Updated on 09/17/2011 10:11AM

Victory Moon dampens party


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Godolphin's Kentucky Derby plans were thrown into disarray at Nad Al Sheba on Saturday night as Inamorato went down to defeat to Southern Hemisphere 3-year-old Victory Moon in the $2 million Group 2 UAE Derby.

Inamorato, Godolphin's leading Derby hope, was trapped on the rail in a closely bunched field until jockey Frankie Dettori finally managed to angle out approaching the furlong pole.

But it was far too late.

The South African-bred Victory Moon had taken over, and eventually wore down Inamorato's stablemate Songlark for half-length victory. Inamorato was another 2 3/4 lengths behind but was making up no ground through the final sixteenth.

Victory Moon, the UAE 2000 Guineas winner, had finished six lengths behind Inamorato in the 1 1/8-mile Al Bastikiya on March 8 while spotting the winner 14 pounds. Saturday, he was giving Inamorato just six pounds, but the difference had more to do with Inamorato's bad trip.

"I should have won," Dettori said. "I got stopped three times and had eight bad horses in front of me. When you get stopped that many times, you can't win."

Victory Moon was the first of two triumphs on the night for his South African trainer, Michael de Kock, who also won the Dubai Duty Free with Ipi Tombe. Victory Moon is ineligible for the Kentucky Derby.

Meanwhile, it is unclear what, if any, horses will represent Godolphin in their thus-far fruitless search for victory in America's most famous race.

"Inamorato will travel to America, but we will have to decide if he runs in the Derby or goes for something else," said a perplexed Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager. "Songlark is also under consideration for the Derby."

It was the Bill Currin-trained Outta Here, running for the first time since December, who pressed the early pace from the rail, staying on gallantly for fourth, 5 1/2 lengths behind Victory Moon, who was timed in 2:02.45 for the 1 1/4 miles on fast ground.

There was no North American parimutuel wagering on the UAE Derby.