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Dubai: Bin Suroor soars, Dullahan and Little Mike flop on Super Saturday card
By Marcus Hersh
Godolphin has two primary trainers in Dubai, many of the operation’s top horses stabled with Mahmood al Zarooni, who came out of an assistant’s role in Saeed bin Suroor’s barn to become a head trainer in 2010. But the Super Saturday card Saturday night at Meydan belonged to the veteran bin Suroor, who captured four of the seven Thoroughbred stakes, including the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 with Hunter’s Light, and the Group 1 Jebel Hatta with Sajjhaa.
For bin Suroor, Super Saturday was a raging success. For the two United States-based, Dale Romans-trained horses, Dullahan and Little Mike, the night passed with less exultation. In the Group 3, $200,000 Burj Nahaar on the Tapeta surface, Dullahan could only finish 11th, losing for the first time in four synthetic-surface starts. Away slowly from an inside draw under Kieren Fallon, Dullahan crept up the rail within striking distance of the leaders midway through the Burj Nahaar, but eventually sucked back out of the tight spot and had no punch in the stretch, losing by about 12 lengths over a one-mile distance short of his best.
Little Mike, running in the Maktoum Challenge, fared slightly better. He briefly made an early lead under Fallon but was displaced as Daddy Long Legs took up the running. When a seam opened along the rail about a half-mile out Fallon took it, and Little Mike led the field into the stretch, but he, too, came up empty, finishing eighth in his synthetic-surface debut.
Meanwhile, bin Suroor’s Godolphin runners were on point, sweeping the top three spots in the Maktoum Challenge. Five-year-old Hunter’s Light won for the fifth time in his last six races, following up on a strong win in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 with a similarly high-level performance. Ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, Hunter’s Light ($5.60) beat Kassiano by two and three-quarters lengths, with Prince Bishop another neck back in third. Monterosso, the 2012 Dubai World Cup winner, checked in 10th in his first start since June.
Bin Suroor and African Story won the Burj Nahaar for the second year in a row, with African Story ($8.20) returning from a nine-month layoff to post a decisive two and one-quarter length score over Capital Attraction. Even more impressive was the 6-year-old mare Sajjhaa ($16.40), who has hit peak form this winter and won her third straight Group stakes in the Jebel Hatta. Trapped behind City Style in the stretch, Sajjhaa finally found room along the inside and finished with a brilliant burst to overhaul The Apache, winning by three-quarters of a length. South African star mare Igugu disappointed for the second straight race, checking in a flat sixth.
Bin Suroor’s fourth winner came in the $250,000 Al Bastakiya, where Secret Number ($10.40), a once-started 3-year-old maiden winner, overcame a slow start and a wide trip to beat Zahee by two lengths, looking like a major player for the March 30 UAE Derby. Bin Suroor’s other Super Saturday winners also have World Cup Night goals: Hunter’s Light heads to the World Cup, Sajjhaa to the Duty Free, and African Story to the Godolphin Mile.
Jakkalberry conquers City of Gold
The older he gets, the more miles he travels, the better Jakkalberry ($12.20) seems to perform, and on Saturday the globe-trotting 7-year-old added another victory to his r é sum é , outkicking heavily favored Await the Dawn to win the Group 2, $250,000 Dubai City of Gold.
In the last year, Jakkalberry has raced in the Dubai, the United States (where he won the American St. Leger last summer at Arlington), England, Australia, and Japan. This is Jakkalberry’s second winter in Dubai, and while he was a solid third in the 2012 Sheema Classic on the World Cup card, Jakkalberry could be better this year.
“He may be one to look forward to at the end of the month,” said winning rider Ryan Moore.
The City of Gold unfolded at a snail’s pace with Cavalryman leading until Treble Jig flew up to take command with more than a half-mile left in a turf race contested at about one and one-half miles. From there, the tempo quickened significantly, with Cavalryman and Await the Dawn pouncing at the top of the stretch. But Jakkalberry came outside both of them, took the lead about a furlong out and pushed past to record a half-length victory.
Masterstroke, one of the favorites, and third in the 2012 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, acted up in the gate and was scratched.
Jakkalberry, by Storming Home, is owned by a partnership and trained by Marco Botti.
Shea Shea takes turf sprint
Shea Shea ($5.60) ran himself into the favorite’s role for the Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup Night with a flashy victory in the $175,000 Meydan Sprint, a straight-course turf race at about five furlongs. Ridden by Christophe Soumillon for trainer Mike de Kock, Shea Shea finished two and one-half lengths in front of Sole Power, with Russian Soul third, running a course record time of 57.02 seconds.
◗ Reynaldothewizard ($24.20) posted a mild upset in the Group 3, $200,000 Mahab al Shimaal, beating the heavily favored defending champion Krypton Factor by four lengths. Trained by Sateesh Seemar and ridden to victory by Richard Mullen, 7-year-old Reynaldothewizard, who began his career in the U.S. in 2008, scored the most important victory of his career.
Royal Delta was purchase for 8million so the owner are looking to make some of that money back before she goes to becoming a broodmare. ( greedy a h)
Well, at least they got a race under their girths over there. I wish they had done that with Royal Delta, now she'll throw in a clunker on the big day in the big race, just like last year. Better to have the clunker happen in a prep race. Dubai takes some getting used to.
I love how your top US horses don't perform for S**T on Tapeta and are FAR weaker on the Turf over 10f and 12f. You all weren't complaining when it was Dirt and your champs like Cigar, Silver Charm, Well Armed, Invasor, Curlin etc were winning it almost every year. Hypocrites.
For you all who are saying the Euro's don't go to Dubai is complete and utter BS. Cirrus Des aigles won the Sheema Classic last year, So you Think Ran in the World cup, Krypton Factor ran in the Golden shaheen, and the year prior Rewilding won the Sheema Classic. Those are top middle distance horses, and a top sprinter. Most other European yards are not racing this time of year in preparation for the upcoming Newmarket , and Chantilly meets. You are also forgetting that Japan always ships top horses there...ie Victoire Pisa, and Buena Vista. This year Gentildonna is going and she is probably the top filly in training in the world at the moment. Black Caviar WAS going to race there last year but her connections canceled late because she was to be stabled at one of the furthest stables and Mr.Moody did not like that.
Sadly Royal Delta will be going over there too.
Ray I do enjoy your posts but I disagree on this one. Game on Dude flopped last year in Dubai but he still had a nice year. The fact that top horses from England and France generally avoid competing there speaks volumes. In my opinion they don't want to race against Godolphin on their home court. I'm telling you something is not right there. Think about it, Frankel was probably the best horse Khalid Abdullah (Saudi/Juddmonte) EVER had. Don't you think he would've liked to win in the Middle East on World Cup night? Even Aussie Black Caviar never raced there but traveled 1/2 way around the world to race at Ascot instead. And how long has the South African 6 month quarantine been in effect?
dubai promo 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd51ip2Pq4w this is commercial value!
I read some postings that criticized the fact that m de kocks South African horses had to go through quarantine.well that's not Dubai it's world wide South African horses face quarantine everywhere they go due to African horse sickness .another issue is about drugs in Dubai the fact that nobody is allowed to use them period and testing is state of the art is in my opinion why American horses don't do we'll anymore .its also why those that do go go through detox and take long to recover.and of course the tapeta surface makes the euros even tougher.next year there's going to be racing festival in England that's distributing 6.8 million Dolars in 3 days followed by the Dubai World Cup day and then the French prix de arc de triomphe festival probably a total of around 25 million .
Sending Little Mike half way around the world to run him on a synthetic track for the first time is beyond stupid?...Why any owner would send any North American based horse to Dubai is a mystery to me...they almost never run well and the majority of horses who have the misfortune of making the trip are rarely the same after being subjected to the ordeal.
Racing without lasix, means losing 2 full seconds on the distance. Synth racing is much more an stamina than an speed contest, so if you want to get into that play, horses have to be trained on that track for a couple of months and get used to it.
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