Bright start on Blue Diamond Stakes Day for World Pool

World Pool


Sir Alex Ferguson-owned Spirit Dancer named World Pool Moment of the Day on Saudi Cup Day

  • Spirit Dancer was an impressive winner of the G2 Neom Turf Cup | Credit: Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia / Mathea Kelley
    Spirit Dancer was an impressive winner of the G2 Neom Turf Cup | Credit: Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia / Mathea Kelley

Wednesday 28 February 2024 – Last Saturday marked a first for World Pool as the globally commingled pools debuted on Blue Diamond Stakes Day from Caulfield and returned on Saudi Cup Day from King Abdulaziz Racecourse, with both meetings producing memorable performances amidst strong interest from global punters.

Three Group 1 races and a Group 3 from Caulfield were globally commingled for the first time, with Mr Brightside lighting up the G1 Futurity Stakes to land a sixth career G1, while in the feature Blue Diamond Stakes, filly Hayasugi got up on the line to take the HK$6.3 million prize.

Later that evening, the eyes of the international racing world refocussed on Riyadh for seven races on Saudi Cup Day, where a World Pool Moment of the Day would be judged.

Three of the seven races were won dramatically by just a head, including Senor Buscador in the world’s most valuable race, but it was the performance of the Sir Alex Ferguson-owned and bred Spirit Dancer that would be crowned Moment of the Day.

Reflecting on Spirit Dancer’s performance, trainer Richard Fahey said: “On paper it looked a tougher contest [than Bahrain], but I’d say it was a performance that was on a par with Bahrain and it looked similar, he finished his race well and did everything good. The mile and a quarter on quick ground really looks to be suiting him well.

“The whole meeting was exciting and there was a good atmosphere there. For me it’s hugely exciting, I’m just pinching myself at the moment and enjoying the trip.”

Spirit Dancer’s groom, Hayley Irvine, will receive a cheque for HK$40,000 and enter the running to be named World Pool Moment of the Year, where a VIP trip to the races in Hong Kong is up for grabs.

Fahey said: “They picked the right one because Hayley is due to get married soon, so this will be a big help for her. It’s fantastic [Hayley receiving the prize] – nearly as good as Spirit Dancer winning.

“Hayley has been with me for 16 years, and since she started in racing she’s never worked for anyone else. She’s looked after Spirit Dancer since he came here, so she’s been heavily involved with him and the yard. We’d be lost without her.”

World Pool will return on March 30 for its first ever three-meeting day, which will see races commingled from Dubai World Cup Day, as well as two new Australian race days, Australian Cup Day and Tancred Stakes Day.