Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 24 November 2020

Godolphin’s Final Song in tune with fine victory at Dubai World Cup Carnival opener

Soumillon guides Bin Suroor-trained filly to impressive win in the Guineas Trial at Meydan

Jockey Christophe Soumillon guides Final Song to victory at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai on Thursday. Pawan Singh / The National
Jockey Christophe Soumillon guides Final Song to victory at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai on Thursday. Pawan Singh / The National

Godolphin’s Final Song presented her credentials as a leading candidate for the UAE 1000 Guineas after an impressive win in the Guineas Trial at the opening meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan on Thursday.

The Saeed bin Suroor-trained filly, under Christophe Soumillon, powered her way to the front from the middle of the pack to win from Down On Da Bayou and Rio Angie, both previous winners over the course and distance, by a length and-three-quarter and a length respectively.

“She quickened when we came out of the turn to make up around three or four lengths from the field,” Soumillon said of the three-year-old daughter of Dark Angel.

“At that point, some of the horses were dropping out. I took the inside option to make a bit of ground and avoid the kickback. I really liked the way she quickened in the last 200 [metres].”

Soumillon had ridden Final Song in her second start in the Britain when taking third spot behind Raffle Prize and American raider Kimari in the 25-runner field Group Two Queen Mary Stakes over the 1,000m trip at Ascot in June.

“Ascot is a quite tough ride but when I came after the race I told Saeed she will go further in distance, and tonight (1,400m) the trip didn’t appear to be a problem,” the Belgian said.

“On a flat track like this, on the dirt, we were sure she could handle the distance but the way she did it tonight was the hallmark of an exciting filly.”

Bin Suroor said: “She’s run a good race and Christophe rode a good race. She will now go straight to the 1000 Guineas on January 23."

Bin Suroor completed a double when Patrick Cosgrave rode Major Partnership to victory in the fourth race, Listed Meydan Challenge.

Gladiator King provided the new trainer-owner partnership of Satish Seemar-Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid a winning start by taking the featured prize in the six-race card – the Group Three Dubawi Stakes.

Ridden by Mickael Barzalona, the four-year-old son of the 2008 Dubai World Cup winner Curlin, took up the running on the home stretch to win by a neck from Ibn Malik under Jim Crawley. Drafted did well to take third after a slow start.

Jockey Mickael Barzalona on Gladiator King after winning the Dubawi Stakes at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National 
Jockey Mickael Barzalona on Gladiator King after winning the Dubawi Stakes at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

“He [Gladiator King] arrived at Zabeel [Stables] at the end of August and with high expectations, but there is always doubts and it takes a long time when you bring a horse for such a race,” Seemar said.

“He still got to improve a few more lengths I think. However, winning this race was important because it had some serious horse both internationals and the local.

“There were two or three horses that had already run this season. So all those doubts he showed he had a lot more class than I thought.”

Doug Watson celebrated a vintage double with Almanaara and Grand Argentier under two different riders.

Dane O’Neill steered the seven-year-old Almanaara to victory in the second race and Brett Doyle on the eight-year-old Palace Episode gelding edged out Tadhg O’Shea on Above Normal in a photo in the next.

David Simcock got one across for Britain when Richard Mullen came with a strong late run on Universal Order to take the concluding Listed Dubai Racing Club Classic.

Updated: January 3, 2020 10:26 AM

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