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Race reports, with career details, form assessments and pedigree notes, posted between each race at the Dubai International Racing Carnival, where today's feature is the UAE 2000 Guineas (G3).
Thursday 12 February:
DESERT LEADS GODOLPHIN PARTY IN GUINEAS
SAEED BIN SUROOR saddled the first two home in the UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) but the stable’s expensive purchase Vineyard Haven was not in the mix. Bitterly disappointing back in fourth, he had no chance with DESERT PARTY, ridden by Frankie Dettori. Desert Party was given a confident ride. After sitting just off the pace, the ex-Eoin Harty trainee came with a determined run to outstay REGAL RANSOM (Red Ransom), just like he had also in the prep for this Guineas.
The winner, a $2,1 million two-year-old at Fasig-Tipton Sales, is a son of Dubai World Cup (G1) and Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) winner Street Cry, out of the Tabasco Cat daughter Sage Cat. After winning the Sanford, he was sixth to Vineyard Haven (who had been 3rd in the Sanford) in the Hopeful Stakes (G1), also at Saratoga.
There can be little doubt that Desert Party is a strong contender for the UAE Derby (G2) on World Cup night and, if he continues to improve at the current rate, this tough and game colt could well end up in the Kentucky Derby field.
WARZAW ran out a game winner of the opener, the GNAds4U Handicap over 1400 metres on the dirt track. After stalking the early leader Fervent Prince from the outset, Warzaw, an ex-Aidan O’Brien trainee, kicked into a clear lead in midstretch and was by far the best. He was ridden by Johnny Murtagh for Mike de Kock. Fervent Prince rallied for second, after having come under pressure early in the straight, while the favourite Green Coast took third.
The winner, a son of Danehill Dancer out of For Evva Silca (Piccolo), won over 5 and 6 furlongs in Ireland as a juvenile and was successful over 6 furlongs at Kempton Park in England last August. This was his fourth win from nine career starts, and there should be more to come. He was fourth to Asset in a competitive handicap on the turf course last week. Warzaw was bred by Redpender Stud Ltd. in Ireland.
YAMAL continued Godolphin’s excellent run of form by landing the odds in the 4Men Trophy Handicap, a 14-runner contest over a mile on the dirt track. He was up with the pace throughout, had the lead passing the furlong-marker, and ran on to hold a late challenge by Jonquil, who came from off the pace, while Little White Lie just held third from the staying-on Tawaash. Frankie Dettori rode a fine race on Yamal (Green Desert), who was coming off a second to Ragheed on the turf course last month. Yamal, trained by Mark Johnston to win three races in Engald last year, was bred by Gainsborough Stud Management in Ireland. His dam, Pioneer Bride, is a US bred daughter of Gone West.
Jet Express unseated rider Royston French, who managed to hold on to the horse, shortly after the start.
ART OF WAR was second to early leader MUTASALLIL in the Wheels 2000 Handicap - tonight’s race three – a moderately run race over 10 furlongs on the dirt. Mutasallil weakened in the straight, when Art Of War and Johnny Murtagh took over. Dettori came with what looked a serious challenge on the favourite FAMILIAR TERRITORY but Art Of War quickened away again and was soon under wraps. Another win for Johnny Murtagh. Familiar Territory was a clear second, as we saw a Mike de Kock / Saeed bin Suroor exacta. Art Of War, bred by Summerhill Stud in South Africa, is a son of Kahal out of the Northern Guest mare Cariad. This was his fourth start at the Carnival, and his form has been steadily progressing this winter. Art of War was a close second to Roman’s Run over 8.5 furlongs at this track last time out. He has now won five times from 21 starts and has a near 50% record in the first two.
CITY STYLE, an attractive chestnut colt by City Zip, had little to beat in the GNB Plate over 6.5 furlongs on the turf course, as his stablecompanion Jose Adan faded tamely in the straight. These two Godolphin runners, both with smart form in the US last year, were head and shoulders above everything else in this 3yo event. City Style, fourth to Donativum in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita last October, showed clear signs of inexperience under Dettori, but came with an easy run from mid-pack to win as he pleased. BALCARCE NOV (Romanov) , trained by Herman Brown and ridden by John Egan, ran on for second, ahead of DR SMART.
The winner was as impressive as could be here, cutting back in distance after showing his best over further last year, and it will be interesting to follow his progress. City Style landed the Sunday Silence Stakes at Louisiana Downs last year, when prepping for the Breeders’ Cup. He was trained by Cheryl Asmussen at two.
Bred by Stonerside Stable, City Style is the first foal out of the stakes-winning Brattothecore (Katahaula County), bought privately by Stonerside after her racing career. Brattothecore raced for Jam Jar Racing Stable and won both her starts at two, including the restricted Ontario Lassie Stakes, before landing the restricted Labatt Bison City Stakes at three.
DOUG WATSON provided the winner, 4yo FORCE FREEZE (Forest Camp) as the odds-on favourite J J The Jet Plane was a huge disappointment in the 5.5-furlong Insideout Trophy. This straight dirt sprint developed into a bettle between Force Freeze, ridden by Fernando Jara, and the consistent STAR CROWNED, as in two previous starts at the Carnival partnered by Mick Kinane. CHANGE ALLEY, coming off only a six-day break, was third without threatening the top two. Force Freeze beat Salaam Dubai when taking a minor event at this venue on New Year’s day, and he was fifth to Big City Man in the Al Shindagha Sprint (G3) three weeks ago – when Star Crowned finished second. Big City Man aside, the UAE dirt sprinters are nothing much this year, and North American trainers will probably have a field day when we get to the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) on World Cup night next month.
A FOURTH WINNER for Frankie Dettori rounded out the night, and his ride on the Irish bred Jade Robbery son KIRKLEES in the 10-furlong Xpress 2000 Handicap was a very comfortable one. Frankie just had to show Kirklees, who was racing off 112, daylight in the straight, and the 5yo simply flew away for a smooth win over HATTAN. Australian challenger BARBARICUS was a distant third. Kirklees, a winner of the Gran Criterium (G1) in Italy at two, looks a G1 performer again now, and this was without doubt the best performance in his twelve-race career. Bred by Darley in Ireland, he was winning for the fifth time.
His dam Moyesii won over 9 furlongs in France. She is a half-sister to the G3 winning miler Bowman. The second dam, Cherokee Rose, was a high-class sprinter who, at four, won the Prix
Maurice de Gheest (G1) and Haydock Sprint Cup (G1) and ran second in the Prix de l’Abbaye (G1).
Last update: 2009-02-12 14:18:30 (First published: 2009-02-12 10:45:20 )
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