27 February 2015

Godolphin Dominate Meydan Group Races with Zabeel Mile and UAE Oaks Double

The Group 2 Zabeel Mile was the official feature at the eighth meeting of the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival on Thursday and the 1600m turf feature was won by Godolphin’s Safety Check, ridden by William Buick for Charlie Appleby.

Buick and Safety Check had won the 1400m Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort on their previous outing and were penalised here for that success but followed up in good style, setting a new track record in the process.

Always travelling well in midfield, Buick asked his mount to close 600m from home and the pair made smooth progress to hit the front inside the final 200m and win going away.

“This horse has just really thrived since arriving in Dubai,” said Appleby. “I still feel he is better over 1400m but he has certainly seen out the trip well tonight. William gave him a perfect ride and that will be him finished for the Carnival.

“He deserves a break so we will get him back to England and probably aim him at Glorious Goodwood where the Lennox Stakes looks a suitable target.”

Buick was completing a turf feature double having already won the Listed Meydan Classic, a 1600m turf contest restricted to the three-year-old generation. The victory went to Scandinavia, more specifically Sweden with Volatile providing trainer Jessica Long with her first UAE winner.

In a contest where those who raced prominently dominated, William Buick tracked Dane O’Neill and Mastermind on the winner and was forced to get serious with his mount throughout the final 500m.

Mastermind found plenty for O’Neill’s urgings and it was only about 100m from the line that Buick was able to get his mount’s head in front.

Wychwood Warrior was third, just holding on to a position he held throughout the majority of the race.

“I am absolutely delighted,” said wining trainer Long. “We were hopeful of a big run as he ran really well behind Mastermind in the 1400m trial for this race and we hoped the extra 200m was in our favour.

“William has given him a great ride and this is a massive result for our yard and Sweden.”

Godolphn stalwart Saeed bin Suroor strengthened his domination of the 1900m Group 3 UAE Oaks, saddling Local Time to win comfortably and provide the trainer with his tenth victory in the dirt feature.

Ridden by James Doyle, she also became the fifth filly to complete the UAE 1,000 Guineas/Oaks double.

Only five went to post and Doyle was content to take a lead from Paul Hanagan on Shahrasal with Local Time always travelling well within herself. As the runners turned for home it was clear Local Time had the measure of Shahrasal, with no obvious dangers in behind.

The jockey waited until the 400m pole before easing his mount to the front and they stormed clear to win easily.

“I was always confident,” said Doyle. “She has thrived this year in Dubai and that is her third win of the season and second Classic.

“She is uncomplicated and a joy to ride. She makes my job easy.”

The meeting opened with a 1200m dirt handicap and, with stable jockey Richard Mullen in action in Qatar, apprentice Marc Monaghan took full advantage of the opportunity aboard Price Is Truth, trained by Satish Seemar.

Having lost his race with tardy starts in each of his two previous outings, he was well away on this occasion and stalked early leader Nawwaar until halfway up the straight. It was at this stage Monaghan asked his mount to win his race and he found the response he wanted.

“He broke well today,” said Monaghan. “He was always travelling strongly and quickened nicely when I asked him. He can improve on his.”

They lowered the track record in the process.

With 15 runners, the 1600m dirt handicap attracted the biggest field of the evening and it produced a great finish with Mickael Barzalona delivering Pit Stop to lead in the dying strides, denying Not A Given who only led briefly having passed Muhtaram about 100m out.

Trained by Salem bin Ghadayer, Pit Stop was making it third time lucky in the UAE having been off the track for almost a month.

“They went a really good gallop,” said Barzalona. “That fast pace has really helped him and he was running on well in the final 300m and we hit the front where it mattered.”

He too broke the previous track record.

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum was responsible for four of the nine runners in the 1400m dirt handicap and supplied the 1-2-3 with Silvestre De Sousa making all on Mashaaref for Musabah Al Muhairi.

De Sousa sent his mount for home at the top of the straight and the pair soon had a healthy and insurmountable lead with Muaanid snatching second from Shaishee close home.

Continuing the evening’s theme on the dirt track, it was another track record.

“He broke very well and I was able to get straight to the front,” said De Sousa. “He enjoyed himself and quickened nicely to settle matters in style.”

The concluding 1600m turf handicap was won by Flying The Flag, leading in the dying strides with Johnny Geroudis riding for Mike De Kock.