Updated on 03/01/2012 9:39AM

Gulfstream: Royal Delta, Perfect Shirl don't disappoint Mott, Attfield

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Barbara D. Livingston
Royal Delta, with Jose Lezcano aboard, comes back after finishing second in the Sabin.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainers Bill Mott and Roger Attfield said neither was disappointed in the 2012 debuts of their Breeders’ Cup winners Royal Delta and Perfect Shirl in stakes races here this weekend.

Royal Delta, making her first start since sewing up an Eclipse Award with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, finished a distant second behind Awesome Maria in the Grade 2 Sabin. Mott was using the 1 1/16-mile Sabin as a prep for Royal Delta’s first major goal this season, the $10 million Dubai World Cup, on March 31.

“She came out of the race real well,” Mott said Sunday. “She looked great this morning, ate up and she’s sound. Right now we’re still planning on taking her to Dubai. I’m not discouraged at all in her performance. The Sabin wasn’t our goal. She needed the race and it will be a different ballgame when we get to Dubai going a mile and one quarter over a synthetic surface.”

Attfield echoed pretty much the same sentiments regarding Perfect Shirl who is also scheduled to make her next start on March 31 in Dubai in the Sheema Classic.  Perfect Shirl finished eighth as the 9-5 favorite on Saturday in the Grade 3 The Very One Stakes, her first outing since she upset the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf four months earlier.

“She came out of the race fine just very, very tired, ” Attfield said. “I knew going in she’d probably get tired, she had a bit of a disrupted winter after her trip to Argentina was canceled, but she did tire a little earlier than I thought. Getting a good race into her five weeks out will help that situation. The owner really wants to go to Dubai. We’ll see how she does the next few weeks but if all goes well, she’ll be there.”

Perfect Shirl is owned by Charles E. Fipke.