Switzerland stormed to the lead at the top of the Meydan Racecourse on his way to victory in Saturday's $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1), giving the 8-year-old son of Speightstown his first Grade 1 win and his sire his 23rd lifetime Grade 1 winner.
Switzerland, who is owned by RRR Racing, won the Maryland Sprint S. (G3) and De Francis Dash (G3) before moving to Dubai approximately three years ago. He won the 2021 Dubawi S. (G3) and the listed Al Garhoud Sprint on New Year’s Day prior to his career-defining win on Saturday.
Breaking from the middle of the gate in the 13-horse field, Switzerland moved over towards the inside while sitting in mid-pack down the backstretch. Jockey Tadgh began to urge his mount on around the bend and was just three lengths from the front coming into the stretch. Switzerland found his best stride and surged to the lead, going on to win by 1 ¾-lengths in 1:11.13 for the six furlongs.
“It's such a fantastic result. We've always really liked the horse,” said trainer Bhupat Seemar. “Tadgh and I spoke this morning and made a plan. I knew there would be plenty of pace in the race, so we wanted to pick up the pieces. Turning for home, Tadgh said, 'We'd just go with one kick.'”
The victory made Switzerland racing’s newest millionaire, with $1,869,052 in earnings. The dark bay was bred by the Branch Family Trust in Kentucky.
Pedigree notes from the TDN
A $170,000 KEENOV weanling and $175,000 KEESEP yearling purchase, Switzerland flourished into a $500,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile buy. He is the third foal out of SW Czechers, who also hit the board in a trio of Grade III turf tests in the U.S. The 17-year-old mare is also responsible for an unraced 3-year-old filly by Connect and a juvenile filly by Speightstown. Her most recent live foal, a full brother to Switzerland, brought $350,000 at last fall's Keeneland November sale. This represents the extended family of GI Travers S. winner Willow Hour.