Feature Story

Emotional McDonald hails ‘Incredible’ Warrior

Emotional McDonald hails ‘Incredible’ Warrior Mar 30, 2024

By Marcus Townend - 

California Spangle dug out a resolute effort which drew on speed and stamina as he landed the $1.5million Al Quoz Sprint for Hong Kong in track record time.

The Tony Cruz-trained six-year-old, ridden by Australia Brenton Avdulla, held off the persistent challenge of Star of Mystery to win by three-quarters of a length.

He denied Frankie Dettori a 24th winner at the Dubai World Cup meeting as he delivered his mount with what looked for a second to be a perfectly timed-run as he teamed up with trainer Charlie Appleby and his old Godolphin bosses.

A further three-quarter lengths back in third was the Clive Cox-trained Diligent Harry. He ran a career-best travelling strongly deep into the race under Richard Kingscote but just unable to find the vital extra gear demanded in the last 100 yards.

The action unfolded on the inside rail, which has been favoured this season, with only Japanese runner Jasper Krone unsuccessfully heading to the stand’s side.

The early pace was set by Ponntoss and Nad Al Sheba Sprint winner Frosted At Dawn but they were both spent forces by the furlong pole, dropping tamely away. 

A blistering early gallop was also too hot for 2023 Musabbeh Al Mheiri-trained winner Danyah who could never get close enough to land a blow as he attempted to win the race for the second successive year.