DUBAI, 26th March, 2022 (WAM) — A Case Of You struck a memorable victory for Ireland in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, sponsored by Azizi Developments, to spark emotional celebrations for his exultant connections.
Predictions the race would unfold when it mattered down the grandstand rail proved accurate as A Case Of You, drawn closest to the near side in gate 16, raced handily under his regular rider Ronan Whelan.
The Hot Streak colt hit the front between the final two furlongs and never looked vulnerable thereafter, scoring by a length and a quarter from British raider Happy Romance to the glee of County Dublin trainer Ado McGuinness and his owners, led by longstanding client Gary Devlin, who whooped joyously in the Meydan parade ring.
The favoured Man Of Promise did not appear to have any particular excuse, but still ran with credit to be third, a neck further back.
A Case Of You, bred by Derek Iceton at Tara Stud, could not attract the reserve price of €3,000 at the Goffs Sportsman’s Sale as a yearling. He began his career with trainer John McConnell before selling privately to the McGuiness stable after winning the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes as a juvenile. This was the second Group 1 win of his career having also landed the Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp last October.
Winning trainer Ado McGuinness said: “I knew he had improved plenty from the last day. Ronan Whelan gave him a great ride, he was super cool.”
He continued: “Ian Brennan has looked after him out here and has done a great job with him. He’s a very, very good horse. We might get some credit now! People said it was a weak Abbaye he won but one thing is for sure it wasn’t a weak race today. He’s only four and he’ll only get better. I think he’ll win another Group 1 this year and the long-term target at the end of the year will be back at the Breeders’ Cup.”
A Case Of You’s jockey Ronan Whelan said: “I was worried I might be getting there a bit early but he was going so well. His last furlong is always his strongest and he’s such a tough and genuine horse. Five furlongs, six furlongs, soft ground, fast ground, it doesn’t matter to him. I love him. He came on so much from the prep run on Super Saturday. Having that experience stood to him and he improved so much from it. It means the world to all the team. To win such a big race at Meydan, it’s the stuff you dream of but don’t think will happen.”
Richard Hannon, trainer of runner-up Happy Romance, said: “I’m delighted with that, she’s run a really good race. You can’t be disappointed with that, she seems to be getting better and better and she’s earned us some really nice money.”
Happy Romance’s jockey Sean Levey added: “She ran a blinder. I thought the draw maybe cost me a length and I think she would have been bang there with a better draw. She’s run a blinder and the year is young.”