It’s been another night to savour at Meydan with Charlie Appleby and Saeed Bin Suroor taking the plaudits.
Appleby had the first three home in tonight’s feature, the Al Fahidi Fort, with Glorious Journey showing the best speed in the closing stages to win under James Doyle.
Before that, Bin Suroor had enjoyed three winners courtesy of Dubai Future, Dubai Love and Laser Show. The pick of them was Dubai Love, who stayed on strongly to spring a surprise in the UAE 1000 Guineas and now has the Oaks firmly in her sights.
Perhaps the most impressive winner of the night was Equilateral, who travelled all over his rivals in the Dubai Dash under that man Doyle.
Charlie Hills, the trainer of Equilateral, is hoping the five-year-old might develop into a candidate for the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night.
Satish Seemar’s runners on dirt are always to be feared and his George Villiers stayed on gamely to take the final race on the card.
Join us again next week, when we will do it all again!
A treble for Saeed bin Suroor this evening, taking his Carnival tally to seven. Defending champion Charlie Appleby had to settle for a solitary success.
James Doyle out on his own as top jockey at the Carnival afer a double this evening. Equilateral and Glorious Journey both travelled like a dream for him.
George Villiers stays on strongly from off the pace to land the $135,000 Jebel Ali Port Handicap.
The Satish Seemar-trained five-year-old, ridden by Tadgh O'Shea, had run well to be fair third last week and, turned out quickly, won in resolute style.
Montsarrat and Great King chased him home, with Parsimony running well for a long way in fourth.
"I had a good amd willing partner," O'Shea said. "He's usually off the bridle from the start and he gives himself extremely hard hard races, but he's very tough and game.
"Going up to ten furlongs has suited him. He's now had two hard races in a week and the guys have said they will freshen him up."
The disappointment was Franz Kafka, who you would imagine will be back on turf next time.
Harry Bentley has already struck on this evening's card and is hopeful of completing a double on Franz Kafka in our finale.
Well-regarded by trainer Simon Crisford, Franz Kafka won in emphatic fashion on turf at Meydan this month and is a fascinating runner on his dirt debut.
Bentley said: "I was very impressed with him last time. He got something of an easy lead but put a lot of daylight between himself and the others.
"It will be a different ball game on the dirt but I'm told he trains on it every morning and so it will not be a surprise to him."
Another having his first run on this surface will be the Charlie Appleby-trained Zorion, last seen in action at Royal scot in June. His pedigree offers plenty of hope that the dirt will show him in an even better light.Grand Argentier, Above Normal and Montsarrat wre involved in a thrilling five-horse finish
The Jebel Ali Port Handicap also features a rematch between Grand Argentier, Above Normal and Montsarrat, who had a tremendous duel on the opening night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival.
They were divided by inches, with Dubai Icon not far behind in fifth.
George Villiers was a fair third last week and is yet another with claims.
The curtain comes down tonight with the $135,000 Jebel Ali Port Handicap on dirt over 2000 metres.
It is run over the same course and distance as the Dubai World Cup, and perhaps this evening’s race will have a bearing because Doug O’Neill’s enthusiasm for Parsimony is infectious.
“He’s one we’re dreaming about for the World Cup,” the trainer admitted. “I know his form doesn’t show it, but he’s such a talented horse. He’s been really unlucky and we’re hoping to get lucky over a mile and a quarter on Thursday.
“He has shown us in the mornings that he has Grade 1 talent, we just haven’t seen it in some of his afternoon races. We’ve seen him do special things in the morning and I’ve got a feeling he’s going to bring his American morning form to the evenings here in Dubai.
“I think getting over here, you can tell they’re all enjoying it. The confidence and tranquillity come together in the mornings for good horses and you see it, but the pressure of the afternoons in America can zap their energy a little.
“I’ve watched (the surroundings) here the last couple days—it’s such a European, tranquil and horse-friendly setup. I’m really excited to see how this guy performs with that.”
Charlie Appleby was naturally happy to have dominated the feature race.
He said: “I’m delighted, as glorious Journey is a good horse and seven furlongs is his trip. He was a bit disappointing in his last start, but he has rock-solid form.
"The plan now is to perhaps go to Saudi for a race just short of seven furlongs, which seems perfect for him. With Mythical Magic, we’ll probably do the same and go to the Zabeel Mile with him and Mubtasim is undecided. We’ll just have to see how he comes out.
"There’s a race during the Craven meeting for him and possibly at the Carnival beforehand. They’re all three Group 2/Group 3 horses and showed that they’re that caliber today.”
Doug O'Neill, trainer of fourth-placed Blitzkreig, said: "You can't be upset with a performance like that against those types of horses. He ran really well."
Glorious Journey gives Charlie Appleby and James Doyle another success in the $250,000 Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort.
Appleby had the first three home and it means he has trained the winner of this feature in five of the past six years.
And Doyle has ridden his past three winners, with William Buick preferring Mythical Magic in this renewal.
Glorious Journey travelled well and showed the best turn of foot to beat Mythical Magic, with Mubtasim giving him a 1-2-3. A length and thre quarers separated the trio.
Doyle said: “It was a nice race. He’s a fun horse to have around. He cost a few quid, so it’s nice that he can repay the team.
"It’s a difficult decision between those three for William, because there isn’t much in it and you could see that at the line. He had the penalty and he’s a classy horse, as is Mythical Magic.
"He’s an exciting horse who I’m sure will improve fitness-wise. Things are going well so far. I have five winners on the board, so there are some nice horses to look forward to. We’ll take it as it comes.”
Blitzkrieg will be the first USA-based horse to compete in Group company during the 2020 Dubai World Cup Carnival when he contests the $250,000 Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort.
The five-year-old gelded son of War Front has shown progressive form in his native country and shaped well, over an inadequate trip, when a close fourth in the 1100m Joe Hernandez at Santa Anita last time.
Trainer Doug O’Neill said: “I had to freshen him up after the summertime. His last race was a paid workout and a sharpener. We were very impressed. He was closing in down the lane going 5½ furlongs, which is definitely not enough distance for him.
“We entered him for the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort and the seven furlongs will be good for him. He’s a talented horse and we’re excited about him and seeing what he can do here.”
He added: “If he stays injury-free and keeps doing well, he’s a Dubai World Cup night kind of horse for us. The Americans seem to do best in the turf sprints, but we’ll let him tell us.”
Salem bin Ghadayer runs Inverleigh and said: “He arrived quite late, so it has been a bit of a rush with him, but we think he is improving with his racing. That said, this looks a very strong renewal.”
The feature race on tonight’s card is the $250,000 Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort over 1400 metres on turf.
Charlie Appleby has trained the winner of this in four of the past years and in the year he missed out, in 2017, he was responsible for the runner-up.
The defending DWC Carnival champion trainer is clearly intent on improving his impressive sequence as he runs Mythical Magic and Mubtasim, both winners during the 2019 DWC Carnival, plus Glorious Journey.
Mythical Magic and Mubtasim will carry the Godolphin silks, while James Doyle, on Glorious Journey, will be wearing the Darley maroon and white of HH Sheikh Al Jalili Racing.
Mythical Magic won last year’s Group 2 Zabeel Mile (watch above) after finishing a good second in the Al Fahidi Fort. The highlight of Glorious Journey’s season last year was his win in Group Two Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.
Godolphin has a third runner in the race in the form of Saeed bin Suroor-trained Royal Meeting, a Group 1 winner as a two-year-old who raced just twice last season at three, including when placed in third in Group 3 company in Australia.
“He has settled in well since arriving from Australia and is working well," Saeed bin Suroor, his trainer, said. "The 1400 metres looks ideal for his comeback before, hopefully a crack at the Zabeel Mile and we hope he is a horse for Super Saturday and Dubai World Cup night.”
It's one-way tradffic in the $100,000 Al Bastakiya Trial over 1900 metres as Laser Show puts up a dazzling display.
A first-time visor seemed to completely transform the winner, who was seven lengths clear turning for home and never looked like coming back to the field.
He has to be a UAE Derby contender for Saeed bin Suroor, who is enjoying a fabulous night.
Dark Of Night and Zabardast made some late gains to reduce the winning margin, but Kevin Stott was already taking things easy.
Stott said the visor and extra distance had been pivotal to Laser Show.
"Cantering down he was a bit keen but ideally on the dirt you want them like that. He's a bit lazy at home and showed that last time [when well beaten].
"I thought we were going pretty quick but I still had plenty of horse under me turning in. I can see him stepping him up in trip."
James Doyle was understandably delighted withthe fluent success of Equilateral.
“I sat on him earlier this week and he’s pretty full of himself. He gave me a really nice feel," he said.
"He couldn’t have felt better and we were pretty excited tonight. He was fresh and well in the race. We were going a good gallop and he was eager to get on with it. It was a just a case of hanging onto him as long as I could.
"I spoke to Ryan Moore, who has a good record with the horse, and he said the key is to just try and time it right and get there as late as you can. It wouldn’t have mattered today. He’s won very well.”
Trainer Charlie Hills added: "We have tried to win in Dubai for a while, so it was good to get that monkey off your back.
"It’s important because this country has been such a great supporter of ours through the years. There’s a Group 2 (Meydan Sprint) in a few weeks time with him. If we can win that, then we’ll definitely try him at the (Group 1 $2 million Al Quoz Sprint) over six furlongs.”
Which horses will advance their UAE Derby claims in the fourth race on the card (8.15pm) – the $100,000 Al Bastakiya Trial over 1900 metres on the dirt?
Last year’s winner, Manguzi, went on to finish third in the big one.
Another maximum field of 16 will go to post and it looks a wide-open renewal with different form lines coming together from all over the globe.
An obvious starting point is Dark Of Night, who stayed on well (watch above) when beaten two short heads in the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial over 1600 metres a fortnight ago.
He looked an outsider beforehand but there appeared no fluke about his effort and owner Nasir Askar is enjoying a tremendous season.
Saeed bin Suroor’s four runners have questions to answer but keep an eye on the six Scandinavian raiders who are perhaps led by Timo Nurmos, who showed a good attitude to win both his starts last year.
Watch Dark Of Night and Sanad Libya chase home Commanding
The locals are not out of this, either, with Sanad Libya and Zabardast offering plenty of promise on their respective debuts.
The former represents the powerful combination of Satish Seemar and Richard Mullen, and he will be equipped with a first-time visor. He was not far behind Dark Of Night on his debut.
Wow! It all comes together for Equilateral as he wins the Listed $175,000 Dubai Dash in tremendous style.
The five-year-old tanked through the race under James Doyle and could be named the winner a little way out.
Equilateral has not always found much off the bridle but he did not shirk the issue this time, easing ahead of his seven rivals.
A gelding operation has clearly helped Equilateral, and he will have to prove he can back this up.
But, for the time being, this success has to be savoured as a mark of 105 clearly underplays him. It will be no surprise if he is in pattern compnay next time.
Waady and Rusumaat chased him home.
Saeed Bin Suroor was winning the UAE 1000 Guineas for the eleventh time in the past two decades.
He was expected to land the Classic with Final Song but she ran out of puff and it was his much lesser fancied Dubai Love who stayed on strongly to land the spoils.
“When she [Dubai Love] finished fourth [in the Trial], I knew she needed a trip and it has really suited her," he said. "She was traveling well all the way and enjoyed the way she moved. She’s very tough and the Oaks is the next race for her.
“Final Song didn’t stay and we will now look at sprint races for her. There was a question mark about her stamina as her form in England was best between five and seven furlongs.”
Bin Suroor has now won six races at this year’s Carnival, nudging him one ahead of Doug Watson. He has six more runners to saddle.
Those with a need for speed should be satisfied by the third race on the card – the Listed $175,000 Dubai Dash sponsored by Jafza, which is run over 1000 metres on the turf at 7.40pm.
Charlie Hills, the trainer of flying machine Battaash, has two likely contenders in Equilateral, who has his first run in the UAE, and A Momentofmadness, seventh in a course and distance handicap at the start of the month.
Equilateral has shown flashes of brilliance but has not been easy to predict. He has been gelded since last in action.
“We’ve been pleased with him. He’s acclimatised nicely with no issues,” Hills said. “We’d been meaning to geld him as he’s got to the stage in his career where we have to try to do something to improve him.”Equilateral is runner-up to Mabs Cross wins the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket (Focusonracing)
The son of Equiano will be ridden by James Doyle and will carry joint-top weight against seven rivals. Hills added: “If he runs well he’s entered in a Group Two coming up here next month (Meydan Sprint) and then we may think about the Al Quoz Sprint.”
Hills was not too disappointed by the effort of A Momentofmadness at the start of the month.
“It wasn’t a bad run from his draw because the pace was on the other side,” he said. “He should come on for that a bit and goes there with race fitness.”
Caspian Prince, Doug Watson-trained surface-switcher Waady and Spanish speedball Abrantes will ensure there are no hiding places in the eight-runner line-up.
USA-based Doug O’Neill has his first runner at the Carnival this year in Prodigal Son.
“He’s a quick horse and I think he’ll do just fine with the straight course,” O’Neill said. “Being a son of Square Eddie—they’re just so honest. He’s coming off a nice win at Santa Anita around a bend and I don’t think the distance or setup here will be an issue for him.”
Dubai Love wins the UAE 1000 Guineas for Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin.
The daughter of Night Of Thunder had finished only fourth in the Trial three weeks ago, when beaten about ten lengths, but turned the tables on the trio who finished ahead of her - Final Song, her stablemate, Down On Da Bayou and Rio Angie.
Pat Cosgrave sat off the early pace behind the winner as Down On Da Bayou predictably made the running, pursued by Final Love.
Final Love collared the leader and briefly hit the front but she had no answer to her stablemate and could not even hang on for second, as she tired and Down On Da Bayou stuck on.
Rio Angie had loomed up going well turning in but she was out wide and faded. It could be she is more of a sprinter.
Cosgrave: "She didn't jump quick and was having only her third start [in the Trial]. I knew she would stay, and has a mile and a quarter written all over her, whereas there was a question mark about Final Song staying.
"Dubai Love was more streetwise this time and I was quietly confident she would run a big race."
The UAE Oaks looks a logical next race for the winner, who was pulling away at the fnish.
"I said she'd win the Oaks before tonight," Cosgrave revealed. "She's learnt plenty and that was great."
Next up is the Listed $250,000 UAE 1000 Guineas over 1600m.
It is good to see the first three home in the Trial, three weeks ago, all back for the main event.
Final Song swept through under Christophe Soumillon to overpower Down On Da Bayou and Rio Angie that night, and will take some stopping as the extra 200 metres this evening should pose her no problem on that evidence.
“She was a good juvenile in Britain and won the trial well,” Saeed Bin Suroor, her trainer, said. “Hopefully she can follow up with the UAE Oaks the next target and we would like to think she will be a filly to challenge the boys in the UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup night.”
It is unlikely to be all plain sailing for Final Song, though, as the rapid Down On Da Bayou is well drawn in stall three and likely to get the run of things from the front.
Also, Doug Watson believes Rio Angie, who had been a sparkling winner on her debut, will be sharper.
He said: “We’ve had a good two and a half weeks with her, three weeks between races. I know she will improve, but I don’t know if it’s good enough to turn the tables on the other two fillies. I think the draw (in seven) dictates where she’ll be placed early, but she as enough natural speed. We’ll go forward and try to see how the rest of them are doing.
Dubai Love (fourth), Silent Night (fifth) and Havana Red (eleventh) also contested the Trial. Each look up against it.
Chasing Dreams and Silent Wave are smart but unproven on dirt.
Godolphin strike early on night four with the lightly raced Dubai Future landing the $135,000 P & O Marinas Handicap.
The Dubawi colt, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, was running from 5lb out of the handicap but it made no difference as Harry Bentley got him into a good position from a wide draw and won in decisive style.
Dubai Future needed rousting along to maintain his lead but never looked like being caught. The winning time of 2min 27.91 sec added substance to the performance.
Massif Central chased him home with the similar sounding Zamaam and Zaman occupying the next two places.
Bentley: "He sat down a little in the stalls and half-missed it, but was quick into stride and that was key. He travelled incredibly well but picked up, too. He will stay a bit further and is clearly climbing the ranks.
"I didn't want to press the buttons too early but, at the same time, wanted to make use of his three-kilo advantage."
Bentley, enjoying his first win at this year's Carnival, added: "He's low mileage and progressing each time. He will definitely end up being at least a 100-plus horse."
Christophe Soumillon said the well-fancied Final Song did not stay in the UAE 1000 Guineas.
“The way she was riding today, she wouldn’t stay. When she was so close to the pace, she wasn’t relaxed. The last 200 metres you could feel she needed more oxygen. It’s not a bad run, but the way she was riding today, it wasn’t the best way to make her stay the distance.”
Mickael Barzalona, jockey of runner-up Down On Da Bayou, said: “She ran a good race. We are happy with the way she ran, again, today. She beat Final Song, who beat us last time. We are happy and it looks like the filly is improving.”
The action gets under way this evening with the $135,000 P & O Marinas Handicap over 2410 metres on turf.
A maximum field of 16 will go to post, with a similar race run over the same distance on the on the opening night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival three weeks ago perhaps holding the key.
Gifts Of Gold ran well to be third in that contest, won by the Universal Order, and runs off a mark that is only 2lb higher. Zamaam (fourth), Zaman (sixth), Across The Stars (seventh), Lucius Tiberius (tenth) and Koeman (last of 12) all finished behind him on that occasion.
Watch a replay of the race below.
Gifts Of Gold is one of five Godolphin challengers, with perhaps their most intriguing contender being Dubai Future. The son of Dubawi won two of his three starts in Britain last year and is less exposed than most in the field.
Harry Bentley, his jockey, said: "He's 5lb out of the handicap, which is a slight concern, but he's lightly raced and progressing. I'm drawn quite wide so I want to jump out, get in a nice position and take it from there."
David Simcock, the trainer of Universal Order, this time relies on Kasaman, formerly a useful performer in France who has his first start for the British trainer.
Massif Central represents Mick Halford, while the Ahmad bin Harmash-trained Sharpalo attempts to go one better than his second in this last year when he was beaten a neck by Spotify.
Here's how the trainers have fared during the first three weeks of the Dubai World Cup Carnival. Doug Watson is setting the pace.
Here's the leading jockeys at this year's Dubai World Cup Carnival heading into week four. Richard Mullen and Christophe Soumillon have their noses in front.
Welcome to our coverage of week four of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan.
As usual, we will bring you all the news as it happens plus reviews, videos and reaction from the victors and vanquished
The first three weeks have brought no shortage of wonderful racing and numerous close finishes. Last week two jockeys passed the post believing they had lost - when in fact the photo-finish revealed they had won!Magic Lily edged home for Godolphin last week
This evening’s six-race card, sponsored by pillar partner DP World, carries prize-money of $1,045,000 and runners from nine countries will take part.
The feature is the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort over 1400m on the turf at 8.50pm, in which defending DWC Carnival champion trainer Charlie Appleby holds the aces with three runners.
The Listed UAE 1000 Guineas features a rematch between the first three home in the Trial three weeks ago, while the Listed Dubai Dash for turf sprinters will include the first American challenger at the Carnival this year.
The Al Bastakiya Trial promises to yield UAE Derby clues, while there are also long-distance handicaps - one on each surface.
There will be something for everyone. Enjoy the action.