Thursday, January 26, 2012
Impressive Al Rashidiya win for Musir
Musir could not have been more impressive when winning the Dubai Duty Free-sponsored Group 2 Al Rashidiya, the 1800m turf feature at Meydan on Thursday evening, in front of a large crowd which included His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minster of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Jockey Christophe Soumillon oozed confidence throughout on the Mike de Kock-trained five-year-old son of Redoute’s Choice who was following up an equally impressive win in the Group 3 Al Maktoum Challenge Round I (1600m all-weather) on his previous start.
Never far off the pace under Soumillon, he eased to the front early in the straight and never looked in danger afterwards. De Kock is currently in South Africa and Soumillon said: "This is my favourite horse as he gave me my first big wins in Dubai. There was no pace in the race at all and that has suited him as he has such good acceleration. We think he is better on grass than [the all-weather] and hopefully a genuine Dubai Duty Free contender."
The Godolphin trainers continued their fine start to the Carnival and won half of the six races between them, with Saeed Bin Suroor responsible for two of the winners.
Number one jockey Frankie Dettori was in the saddle on the trainer's African Story who made a winning local debut in the 1400m Dubai Duty Free Foundation handicap.
The Italian jockey then denied the trainer a quick double when partnering the Mahmoud Al Zarooni-trained Capponi to a thrilling victory in the 1900m Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire, denying bin Suroor's Sarrsar in a hard fought contest when both horses led at various stages in the final 100m.
Capponi set a new tarck record in the process and Dettori, having just performed a second flying dismount, said: "It has been a good evening and African Story has done well to give weight all round against some proven Carnival handicappers. We had a nice draw and I was never worried."
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed arrived in time to see Capponi's battling success and the Italian added: "I probably did not go quick enough on him last time when Sarrsar beat us so it is nice to get in front of him this time."
Singapore-based trainer Steven Burridge is enjoying a remarkable Carnival and the three-year-old Dark Matter recorded his second win of 2012 with victory in the 1400m turf Dubai Duty Free handicap under Ted Durcan. Remarkably, Burridge has now saddled four winners from only five runners!
Durcan said: "That is a good effort from a young horse against seasoned handicappers. The UAE 2,000 Guineas in a fortnight is his aim after he won the trial race a fortnight ago."
Bahrain opened their Carnival account when the Krypton Factor made all the running under Kieren Fallon to win the opening 1200m Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise handicap for owner/trainer Fawzi Nass who said: "We have been trying for a while and endured some near misses over the years but hoped the drop back to sprinting would help him. We did not want to take on the older horses with him last year so were patient. I have owned a few winners here in the past but it is great to finally train one."
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