09 March 2014

Vercingetorix Keeps Unbeaten Record Intact With G1 Jebel Hatta Romp

Excellent Result lands Sheema Classic Prep for Godolphin

Meydan Racecourse’s Super Saturday dress rehearsal for Dubai World Cup night in three weeks concluded with the second Group 1 Thoroughbred contest of the evening, the 1800m Jebel Hatta and the Mike De Kock-trained Vercingetorix maintained his unbeaten record.

Winner of all his four starts in his native South Africa, De Kock’s charge made a winning local debut in a handicap over this 1800m turf course and distance, the same conditions as the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free on Dubai World Cup night.

Stable companion, Anaerobio made the running under Pat Cosgrave with Christophe Soumillon never far away on the eventual winner.

As the pair turned into the straight, Cosgrave’s mount drifted off the rail, with Soumillon steering his mount into the space. They hit the front going well but Cosgrave’s mount fought back, forcing Soumillon to resort to the whip.

It was only in the final 100m that victory was assured, with Anaerobio losing second close home to Vancouverite.

De Kock said: “He is a very useful horse but it is hard to know just how good because he only ever does enough. In all his races he has travelled really well and gone to the front easily before quickening.

“He then tends to stop and wait for some company – as Christophe discovered last time. It is great to win a Group 1 here with him and the Dubai Duty Free is the obvious target.

“He did not take the travel and quarantine well and we are delighted to have him back at his best.”

Soumillon and De Kock were completing a turf double, having earlier won the Meydan Sprint with Shea Shea.

Earlier, the Group 3 Dubai City Of Gold, over the same 2410m as the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup night produced an Excellent Result for Godolphin and trainer Saeed bin Suroor with the horse of that name defeating stable companion, Songcraft in a driving finish.

Ridden by Kieren Fallon, Excellent Result led close home to deny Songcraft and William Buick by a head with Mount Athos just behind in third having perhaps been a bit unlucky with the gaps perhaps not appearing when his jockey, Jamie Spencer, would have liked.

A winner over 2810m on his previous start of the 2014 Dubai World Cup Carnival, Excellent Result was never going to be found out for stamina here and it was a hard fought effort from the winner.

Battle Of Marengo and Frankie Dettori set a modest early tempo before being swallowed up by numerous challengers 300m out. Meandre, Songcraft, Mount Athos and the eventual winner all held every chance 100m out.

Fallon said: “This fellow stays really well and his stamina has come to the fore. The early gallop was steady so I did not want to get too far back and we were lucky enough to get the breaks in the straight.

“He has the makings of a nice stayer but has the speed for this trip as well.”

Bin Suroor and Godolphin were completing a quick double having landed the proceeding Group 3 Burj Nahaar with Shuruq under Mickael Barzalona, while Fallon then partnered Bin Suroor’s Prince Bishop to win the Group 1 concluding round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.