Updated on 09/18/2011 12:37AM

Discreet Cat justifies prerace hype

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Discreet Cat, Frankie Dettori up, captures the UAE Derby by six lengths at Nad Al Sheba.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - In the days before the $2 million UAE Derby at Nad Al Sheba, Discreet Cat was described by Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford as a colt that was "long on hype and short on experience." It turns out the hype may have been justified.

Making his stakes debut and only his third start, Discreet Cat ran an outstanding race in the UAE Derby, easily defeating 12 rivals by six lengths. The victory pushed him to the edge of the Kentucky Derby picture, although representatives of the owners, the Maktoum family's Godolphin Racing, stopped short of confirming him for the race.

A decision on whether Discreet Cat will start in the Kentucky Derby will be made in coming weeks, according to Crisford.

Ridden by Frankie Dettori for trainer Saeed bin Suroor, Discreet Cat ran the about 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.59, finishing clear of stablemate Testimony, who was ridden by Garrett Gomez. Flamme de Passion, of Japan, finished third.

Discreet Cat was fourth early, tracking Dominguin and My Royal Captain, who were in an early duel clear of the field. Racing wide, Discreet Cat moved clear at the top of the three-furlong stretch, took the lead with a furlong remaining and won under a hand-ride from Dettori.

"That wasn't the Kentucky Derby, but he ran on well," Dettori said. "I don't know how good he is. He hasn't taken on the big boys yet.

"For a horse that has only run twice, he was amazing. He tracked well behind a strong pace. It was an impressive performance."

A colt by Forestry, Discreet Cat had won a maiden race at Saratoga last August and an allowance race here on March 9. He was purchased privately by Godolphin last September.