Super Sajjhaa Claims Jebel Hatta On Landmark Day For Godolphin Trainers

Super Saturday certainly lived up to its billing, especially for Godolphin and trainer Saeed bin Suroor who combined to win four of the seven Thoroughbred races, including both the Group 1 features. These were landmark victories for the Godolphin team with Hunter’s Light providing Godolphin trainers with their 200th Group 1/Grade 1 winner in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3, over the same 2000m all-weather course and distance as the Dubai World Cup.

The world’s richest horse race, the $10million Dubai World Cup, is sponsored by Emirates Airline as was the whole of Super Saturday and Bin Suroor will be hoping that Hunter’s Light can emulate three of his previous winners of this race, Dubai Millennium, Street Cry and Electrocutionist who all won both contests.

Silvestre De Sousa rode the winner and said: “He just keeps improving and after our win in Round 2 of the Al Maktoum Challenge he was even more impressive here with the slight step up in trip suiting him.

“This is my first Group 1 winner in Dubai and the same horse supplied me with my first European Group 1 so he is clearly a real favourite of mine. Hopefully he has a big chance in the Dubai World Cup itself.”

The trainer’s quartet were all ridden by different jockeys and William Buick was in the saddle on Sajjhaa who opened her account at the highest level in the concluding Group 1 Jebel Hatta. This race was run over the same 1800m course and distance as the Dubai Duty Free.

Sajjhaa, now a 6yo mare, was actually winning for a third time at the 2013 Dubai World Cup Carnival after claiming the Cape Verdi and the Balanchine Stakes and Bin Suroor said: “She has really thrived in the Dubai weather and has pleasantly surprised us with how much she has improved. William had to be patient waiting for a gap and he gave her a great ride.”

Earlier, the trainer saddled African Story to win the Group 3 Burj Nahaar for the second year running. Mickael Barzalona rode him on this occasion to a comfortable success and the horse will surely be hard to beat as he defends his crown in the Godolphin Mile, over the same 1600m on the all-weather, in three weeks.

Kieren Fallon was aboard Secret Number who initiated the quartet in the Listed Al Bastakiya, the 1900m stepping stone towards the UAE Derby.

Nieshan won the Group 1 Purebred Arabian version of the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3, over the same course and distance as the Kahayla Classic, to become the first horse to win the race three times. Trained in Abu Dhabi by Eric Lemartinel, he was ridden by Gerald Avranche who said: "These are his optimum conditions and I was always happy. He was always going to be hard to pass once we hit the front and Eric has done remarkably well with this horse.

"We will be back in three weeks.

Both the sprints on the card were won impressively with the Mike De Kock-trained Shea Shea breaking the 1000m turf track record in the Listed Meydan Sprint, before Richard Mullen won the Group 3 Mahab al Shimaal. The pair kicked clear 200m out in the 1200m all-weather contest to post a career best effort.

The other turf race, the 2410m Group 3 Dubai City Of Gold, was won by Jakkalberry, trained in the UK by Marco Botti and running for the first time since an excellent third in last year’s Melbourne Cup. Also third in last year’s Dubai Sheema Classic, he could run in that race again this year with the 3200m Dubai Gold Cup also a feasible alternative.