Updated on 09/17/2011 10:47AM

Estimraar a victor in Dubai


Estimraar scored a 1 3/4-length tally over State Shinto on Thursday night in Round 1 of the Maktoum Challenge, a Group 3, one-mile race at Nad Al Sheba that serves as the first step to the Dubai World Cup on March 29.

But the victory of the 6-year-old Estimraar is more likely to lead to the Group 2 Godolphin Mile on the World Cup undercard. He had won four straight between seven furlongs and 1 1/8 miles at Nad Al Sheba in the fall before losing by a neck to Curule on Jan. 2.

Curule finished last of 14 Thursday, beaten 35 1/2 lengths, with Godolphin's lone runner, Flag Day, 6 3/4 lengths in front of him in 13th. The winner's stablemate, 2000 Godolphin Mile winner Conflict, was third, three-quarters of a length behind State Shinto. Go Underground, ridden by Aaron Gryder, ran fourth.

Also Thursday, 3-year-old Festival Queen won her maiden race with a 3 1/4-length victory over Akinfeet in the 7 1/2-furlong Moonshell Mile Prep, an early trial for the UAE 1000 Guineas.