Friday, February 13, 2009


Party in the desert for Godolphin


The Godolphin team enjoyed a memorable night at Nad Al Sheba as the dominated the sixth meeting of the 2009 Dubai International Racing Carnival, kindly sponsored by Gulf News, when supplying four of the seven winners.

The quartet was highlighted by Desert Party who won the night’s feature, the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas for three-year-olds over 1600m on the dirt.


Frankie Dettori asked his mount to chase Redding Colliery and Godolphin stable companion Regal Ransom over 400m out and the pair hit the front at the 200m pole to win going away.

Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor was delighted: “We knew he had come out of his last race very well and improved from that run. This extra distance was never going to be a concern and, all being well, he will be UAE Derby bound.”

There was also a three-year-old conditions race, the GNP Plate, over 1300m on turf, and Godolphin clearly have a strong team in this age division as they won it with City Style who showed a nice turn of foot to land the spoils.

Earlier Bin Suroor and Dettori combined with Yamal to win the 4Men Trophy, a 1600m dirt handicap, before winning the concluding Xpress 2000 turf handicap with Kirklees after which the trainer explained: “Obviously it has been a great night and the horses are in good form. We are very pleased with the three-year-olds but Kirklees is a very nice horse also and he has done that nicely.”

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Mike De Kock and Johnny Murtagh are another formidable combination and won two of the first three races with Warsaw taking the opening 1400m dirt handicap, the GNADS4U, and Art of War in the Wheels 2000 handicap, also on dirt.

De Kock was pleased with those efforts: “Johnny (Murtagh) has pinched that on Art of War by kicking for home when he did – it was a great ride and the horse deserved a change of luck after a narrow defeat last week. Warsaw we thought would go on the dirt and he too was a bit unlucky last week.”

Force Freeze, trained by UAE Champion Trainer Doug Watson, won the 1100m Insideout Trophy in the hands of Fernando Jara.

Never far off the pace, he led 400m out but was probably headed 200m out before battling back bravely.

Watson explained: “When he was beaten last time we probably ran him back too quickly so we have freshened him up. That has worked and we will give him a bit of a break now.”

Three lucky racegoers collected Aed60,000 apiece for selecting all seven winners.


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