Issue 750

8 ISSUE 750 - THURSDAY 20 JANUARY 2022 INTERVIEW: OLIVIER PESLIER BY DUANE FONSECA Peslier wants to be in the Bay if Pevensey is to run in the Balanchine Kalino Pevensey Bay E CAME, he rode, he conquered and he left vowing to come back for more. That was French riding legend Olivier Peslier putting his time to good use over the weekend of racing. The days of Thursday and Friday to be more precise. Peslier rode in the last race at Pau in France on Thursday at about 7pm UAE time and flew straight to Dubai thereafter as he was booked to ride on the opening night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan. He was due to ridePevensey Bay for Hiroo Shimizu in the Group 2 Cape Verdi and it was nothing short of magical how the genius of Peslier managed to turn what appeared a lost cause into a scintillating victory. It was perhaps the most brilliantly and keenly contested race of the seven event programme that kicked off international racing for 2022 at Dubai’s marquee racecourse. Running in Group company for the first time, the 6yo Footstepsinthesand mare went from second last to win by almost a length over the sizable turf straight. If pace was down to Pevensey Bay, laying the tactical foundation to that terrific success was wholly Peslier, who, after finding himself locked in along the rail, steered her to the centre and a round the entire field ahead of them in the straight. The pair f i n i s h e d three-quarters of a length ahead of Niels Petersen’s Ascot Brass, the ride of Pat Cosgrave, with Charlie Appleby’s Wedding Dance a further half a length behind in the hands of William Buick. “When the trainer told me he was running a filly here and asked if I would want to ride her, I said, ‘Yeah I’m very keen to come’,” said Peslier, who rode Artemis to finish fifth in the Group 1 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown at Abu Dhabi in December. “Yesterday I rode at Pau so it was easy for me to board a flight and come here. I landed Friday morning but I know the horse well from riding and winning aboard her in France. I thought it would be a hard race, but I knew we also had a chance.” Peslier’s previous win in the UAE was in the 2015 running of the Jewel Crown, which he won withKalino, trained by Alban de Mieulle. And we could next see him riding in the Group 2 Balanchine on 4 February. And what would be better than getting the leg up on Pevensey Bay? “Of course I would love to ride her in the Balanchine, but we’ll wait and see how she comes out of this race and after that the trainer will take the decision. I don’t know the programme, but I really enjoyed it today,” the 49yo added.