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Friday, January 06, 2012


Williams and Gamilati master Meydan


His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minster of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was present at Meydan Racecourse on Friday afternoon to watch Godolphin's Gamilati score a bloodless victory in the 1400m UAE 1000 Guineas Trial Presented By Longines on the all-weather.

A Group Two winner on turf in the UK, the three-year-old daughter of Bernardini was always travelling ominously well under Frankie Dettori and once the pair hit the front about 200m out the result was never in doubt.


Trained by Mahmoud Al Zarooni, she was giving weight to all her five rivals as a result of her big race win in the UK and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said: "She did well for us in England with a good win at Newmarket and we have decided to bring here to try and win the 1000 Guineas. That will be her next start and we will then think about what she does afterwards."

Dettori added: "I was always happy that I was going best and she quickened nicely when I asked her. That was her first race on the [all-weather] and she certainly handled it well."

The two day Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting was generously sponsored by Longines and also featured the Meydan Masters International Jockey Challenge and at the conclusion of the fourth and final leg it was Australian Craig Williams who came out on top.

Ireland's Colm O'Donoghue had won the first leg on Thursday but could not maintain that advantage.

The first of the three legs on Friday, a 1900m all-weather handicap, was won by Japan's Kenichi Izekoe on Street Act for championship-leading trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe before Williams scored what proved a crucial victory on Graymalkin for trainer Mubarak bin Shafya. So close was the scoring that going into the last race all bar four of the 12 jockeys could still win the coveted prize.

That final leg, the 1400m turf Longines St Imier Collection, was won by Christophe Lemaire, ironically one of the four out of contention on Firestreak for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi.

They prevailed in a photo finish from Williams on Angels Pursuit and the ever-popular Australian ended up with 110 points to win the title from O'Donoghue who finished with 96 points.

A delighted Williams said: "These jockey competitions are great fun and it is brilliant to win one here in Dubai at such a magnificent venue. It was very close going into the last and I am really pleased to come out on top. I rode as stable jockey to John Sadler for one season about 10 years ago and have always really liked Dubai."

Bin Shafya was to complete a double and will hope that Jamr will a genuine Carnival prospect after a second consecutive impressive victory in the Longines Master Moon Phases. Having won well over 2000m on his UAE debut a fortnight ago, he followed up stepped up to 2200m under Pat Cosgrave who said: "He has not had much racing and has impressed me there as he was running away at the end having taken a moment to understand what I wanted him to do. Hopefully there is more to come."

Trainer Satish Seemar enjoyed a first and last race double with Sand Stamp winning the opening 1200m Longines Dolce Vita Collection under Richard Mullen before Harry Bentley was in the saddle on Lord Tiger who overcame a sluggish start to win the concluding Longines Conquest Collection over the same course and distance.


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