UAE - A sprint finish is always the most thrilling part of a race and that’s the reason why short-distance races are more exhilarating than those run over longer trips.

The Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen, which is run over 1,200 metres on the dirt at Meydan, has produced several thrilling finishes with perhaps the 2002 running being one of the most memorable.

A strong field of 13, including Xtra Heat, the winner of nine races in his native America, went to post at Nad Al Sheba racecourse.

The line-up also included defending champion Caller One and the 2001 runner-up Men’s Exclusive.

But there was also a horse called Echo Eddie in the race who came close to upsetting all calculations.

As the finish line approached it was clear that Xtra Heat was unable to reproduce the deadly turn of foot that saw him dominate the sprints in America.

Instead, it was Caller One and big-race jockey Gary Stevens who appeared to have found the key to conquering the dirt track just as he had done the previous year.

But even as he controlled the race from the front of the field Echo Eddie was making threatening moves by his side. However, his jockey Patrick Valenzuela was struggling to keep him on course.

Echo Eddie veered sharply several times in the race but still managed to match Caller One stride for stride.

He appeared to have every chance in the final furlong but continued to hang under pressure only to lose by a head.

It was a race where you did not want to blink an eyelid in case you would miss something. Caller One was hailed a hero but Echo Eddie was by no means disgraced in defeat.

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