Updated on 09/18/2011 12:37AM

David Junior impressive in Duty Free

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David Junior scores a convincing win in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Nad Al Sheba racecourse.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - David Junior began his 2006 campaign the same way he ended 2005, impressively winning a Group 1 stakes.

Last October, he won the Champion Stakes at Newmarket, England. On Saturday, David Junior scored a convincing win in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Nad Al Sheba racecourse.

The Duty Free and the $5 million Sheema Classic, the preceding race on Saturday's program, are the world's richest turf races.

The Florida-bred David Junior ran about 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:49.65.

Off the pace early under jockey Jamie Spencer, David Junior rallied through the stretch to catch The Tin Man, the winner of the San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita in January.

The Tin Man, ridden by Victor Espinoza, led for most of the race after a sharp start. For the first six furlongs, The Tin Man was pursued by Whilly, second in the 2005 Duty Free for California trainer Doug O'Neill, the Australian Fields of Omagh, and Asakusa Den'en of Japan.

None of them could get to The Tin Man, who led turning into the stretch. At that point, Richard Mandella, who trains The Tin Man, thought the race was over.

"I thought he was going to win easily," Mandella said.

David Junior emerged from the pack in midstretch to challenge. The Tin Man could not keep pace late; David Junior won by 3 1/2 lengths.

The locally based Seihali finished third. Host, trained by Todd Pletcher finished fourth, while Whilly faded to finish 11th in the field of 14.

David Junior earned a $3 million prize for owners Roldvale Ltd. and Gold Group International and trainer Brian Meehan of England.