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Forever Young enhances Kentucky Derby claims

Forever Young booked his ticket for the Kentucky Derby with a smooth success in the UAE Derby.

Advertising once again Japan’s standing on the world stage, Forever Young was following up his victory in the Saudi Derby last time out.

His sights will now be set on the Race For The Roses after he wore down Auto Bahn close home to win with authority for Yoshito Yahagi, no stranger to winning on Dubai World Cup night after his treble two years ago.

Yahagi explained how it was a poignant success: “This is after my master trainer my father passed away this morning.

“He is potentially very high class and he did not enjoy the travel to Saudi but he still performed very well.

“He travelled better to Dubai. I really believe my team will keep him in good order to go for the Kentucky Derby.”

Winning jockey Ryusei Sakai added: “His condition has improved since Saudi. I really trusted him to perform to his best today.

“I believe this horse is unbeatable at the moment. A lot of good owners and trainers have given me good opportunities, like they did on this horse.”

Ryan Moore almost pulled up Henry Adams, who failed to face the kickback, while stablemate Navy Seal finished fifth under Wayne Lordan.

The Godolphin Mile went the way of outsider Two Rivers Over for Doug O’Neill and Edwin Maldonado, in which Simon and Ed Crisford’s Swing Vote finished eighth.

“Turning for home, I was trying to get him out and in the clear,” said Maldonado.

“This means such a lot, I’m super grateful to the owners and couldn’t ask for more.”

Tadhg O’Shea was seen to great effect on Tuz in the Golden Shaheen.

O’Shea, who has made a great career for himself in the UAE, won the race two years ago on Switzerland and was a nose from victory last year on the same horse when beaten by Sibelius.

Japan’s Don Frankie made a bold bid but O’Shea spied a gap up the rail and Tuz quickened up in impressive fashion to run out a wide-margin winner.

“This makes up for a narrow defeat last year in a race that’s been lucky for me,” said the jockey. “He needed his race last time but put this to bed in a matter of strides. Back in his own back yard, he was a different horse tonight.”

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