Godolphin treble highlighted by 1-2-3 domination of Friday’s carnival feature

Meydan Racecourse staged the second fixture of the 2023 Dubai World Cup Carnival on Friday evening, seven races, all for Thoroughbreds, highlighted by the Group 2 Al Rashidiya, over 1800m on turf and won for a seventh consecutive renewal by Godolphin.

James Doyle and Valiant Prince landed the spoils, leading home the same owner’s Dubai Future, trained by Saeed bin Suroor and his own stablemate Ottoman Fleet to give Godolphin a 1-2-3.

Having settled in midfield, Doyle started to close on the homebred 5yo Dubawi gelding at the top of the straight before sealing matters about 300m out. The gelding remains unbeaten at Meydan having won both his 2022 appearances, a pair of 1600m handicaps.

Doyle said: “This was a big step forward from what he has achieved, both here at Meydan and in the UK. I was a bit worried on the bend with a bit of traffic to deal with so the front two stole an initiative but that probably suited him as it turned out.
“Once we found daylight he picked up well and he is growing up mentally which he probably needed to do if he was to fulfil his undoubted potential.”

The Al Wasl Stakes, a 1200m turf conditions contest for 3yos, proved basically to be a one horse race with Mickael Barzalona and Al Dazim powering clear in the final 300m to provide trainer George Boughey a first UAE winner at just the second attempt.
It was a second local success for owner Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah from nine runners.

Boughey said: “There is another race for him over this course and distance not too far away but he worked really well on the dirt the other day so trying him on that has always been in our thoughts. We will just enjoy this and think about the future later.”

Also for 3yos but over 1400m on dirt, the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial provided Barzalona a rapid double, probably never headed aboard Tiger Nation who proved a class apart from his seven rivals for Salem bin Ghadayer and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.

A colt by Tamarkuz, he had won a 1200m Jebel Ali maiden in style on his only previous start, on New Year’s Day, and built on that in style here.

Barzalona said: “He obviously loves the dirt and should stay further so, hopefully, there is a lot more to come from him.”

A new conditions race this year for fillies and mares, the 1400m Ipi Tombe Stakes was dominated by Godolphin, Saeed bin Suroor saddling the 1-2 with Danny Tudhope and Soft Whisper thwarting a brave attempt from stable companion White Moonlight to make all under Pat Cosgrave.

Bin Suroor said: “The winner, she just keeps improving physically and is bigger and stronger than last year. We have looked after her as we have always liked but she has had a few problems.”

Also a welcome addition to the carnival roster and a conditions contest, the Thunder Snow Stakes, over the same 2000m on dirt as the Dubai World Cup, won twice by the Godolphin star recognised in the race title, was won stylishly by Salute The Soldier, soon at the head of affairs and with the race in safekeeping early in the straight under Adrie de Vries in the colours of Victorious for Fawzi Nass.

De Vries said: “That was very special and I am just so happy for the horse and the whole team behind him. That was a tough race but he did that nicely and he is a very good horse.”

The opening 1600m dirt handicap developed into a duel over the final 300m with early leader Down On Da Bayou responding gallantly to the urgings of Barzalona only to be denied right on the line by Royal Mews, partnered by Tadhg O’Shea for Bhupat Seemar and Deva Racing.

A 6yo Siyouni gelding, Royal Mews was winning for a third time and doubling his local tally in the process having won a conditions race under O’Shea over this course and distance in February last year.

O’Shea said: “He is a really nice horse with a great bunch of owners so we have to be delighted to get past a very good mare who made us work hard.”

Over the same trip but on turf, the concluding handicap went to Electrical Storm, a third winner on the card for Godolphin and second for both Bin Suroor and Tudhope.