03/26/2016 12:32PM

Muarrab edges X Y Jet in Dubai Golden Shaheen

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Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club
Muarrab beats X Y Jet in the Dubai Golden Shaheen on Saturday.

Muarrab, a fixture at Dubai tracks in recent years, scored a mild upset to edge the star Florida sprinter X Y Jet in Saturday’s $2 million Golden Shaheen Sprint at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.

The result was only decided in the final strides.

Muarrab, who paid $15.80 in American pools, finished a neck in front of X Y Jet after the two fought through the stretch together. A patient ride from jockey Paul Hanagan was arguably the difference.

Hanagan kept Muarrab off the pace while X Y Jet and Rich Tapestry dueled for the lead. Rich Tapestry faded in early stretch when Muarrab moved alongside X Y Jet. The two were inseparable for about a furlong until Muarrab took the lead in the last 50 yards.

“He’s such a star, this horse,” Hanagan said. “They went hard [from the start], and it suited him to sit. The other horse was very hard to pass.”

X Y Jet was favored in the Golden Shaheen, which was run at six furlongs on dirt. X Y Jet looked like a winner in early stretch.

“I got beaten fair and square, but he’s run his heart out,” said jockey Emisael Jaramillo. “There was no letup from the go, and there was no chance to get a breather into him. He still managed to run like a champion. He was very tough to pass, and it was only close to the wire that the winner got past.”

Morawij, a 50-1 outsider with British bookmakers, finished third, followed by Reynaldothewizard, Super Jockey, Confrontation, Rich Tapestry, Domineer, and Master Kochanwong. Kifaah was pulled up while racing at the back of the field.

Muarrab was timed in 1:10.59.

Aside from X Y Jet, Confrontation was the only runner in the field with recent American form. A 6-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding, Confrontation was second in the Grade 3 Westchester Stakes at Belmont Park last May. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Confrontation won the Firebreak Stakes at a mile at Meydan on Feb. 4 in his first start since June.

Muarrab has won 13 of 24 starts and earned $1,655,942. A 7-year-old British-bred gelding by Oasis Dream, Muarrab began his career racing on turf in England but struggled to compete. In the UAE, Muarrab thrived in lower-quality races at Jebel Ali Racecourse, winning eight races there from 2013 to last November.

In his last five starts, Muarrab has won three stakes, including the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal at six furlongs at Meydan on March 5.

Muarrab races for Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and trainer Musabah Al Muhairi. They teamed earlier on the program to win the $1 million Kahayla Classic for Arabians with AF Mathmoon.

X Y Jet, a 4-year-old gelding by Kantharos, has won 6 of 15 starts. Trained by Jorge Navarro, X Y Jet had won three consecutive stakes going into the Golden Shaheen, including the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint on Feb. 27.

X Y Jet is co-owned by Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm. The gelding is scheduled to be sent to trainer Peter Miller in California upon his return to the United States, Miller said this month.