Villain sinks Sea Of Heaven

Arch Villain got the better of fellow Rest Of The World team runner Sea Of Heaven in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers.

Arch Villain (left) wins the stayers race

Gavin Lerena deserved plenty of credit for getting Arch Villain in front after an excellent ride in which he dictated the early fractions before taking a lead from Sea Of Heaven as Kenichi Ikezoe made his move around the home turn.

Arch Villain stayed on well up the inside to get back on terms and he edged ahead in the run for the line as the Rest Of The World team filled the first two positions.

Saigon City finished third for the Girls team under Josephine Gordon.

Lerena, champion jockey in South Africa last year, said: "I took up the lead early and I wasn't really challenged up front. Connections told me that my horse likes to gallop, so I let him run down to just past the 10 furlongs and gave him a breather up the hill.

"They decided to come around me but it suited me nicely and he was full of running all the way to the line.

"He kept going and tried all the way to the line. I've walked the track twice and had a plan in mind for the race so it was nice for it to come together.

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"It's great to be riding at Ascot and to win is amazing and it's great for South Africa too.

"It's an amazing feeling – my first ride at Ascot and to manage to get a win. This horse is full of heart and it is a great experience. The world is our oyster and I am just enjoying every minute. I love my job and it is amazing riding winners.

"I'd love to come back to Britain again and if I have the right opportunity, I will grab it with both hands."

Ikezoe, not used to riding over this extended trip in his native Japan, lacked the energy of Lerena in the closing stages and agreed: "I'm very tired after that!

"He has pulled very hard all the way round as we went very slowly. He wanted to go quicker so I let him stride to the front before the home straight.

"He's run very well but I've been beaten by a good horse I think."

Standings after Race Two:

Rest Of The World 35

Europe 28

The Girls 12

GB & Ireland 5

Read More at Sporting Life

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