Feature Story

‘Russian Frankel’ Tuz one of a brilliant double for Zabeel

‘Russian Frankel’ Tuz one of a brilliant double for Zabeel Mar 30, 2024

By Duane Fonseca - 

After a narrow miss last year, the 2024 running of the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen brought a sweet winning return to the winners’ enclosure for 2022 winning Zabeel Stables pair of Bhupat Seemar and Tadhg O’Shea as Tuz capitalised along the fence to win the dirt sprint sponsored by Nakheel.

Taking full advantage of a vital gap that opened up along the rail in the straight, O’Shea slipped his Group 3 Dubawi Stakes champ into top gear. He had to decelerate soon after deciding to go, however, as Takashi Saito’s pacesetting Don Frankie appeared to narrow the gap. 

But with plenty left in the tank, Tuz was asked to stretch fully and obliged with a solid kick to win by a massive six and a half lengths. Don Frankie was second under Cristian Demuro, with Nakatomi a further three quarter lengths behind for trainer Wesley Ward and Jamie Spencer.

“He’s got so much natural speed; his weapon is his speed,” said winning trainer Bhupat Seemar. 

“He’s always been a fast horse and it’s like Switzerland - he ran poorly in Saudi and then won the Shaheen. Sprinters mature and they know what to do. I had some confidence.”

Winning jockey Tadhg O’Shea said: “He’s very fast. We had a great gate number (two) but we were getting pressured a long way out. He had to be good and tough. There wasn’t much room to manoeuvre down the inside, but I had a good, willing partner. 

“He’s a big horse. When he straightened up, he went through the eye of a needle. I was a length down off Cristian (Demuro) on the home turn. I gave (Tuz) a squeeze and the response was immediate. 

“He’s a high class horse and when he gets a rail to shoot at, he’s very, very, very good.”