Every year produces some shocks and surprises on the track and the loss by 2/5 favourite Postponed in the recent Group 2 Dubai City of Gold Sponsored by Emirates SkyCargo at Meydan will certainly not be the last unexpected result of 2017.
The Group 1 star was somewhat fractious before being loaded into the stalls, he did not have a clear passage at a key stage of that 12-furlong contest and his finish came too late: Prize Money got the verdict by a neck.
The winner is a Darley-bred four-year-old in the Saeed bin Suroor stable and he has won three of his four starts since being gelded last August. He had, to that point, been listed and Group 3 placed from six starts.
His stronger profile began with victory in a valuable 12-furlong handicap at Doncaster in November, raising his rating from 107 to 113. He was runner-up in a handicap over the same trip at Meydan in January, won a similar contest last month, and went into the Dubai City of Gold rated 115.
Prize Money will need to improve again if he is going to be able to win at the same level in Europe, but he is a son of Derby hero and Haras du Logis stallion Authorized (by Montjeu) and out of a half-sister to a champion and classic heroine, so further big-race success may indeed be within his compass.
He is out of the juvenile winner Dresden Doll (by Elusive Quality) and his siblings include Dubai One (by Exceed And Excel), a useful late-season two-year-old in 2016 and whose career path appears to be going in to quite a different direction to that of her brother.
Although he is a high-class middle-distance horse, she is a sprinter and her only time out of the frame in six starts is when she was fifth of six at Newmarket in a race for which she was favourite. She dropped to the minimum trip for her final two starts, winning at Newcastle and Wolverhampton, and she finished the year on a mark of 88.
Dresden Doll is among 10 winners out of the one-time juvenile scorer Crimson Conquest (by Diesis) and those siblings include Group 2 Lancashire Oaks runner-up Local Spirit (by Lion Cavern), Group 3 Chester Vase scorer Dutch Gold (by Lahib), and best of all, champion filly Crimplene (by Lion Cavern).
She won the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Coronation Stakes, Group 1 Nassau Stakes and Group 2 Henkel Rennen (German 1000 Guineas), and although this ace miler has not produced anything at stud with her level of talent, she is the dam of the Group 3-placed Crimson Sun (by Danzig) and grandam of Group 2 runner-up Gold City (by Pivotal).
Her dam's tally of 10 winners from 14 foals was beaten by the total of 11 from 15 achieved by her stakes-placed grandam, Sweet Ramblin Rose (by Turn-To), and that string included the US Grade 2 winners Rambin Guy (by Ogygian) and Sword Blade (by Damascus).
Prize Money has a long way to go if he is to be able to overtake his 'aunt' Crimplene as being the brightest star in the recent generations of his family, but he clearly has ability and there should be some more good pots to be won with him.