03/26/2011 11:39AM

Khawlah outnoses Master of Hounds in UAE Derby

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Andrew Watkins
Saeed bin Suroor leads Khawlah following the UAE Derby.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Maybe it was the fact he’d already won the race six times, but Saeed bin Suroor knew when the horses the wire that Khawlah finished first in the UAE Derby. He might have been the only one in the house.

Khawlah, a filly, led for all of one jump in the Group 2, $2 million UAE Derby, but it was the right one. Rallying from fifth, she stretched at the last second and caught Master of Hounds, who had taken the lead after turning into the stretch. The margin of victory was a nose.

“It wasn’t easy, but yes, I knew she won,” bin Suroor said. “She put her head down.”
That made seven UAE Derbies for bin Suroor and Godolphin, and two straight victories on World Cup night for the pair, with Skysurfers home first a half-hour earlier in the Godolphin Mile.

Khawlah, a daughter of Cape Cross bred by Darley, now has won three of five starts after pulling off a UAE Oaks-UAE Derby this winter. She was ridden to victory by Mickael Barzalona, with Frankie Dettori, who was aboard for the local Oaks, riding Godolphin’s Xin Xu Lin on Saturday night.

Xin Xu Lin made the pace, but had no answer when pressing Master of Hounds challenged him about 300 yards from the finish. Master of Hounds went clear just as Kwahlah hit her stride, the filly cutting into the colt’s lead with every stride, just catching him at the wire.

“It was his first outing of the season and Ryan [Moore] said he got tired in the last 50 yards, which he was entitled to do,” said Master of Hounds trainer, Aidan O’Brien.”

Mahbooba finished third, 3 1/2 lengths behind the runner-up, with Zanzamar fourth. Sweet Ducky, recently imported from America, never was a factor. The winner ran 1 3/16 miles in 1:58.83 on a slow-playing Tapeta surface.

Khawlah paid $9.20 in the United States.