Global horseracing has moved gradually and successfully toward the embrace of syndicates, in both horses retired for stud duty and active athletes on the track, with the latter becoming increasingly popular in the UAE. One such group that has quickly made itself known in Dubai is Phoenix Ladies Syndicate, which is off to an auspicious start, winning its first two races with two first-time starters in consecutive weeks this season.
Akin to the powerful Phoenix Thoroughbreds operation—a fledgling high-end thoroughbred investment fund based in Dubai and with horses competing in Dubai, USA, Europe and Australia—the female counterpart appears poised to make some proverbial noise of its own.
“It feels amazing to go two-for-two,” said Teresa Starr, principal. “It's like a dream. We had hoped for it, obviously, but this is amazing. We have 11 in training at the moment and we are going to see how that goes. We think they're all great.”
Both of its winners are trained by Ahmad bin Harmash and were ridden to victory by jockey Connor Beasley. The first of which was a son of Violence named Walking Thunder, who dominated the Emirates Holidays maiden on Nov. 1 over 1400 meters. Exactly one week later, Superior, by Majesticperfection, out-battled highly regarded Doug Watson trainee Martial Art in the Longines Ladies Master Collection over 1600 meters. They cost US $42,000 and $50,000, respectively, at the OBS April 2018 2-year-olds in training sale (Florida) and appear well-positioned on the road to the world's richest dirt derby, the Group 2 $2.5 million UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup night (Mar. 30).
“We're an offshoot from Phoenix Thoroughbreds and we saw that there was a gap in the market for ladies,” Starr concluded. “Ultimately, what we would love to see is something similar to Japan, where there would be special ladies prizes and opportunities here in the UAE. We want to encourage more ladies to come and get involved.”
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