gr1 Dubai Sheema Classic
Former Arrowfield Stud shuttler Fuji Kiseki (Sunday Silence-Millracer, by Le Fabuleux) added a Gr1 triumph when Australian-bred South African champion & multiple Gr1-winning 4YO mare Sun Classique (Fuji Kiseki-Elfenjer, by Last Tycoon) scored a 2.75-lengths victory against her male rivals in the US$5 million Gr1 Dubai Sheema Classic (2400m on turf) at Nad Al Sheba. Sun Classique (ridden by Kevin Shea for South African trainer Mike De Kock) defeated fast-finishing UK-bred & Hong Kong-based multiple Gr1-winning 6YO gelding Viva Pataca (Marju-Comic, by Be My Chief) ridden by Australian jockey Darren Beadman for expatriate Australian trainer John Moore & French-bred 6YO entire Doctor Dino (Muhtathir-Logica, by Priolo). Sun Classique took her record to 9 wins from 15 starts for US$3,344,066 earnings & De Kock declared: "I now want to run her at Royal Ascot (in the UK) & in Chicago in the Gr1 Beverly D Stakes." In her previous 2 starts, Sun Classique won both February's Listed Cape Verdi Stakes (1600m on turf) at Nad Al Sheba & Listed Balanchine Stakes (1777m on turf) at Nad Al Sheba. Last season Sun Classique (born & raised at Widden Stud in the NSW Hunter Valley prior to her export to South Africa in June 2004) was named South Africa's Champion 3YO Classic Female (1600m+) at the annual Equus Awards. During 2007 she won both the Gr1 Woolavington 2200 (2200m) at Greyville & Gr1 Majorca Stakes (1600m) against older rivals at Kenilworth; & in 2006 she won the Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas (1600m) at Kenilworth & Gr3 Diana Stakes (plus finishing runner-up in both the Gr1 Paddock Stakes & Gr1 Thekwini Fillies Stakes). South African owner-breeder Lionel Cohen's Equimark paid $32,500 for Sun Classique's dam Elfenjer at the 2003 Inglis Broodmare Sale; Elfenjer is a daughter of Gr1 SAJC Oaks winner Gamine. Meanwhile runner-up Viva Pataca's jockey Beadman commented: "He came into the race at the right time. He gave me a great ride all the way through the race. He came out at the top of the stretch & gradually wore them down. I thought I was going to win at the 200m mark, but the filly just getting that little bit of an allowance told on him in the last quarter. A tremendous effort."