03/26/2011 11:29AM

Rocket Man runs down Euroears in Golden Shaheen


Rocket Man avenged a narrow loss in the $2 million Golden Shaheen in 2010 with a victory in the same race in Dubai on Saturday, catching American pacesetter Euroears in the final sixteenth of the race over about six furlongs.

Ridden by Felix Coetzee, Rocket Man, who was sent off as the 4-5 favorite in United States betting pools, won by about 2 1/2 lengths over Euroears, who won the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Stakes at Santa Anita in January for trainer Bob Baffert. Sunny King, a Hong Kong-based turf sprinter, closed well to finish third, a neck behind Euroears.

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Coetzee had Rocket Man well-placed throughout, stalking Euroears while racing on the outside. Euroears led by about a length with a furlong remaining, but Rocket Man made steady ground in deep stretch to score the richest win of his career.

Rocket Man, a 6-year-old Australian-bred gelding, has won 14 of 18 starts and $3,233,690. Based in Singapore with trainer Pat Shaw, Rocket Man has never been worse than second. Last year, he was beaten a half-length by Kinsale King in the Golden Shaheen.

Kinsale King did not start in Saturday’s Golden Shaheen despite making the trip. Trainer Carl O’Callaghan scratched Kinsale King earlier in the day because of swelling in a leg..