06/16/2003 11:00PM

Dubai Destination arrives


Dubai Destination gave Godolphin its biggest win of the year, a four-length triumph over Tillerman in the Group 1, $420,000 Queen Anne Stakes on Royal Ascot's opening day Tuesday. Odds-on favorite Hawk Wing lumbered home seventh in the one-mile race.

A Calumet Farm-bred son of Kingmambo, Dubai Destination showed hints of major talent when he defeated Rock of Gibraltar in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes two years ago. But because of a bruised foot he had run only twice since then, most recently as an easy allowance winner at Nottingham. He covered the straight mile in the Queen Anne on good to firm ground in a fast 1:38.56, only .49 off the track record.

Hawk Wing, an 11-length winner of the Lockinge Stakes last out, never got involved. He was beaten 10 1/2 lengths and returned lame. UAE Derby winner Victory Moon was eighth.

"In Dubai this winter the sun and the swimming helped him a lot," said Frankie Dettori, who rode Dubai Destination. "He will improve even further."

Meanwhile, Zafeen finally lived up to his promise with his first victory of the year in the $420,000 St. James's Palace Stakes, a Group 1 race at a mile for 3-year-old colts.

Second to Refuse to Bend in the 2000 Guineas, Zafeen hated the soft ground when 14th in the Irish 2000 Guineas. On Tuesday, Zafeen, 8-1, rallied to lead at the furlong pole under Darryll Holland to defeat 5-2 favorite Kalaman by a length. German 2000 Guineas winner Martillo was third. Hold That Tiger, last in the 2000 Guineas, gave an improved effort to finish fourth, 4 1/2 lengths behind Zafeen. French 2000 Guineas winner Clodovil was fifth and Irish 2000 winner Indian Haven was last in the field of 10.

Zafeen, a Mick Channon-trained son of Zafonic, covered the one-turn right-handed mile in 1:39.91. Owned by Dubai businessman Jaber Abdullah, Zafeen will be aimed at the one-mile Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on July 30.

In other action, Australian raider Choisir exposed the weakness of British sprinters by leading throughout at 25-1 to take the $240,000 King's Stand Stakes, a Group 2 stakes run over Ascot's undulating five-furlong straight course.

Trained by Paul Perry, Choisir - a 4-year-old son of Danehill Dancer - was quickly clear and had plenty left to hold off the late challenge of Acclamation, who missed the break. Gary Stevens's mount, Elusive City, made up some late ground to finish sixth.

Ridden by Johnny Murtagh, Choisir could run right back in Saturday's six-furlong Golden Jubilee Stakes, in which he would meet Morluc, who was twice a short head runner-up to another Australian, Falvelon, in the Hong Kong Cup.

By way of comparison, Choisir beat Falvelon by a half-length in a Group 2 sprint in Australia last fall.

Khalid Abdullah (no relation to Jaber Abdullah) has a highly promising juvenile colt in Three Valleys. A Kentucky-bred son of Diesis out of a half-sister to the dam of Banks Hill, Three Valleys stormed to an eight-length rout of runner-up Botanical in the Group 3 Coventry Stakes. Trained by Roger Charlton, Three Valleys was sent off at 7-1 and covered the straight six furlongs in 1:13.62. The Franck Mourier-trained Parisienne, a maiden winner at Gulfstream in April, finished 11th of 13, beaten 28 1/2 lengths.