Switzerland came back form a 10-month layoff looking like a horse to be reckoned with in 2021 after his victory in the Jan. 21 Dubawi S. (G3) at Meydan Racecourse.
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A two-time Grade 3 winner in the United States in 2018, the 7-year-old son of Speightstown has competed exclusively at Meydan since early 2019, where his best showing prior to Thursday was a close second in a listed stakes in Feb. 2019.
Well out in the middle of the course for the backstretch run, Switzerland began to make up ground on the turn and was in a four-way battle for the lead at the top of the stretch. Stablemate Gladiator King had the lead with a furlong to run, but Switzerland overtook him winning by 1 1/4-lengths over Waady (IRE), who got the bob for second.
The final time was 1:10.86 for the six furlongs.
Jockey Tadhg O'Shea said, “I think it's a combination of a couple of things, he was a former Grade I horse in the States, and he has been gelded, he has had a summer off, probably after a long time, and he has really matured. I must say Satish (trainer Satish Seemar) and the yard were very bullish on this horse in the morning, and I said credit goes to them, I have only ridden him twice, and they were telling me all along he could be the forgotten horse and how right they were proved.”
Switzerland was making his first start for owners RRR Racing. His record now stands at 6-3-4 from 22 starts, with earnings of $567,404. He was bred in Kentucky by Branch Family Trust. Switzerland's dam Czechers has a yearling full brother to Switzerland and was bred back to Speightstown in 2020.
Speightstown has a rich history with the Dubawi S., with the ageless Reynaldothewizard winning four consecutive runnings from ages nine through 12. Reynaldo also won the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1), presumably a goal for Switzerland this year as well.