01/27/2011 3:40PM

Presvis sharp in Dubai victory

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Presvis returned to form at Meydan Thursday night when he swept to a last-to-first 4 3/4-length victory in the Group 2, $200,000 Al Rashidiya, a 1 1/8-mile course-and-distance prep for the $5 million Dubai Duty Free.

Breaking from the wide outside in post 13, Presvis, a Luca Cumani-trained 7-year-old son of Sakhee, was slowly away as usual, with rider Ryan Moore content to lag behind until beginning a patient move midway around the turn about 3 1/2 furlongs from home. Longshots Tequilla Heights and Tam Lin shared the lead setting slow fractions as Moore began guiding Presvis through traffic. The Red Sea opened at the three sixteenths pole and Presvis took advantage, leading a furlong out and going quickly clear. Steele Tango was along for second, 1 3/4-lengths in front of Godolphin’s fading Caymans. Irish Flame, sent off as the favorite after a victory last spring in the South African Derby and a second-place finish in the Durban July Cup, never really got untracked in coming home fourth, beaten 7 3/4 lengths by the winner, who clocked 1:49.56 for the nine furlongs on good ground.

Presvis, who had earned $3.3 million in 20 previous starts that included victories in the 2009 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin and last year’s Group 2 Jebel Hatta over the Al Rashidiya course and distance, was ending a string of four unplaced efforts in making his first start since finishing ninth in last June’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. Cumani will prep him for the Dubai Duty Free in a March 3 defense of his Jebel Hatta title.