01/29/2009 1:00AM

Silver Mist wins Duty Free prep


Silver Mist charged through a fog-enshrouded stretch at Nad Al Sheba on Thursday night for a hard-fought victory in the Group 3, $200,000 Al Rashidiya, the first of three local preps for the $5 million Dubai Duty Free.

Mashaahed led the field until approaching the sixteenth pole, when Silver Mist and rider Kevin Shea emerged from the fog in the lead. Silver Mist, a South African-bred gelding trained by Mike de Kock, then held off the late rally of Third Set by a neck, with the fast-closing Kirklees three-quarters of a length further back in third. Mashaahed held on for fourth, beaten 1 3/4 lengths by the winner, whose time for the 1 1/8 miles on a good turf course was 1:50.70.

Silver Mist had been just 6 for 32 in South Africa, his lone stakes score coming in February 2007 in the listed Milers Stakes at Durbanville. Bought last autumn by Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, he was turned over to de Kock in Dubai. He is now 2 for 2 at Nad Al Sheba, having won a 7 1/2-furlong turf handicap in his Dubai debut on Jan. 15. De Kock was noncommittal about Silver Mist's next start.

* Frankie Dettori took off all four of his mounts Thursday night because of illness. He was replaced on the Godolphin-owned Kirklees in the Al Rashidiya by Ted Durcan.