01/25/2007 12:00AM

Tropical Star comes from behind


Tropical Star came with a late rush under Royston Ffrench to nab Thajja on the line for a short head victory in the Group 3, $200,000 Al Shindagha Sprint at Nad Al Sheba on Thursday night.

A 7-year-old Irish-bred son of Machiavellian, Tropical Star had been 10th last week in the one-mile Maktoum Challenge but clearly relished this return to his favorite distance of six furlongs, over which he had won the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal here last March 2. He was allowed to lag behind in the 16-runner field as two Brazilians, first Para-Choque and then Aliysa, led the way. A 3-year-old Southern Hemisphere filly, Aliysa was only headed at the sixteenth pole as Thajja assumed control for owner Hamdan al-Maktoum, only to have Tropical Star swoop late for the score. His time for the straight six furlongs on a fast dirt track was 1:10.11. Aliysa held on for third, 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner, as Para-Choque, who was cut off by Aliysa as she grabbed the lead approaching the quarter pole, faded to 11th.

Trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe for Mohammed bin Maktoum al-Maktoum, the son of the late Dubai ruler and Gainsborough Stud owner, Maktoum al-Maktoum, Tropical Star is likely to use the Mahab Al Shimaal on March 1 as a final prep for the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 31.