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Duty Free: Irridescence in focus
by Geir Stabell / Globeform
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Not quite as famous as Karen Blixen, Irridescence is another somewhat special female coming ’Out of Africa’ to make her name on an international stage.

On Dubai World Cup night, she takes a shot at the males - clashing with Lava Man, Miesque’s Approval and Stormy River – in the Dubai Duty Free (G1). An accident in the paddock removed her from this event 12 months ago, when she was also among the favourites for the turf contest. A high class mare, she deserves a second chance, and should not be underestimated.

She had wonder mare Ouija Board back in third when beating Best Gift, a top class Hong Kong performer, in the 10-furlong Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) at Sha Tin in April. Only a head and a nose separated the first three, and Ouija Board was finishing by far the strongest. Irridescence came away with the win, however, and she produced Globeform 116 on the day, repeating the level of form that gave her an easy win over the French G2 winner Satwa Queen in the Balanchine (LR) over 9 furlongs at Nad Al Sheba back in February (on good to soft ground).

After this reappearance, Irridescence was well fancied for the Dubai Duty Free (G1) on World Cup night in March – but had to be withdrawn after an accident in the paddock. She is a very smart performer and, though yet to run up to a top class rating, she is the type of horse who can continue her climb.

Irridescence was sent to France in the summer, and ran two decent races there - without getting close to her true form. She was fifth, behind Librettist, in the Prix du Moulin (G1) at Longchamp in September and fourth, behind Mandesha, in the Prix de l’Opera (G1) at the same venue in October. She was trained by John Hammond for these runs. Irridesence was a dual G1 winner in South Africa in 2005. She was sent to the lead three furlongs out when landing the 11-furlong Zimbali Lodge Woolavington 2200 (G1) at Greyville, where she beat Joshua’s Process by 1 ¼ lengths, and her form over a mile at Sha Tin poves that she is quite a versatile performer. In fact, the French style of racing may not have suited her at all, as she is a miler with stamina. She also won the 9-furlong South African Classic (G1) at Turffontein at three.

Published: 2007-03-18 20:21:45

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