The Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort, the 1,400-metre turf feature at yesterday evening’s third meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival, was turned into a procession by Godolphin’s Safety Check.
Trained by Charlie Appleby, he was a course and distance winner two weeks ago, but that was in handicap company whereas this race looked ultra-competitive.
That turned out not to be the case, with William Buick always exuding confidence on the winner, who had the race in safe keeping a long way out.
“That was impressive and a great performance. We knew he was in great form as he has really thrived since arriving in Dubai,” Appleby said.
“However, this was a big step up in class, so it is a bit of a pleasant surprise. The Zabeel Mile will be next.”
The meeting opened with a 1,200m handicap on the dirt. For those who believe that patience is a virtue, they will have been delighted to see Norwegian raider Beat Baby finally provide his trainer, Niels Petersen, a first winner in the UAE – at the 74th attempt.
Petersen, who also saddled a 75th runner in the same contest, said: “We have been trying for a few years now, and it is a great feeling and a good result for Scandinavia.”
Beat Baby made all the running under Per-Anders Graberg.
Marc Monaghan made his second of two rides of the night a winning one, steering Toolain to victory in a 2,000m dirt handicap for his main employer, Satish Seemar.
Stable companion Farrier chased Toolain home under stable jockey Richard Mullen.
“We thought both would run well,” Monaghan said. “It is great to get a chance in these Carnival races.”
Tamarkuz was far too good in an 1,800m dirt handicap, running out an easy winner for Dane O’Neill and Musabah Al Muhairi.
He is owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, as was runner-up Haatheq, the choice of the owner’s first jockey, Paul Hanagan.
“This is a nice horse but not the easiest, especially at the stalls,” O’Neill said. “There should be more to come from him.”
A second 2,000m dirt handicap provided trainer Salem Al Ghadayer a first career victory, with Hunting Ground winning under Mickael Barzalona.
South African trainer Mike De Kock and stable jockey Christophe Soumillon combined as Umgiyo landed an 1,800m turf handicap, doubling his career tally in the process. Settled in last by Soumillon, he picked up well in the straight to win going away.
“They went pretty quick which suited him,” Soumillon said. “His work coming into the race had been good, so we were hopeful, but he will improve fitness-wise with the run behind him.”
The final handicap of the evening, over 2,435m on turf, was won by the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Al Saham, a nice spare ride for Adrie de Vries, with the pair winning by the narrowest of margins.
Race 1 Beat Baby
Race 2 Toolain
Race 3 Hunting Ground
Race 4 Umgiyo
Race 5 Tamarkuz
Race 6 Safety Check
Race 7 Al Saham
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