Godolphin’s sustained dominance of the Dubai World Cup Carnival continued on Friday when the all-powerful Dubai-owned racing stable scored three wins including the Group 2 Zabeel Mile, the showpiece race of the evening on Friday.
The Boys in Blue have for the better part of two decades been able to rely on their self-assurance and equine talent to achieve success after success.
However, the path to glory has not come as easy as it may seem but has required a consolidated team effort to ensure that their horses turn up at the races, in the best possible condition.
Master Of The Seas is a fine example of the Godolphin strategy to target horses at the principal targets and his victory in the Zabeel Mile ensured that Godolphin handler Charlie Appleby took home a sixth trophy in nine runnings of the race.
Ridden confidently by reigning British champion jockey William Buick, Master Of The Seas comfortably beat off a pair of dangerous Irish raiders in Shelir and I Am Superman to head towards greater challenges.
“He’s got a huge engine in there,” said winning handler Charlie Appleby. “ He’s sometimes a challenge to himself. If everything goes alright, as we saw tonight, he is a good horse.
We’ll head to the Jebel Hatta (Super Saturday, March 4 (and all being well he’ll book his ticket to the World Cup (Dubai Turf, March 25). “
Only narrowly denied by Poetic Flare in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket racecourse in England two summers ago, the five-year-old son of Dubawi bounced back to his best form in a highly-competitive renewal of the Zabeel Mile.
Buick, who was on board the horse in the English Guineas, rode a patient race on Friday, happy to track the pace before making smooth progress in the straight to move into top gear in the final furlong and a half for an impressive victory.
“It was lovely, it was ideal,” said Buick. “They set it up nicely and it is lovely to get him back as he did.
He’s a very exciting horse, he has been since he was a two-year-old. His class and quality have never been in question and hopefully, he can build on what he did today.”
Master Of The Seas continued Appleby’s strong bearing on the Mile since he first won the race in 2015 with Safety Check and followed it up with a back-to-back victory the following year.
Mythical Magic (2019), Zakouski (2020) and D’Bai (2021) strung together a hat-trick of wins in the race for the Epsom Derby and Melbourne Cup-winning handler before fellow Godolphin handler Saeed bin Suroor landed the past last season with Real World.
Bin Suroor, who joined the Godolphin stable as it’s head trainer back in 1995, may have had a slow start to the Carnival by his standards. But the Emirati handler is slowly moving into top gear as he demonstrated when runners based at his Al Quoz training base captured the last two races on the seven-event card.
Global Heat became the first winner of the term for Bin Suroor when staying on the strongest of his nine rivals to win the 2,800 metre Al Khail Trophy Presented by ARN.
A seven-year-old son of Tornado, Global Heat ended an 18-race losing streak to score by a length from Away He Goes, the mount of Mickael Barzalona with Ardakan and James Doyle a neck back in third.
Bin Suroor, a multiple Champion trainer at the Carnival, was typically in control of his emotions and said of the winner: “He’s a horse that’s improving with age. They improve if we look after them and run them in the right races.
“Even so he needed the race and should come on for that run. We’ll look for a nice race after this perhaps something like the Nad Al Sheba Trophy.”
However, Pat Cosgrave, who rode a perfectly judged race aboard the winner was more forthcoming and Global Heat’s return to the winner’s circle and commented: “He’s got loads of ability. Today he was good. He quickened up smart today.
“He’s got more turn of foot against most of these staying horses. I liked the way he went through the race. He kept going for me, I wasn’t overly hard on him. He stays well.”
Meanwhile, Emirati handler Salem bin Ghadayer captured the UAE 1000 Guineas, the first Classic of the 2022-2023 UAE racing season, with the hugely exciting Mimi Kakushi.
With Barzalona in the stirrups aboard the American-bred filly, it was only a matter of who would claim the spoils as the pair cruised to a four-and-a-half-length victory.
The Doug Watson trainee Awasef finished best of the rest in a race that has implications for the UAE Oaks and UAE Derby later in the season,
“She’s an amazing filly,” said Bin Ghadayer. “From the very first second that I set eyes on her in the stable in liking her.
“I’m a big fan of her sire, City of Light. Since the Guineas Trial, we saw she is one of the fillies that you can concentrate on. The Oaks is our main aim. But it was important to get this 1000 Guineas win,”
Bin Ghadayer, who has been responsible for several top horses at his Fazza Stables operation, even went so far as to say, ‘She’s one of the best three-year-old fillies I have ever trained.’
The meeting opened with the Big Easy Sprint Championship for Arabian horses and which was won in taking fashion by the vastly improved Leena and Bernardo Pinheiro.
The winner is trained by Majed Al Jahoorio at Al Wathba.
1. Big Easy Arabian Sprint Championship
2. Virgin Radio Dubai 104.4 Handicap
3. ARN Handicap
Winner: Thunder of Niagara
4. UAE 1000 Guineas
Winner: Mimi Kakushi
5. Zabeel Mile (G2)
Winner: Master Of The Seas
6. Al Khail Trophy
Winner: Global Heat
7. Dubai Eye 103.8 handicap
Winner: Shining Blue