Same jockey, same trainers – sort of – but different Sheikh Mohammed. That was the tale of this year’s William Hill Blue Diamond Stakes, won so impressive by Pride Of Dubai on Saturday at Caulfield.

The brilliant colt provided canny Sydney trainer Peter Snowden with his third Diamond trophy in the past five years, but this time officially in partnership with son Paul, when he carried Damian Browne to victory in the $1 million Group 1.

Snowden and Browne won last year’s Diamond with Earthquake, when Snowden senior was head trainer of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum’s Darley (now Godolphin) operation, where Paul acted as his Melbourne foreman.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bred and races Pride Of Dubai and Snowden Jnr, who entered into a training partnership with his father when he vacated the Darley post last May, said it was a satisfying win.

“It’s always great to win these races, especially for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa,” he said. “This is the first group of horses he’s given us, so it’s a big result.

WATCH: The 2015 Blue Diamond won by Pride Of Dubai



“We picked this bloke out as a yearling. Out of a group of about 10 or 12 yearlings, he was the number one pick out of that bunch, so it was good of him to give him to us.

“It’s been pretty much smooth sailing with him, basically nothing has gone wrong, and this was the race we always had ear-marked for him but whether he got to it was up to him."

The son of Street Cry not only got there, but entered it as one of the biggest threats to hot favourite Fontiton, despite not having previously won a race.

His debut, at Rosehill on 20 December, produced a third placing to Ottoman while he franked his Diamond claims with a narrow second to Of The Brave in the Blue Diamond Prelude.

The colt flashed home that day and looked set to unleash a similar finish in the Diamond before becoming involved in a scrimmage with Fontiton midway down the straight.

But he was able to pick himself up and get going again in the final 100m, prevailing in a thrilling final 75m stoush with $101 outsider Reemah.

Pride Of Dubai, who started $6 second elect, scored by a head from Reemah, whileLake Geneva ($13) completed an all-maiden trifecta 1-3/4 lengths back in third spot.

Manhattan Blues ($31) flashed home hard along the fence to grab fourth in an eye-catching performance, one position ahead of Fontiton. The $2.25 favourite was ridden perfectly by Mark Zahra from the inside gate but failed to accelerate when edged into clear upon straightening.

“I lost all my momentum when the buffeting started,” Browne said. “He’s a big, strong horse so it just took little bit to get going again, but he was strong through the line.”

Despite the victory, Snowden Jnr did not immediately commit to a start in the Golden Slipper for Pride Of Dubai, who he considers an ideal type for the 1400m ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and 1600m Champagne Stakes, also at Group 1 level.

“He’s got the Sires and Champagne written all over him and we wouldn’t want to waste that,” he said.

“But I wouldn’t put the Slipper past him.”