Updated on 09/17/2011 11:03AM

Grandera wins in Dubai


Grandera booked his ticket to the $6 million Dubai World Cup March 29 with a victory in the Group 2 Maktoum Challenge at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai Saturday.

Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Grandera hit the front with a quarter-mile remaining in the 1 1/4-mile dirt race and defeated Grundlefoot by a half-length. Owned by Godolphin, Grandera ran the distance in 2:02.83

Also Saturday at Nad Al Sheba, Inamorato stamped himself Godolphin's top Kentucky Derby hope with a six-length score in the $200,000 Al Bastikiya. Ridden by Dettori and trained by Saeed bin Surror, Inamorato led from start to finish and covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.71. Victory Moon finished second.

Inamorato had won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race at Hollywood Park in July in his only previous start.

The filly Ipi Tombe defeated male horses in the Group 3 Jebel Hatta on Saturday, and will run next in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free on World Cup Day.

* Aquarelliste, the even-money favorite, posted a superb Dubai World Cup trial with a five-length win in the first pattern race of the European season, the Group 3 Prix Exbury at Saint-Cloud on Saturday.

Caesarion prevailed in a three-way photo for second, just in front of the two British raiders, Border Arrow and Imperial Dancer. The time for the 1 1/4 miles on very soft turf was 2:13.85. Ridden by Dominique Boeuf for trainer Elie Lellouche, Aquarelliste took the lead with over six furlongs to run and stretched clear approaching the final furlong.

She will now switch to dirt for the Dubai World Cup and then be covered by Sadler's Wells. Owner Alec Wildenstein said that she may continue racing after she is in foal.