02/24/2011 2:05PM

Khawlah upsets in UAE Oaks


The Dubai Racing Carnival at Meydan this winter has been largely a battle between Mike de Kock and Godolphin. On Thursday night, Godolphin’s boys in blue got the upper hand when the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Khawlah upset the odds-on de Kock-trained Mahbooba in the $250,000, Group 3 UAE Oaks.

Expected to have an easy time of it after her facile 3 3/4-length victory in the UAE 1000 Guineas, Mahbooba never looked particularly comfortable throughout any of the 1 3/16 miles on Tapeta. A Galileo filly, she had to be reined in early as Christophe Soumillon took her back early looking for cover. She remained under a tight hold in fourth as Khawlah’s stablemate Abtasaamah dawdled along in front with Khawlah a couple of lengths behind in second.

VIDEO: Dubai Racing Carnival replays and results >>

Frankie Dettori put Khawlah on the lead just inside the quarter pole as Soumillon found himself briefly trapped on the rail. But by the time Mahbooba escaped, Khawlah had fled. The favorite lacked her normal late response and was beaten by 1 1/4 lengths, Khawlah covering the distance in 1:58.51. The Ed McMahon-trained Electric Waves, the winner last fall of the five-furlong, Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes at Ascot, was a distant third, 8 1/4 lengths behind the runner-up.

A daughter of Cape Cross, Khawlah had most recently been five lengths third to Havant in the seven-furlong, Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket on Oct. 1. She is clearly an improving filly and looks like a viable English Oaks candidate at this time.