Animal Kingdom may have stolen the headlines on Dubai World Cup night, but there was still plenty to cheer for race-goers at Meydan. Here, Sport360°, wraps up all the winners from the other eight races on the card.
Duty Duty Free
Godolphin’s Sajjhaa broke her own track record in winning the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free, recording her fourth success of the year.
Never far off the pace under Silvestre De Sousa, she quickened to lead 300m out and ran on too strongly for The Apache, the horse who had also chased her home three weeks ago.
The fitting of a hood at the start of the campaign has really transformed the mare, now a six-year-old, who was always held in high regard by her previous trainer, the late Michael Jarvis, before joining the Dubai-owned stable.
She has now won twice at this level and twice at Group 2 in Dubai and De Sousa said: “I thought she was the one they all had to beat and she has not stopped improving all year. She has a good turn of foot and can really utilise it on this fast ground.”
The time of 1min 47.93sec broke her own record of 1min 48.58sec, set when she won the Group 2 Balanchine on her second start of the Carnival.
Dubai Sheema Classic
St Nicholas Abbey exacted revenge in record style to make up for his misery 12 months ago in the Group 1 Sheema Classic.
Runner-up in the same race last year, he made no mistake this time under Joseph O’Brien, riding his first UAE winner and competing a double for his trainer father Aidan after the UAE Derby victory of Lines Of Battle.
O’Brien tracked early leader Shareta before sending his mount, a multiple Group 1 winner already, to the front about 500 metres out. The pair ran on strongly and always looked like they were going to hold the challenge of Japanese filly Gentildonna.
Joseph O’Brien said: “It was disappointing to be beaten in this last year when we really thought he would be hard to beat so it is nice to win this time. This horse is very tough, very special, gives his best every day, relaxes, and finds plenty.”
Dubai Golden Shaheen
The Group 1 Golden Shaheen, over 1,200m, provided jockey Richard Mullen with the biggest winner of his career when Reylaldothewizard completed a 2013 Carnival hat-trick when storming clear just under 400m out and held on grimly from Balmont Mast with Krypton Factor third.
Trained by Satish Seemar, the 7yo was disappointing on his 1,400m seasonal debut in December, but the fitting of blinkers reaped immediate success in a 1,200m conditions race and he has never looked back.
Mullen said: “It is a great result for the whole team – a lot off hard work has gone into this. I am the lucky one who gets to ride them. This will probably take a while to sink in.”
Al Quoz Sprint
Jockey Christophe Soumillon hardly had to move a muscle as the Mike de Kock trainer Shea Shea smashed his own track record in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint.
Soumillon, also completing a double after the opening Purebred Arabian contest, tracked the early pace before switching wide to challenge 2010 winner Joy And Fun. A flick of his whip and it was all over and Soumillon said: “That was amazing. He is just exceptionally fast.”
De Kock has now targeted Royal Ascot for the King’s Stand Stakes which could a possible match-up against the legendary Black Caviar. And he added: “We knew he would be hard to beat but that was very impressive. We will take him to Europe and perhaps Hong Kong.”
After Daddy Long Legs in 2012, Lines of Battle, ridden by Ryan Moore, brought a second successive win for Aidan O’Brien in the Group 2 UAE Derby.
It sealed a spot in the Kentucky Derby and the Irishman, whose charge beat Elleval and Secret Number, added: “It is great to win this race again and hopefully bodes well for our threeyear- olds this season.”
Dubai Gold Cup
The longest race on the card, the Group 3 Dubai Gold Cup, was won impressively by Godolphin’s Cavalryman.
Saeed bin Suroor’s charge showed a telling burst of acceleration 400m out to settle matters in a few strides, running on too strongly for stable companion Ahzeemah with French filly Verema third.
Jockey Silvestre De Sousa said: “We were very confident coming into the race as he is a proven Group 1 performer with very good form in the book.”
The UAE 2000 Guineas winner Soft Falling Rain won the Group 2 Godolphin Mile ahead of Haatheq, making it a one-two for owner His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Dubai Kahayla Classic
The Group 1 Kahayla Classic went to Qatar for the third time in four years with Al Mamun Monlau denying Versac PY.
Trainer Jean Francois Bernard said: “He is the best 3yo in France and liked it here from the day he arrived.”