It should come as no surprise that the Godolphin blue colours were carried to victory in the 2012 edition of the Group 2 US$1 million Godolphin Mile, sponsored by Etisalat, won by African Story, thus marking the fourth straight win for the stable in ninth overall in the Dubai World Cup night fixture.
The five-year-old son of Pivotal was ridden by Frankie Dettori, who picks up his seventh win in the 1,600m race that was clocked in 1:37.52.
Sitting in third in the early going, African Story rallied to the lead near the 1,200m mark before drawing off to a four-length victory, his fifth in 12 starts overall.
“It was my banker of my night and it was very easy,” said Dettori.
“I’ve always said this was our best chance of the night,” added trainer Saeed bin Suroor, an eight-time winner in this race. “I was really pleased how he looked coming into the race.”
The Mike de Kock-trained Viscount Nelson rallied for second while pacesetter Red Jazz held the third spot after making the pace through sectional times of :25.54 for the first 400m and :48.93 for 800m.
“Never going to beat the winner, so finishing second was as good as a win,” said Kevin Shea, who rode the runner-up. “Really excited about the run.”
“He was third last year, so pound for pound it was almost an identical run,” said Michael Hills, who was aboard Red Jazz. “He’s been off for a very long time, he didn’t lack race fitness, just that racing edge, but he battled on well when he was headed.”
Richard’s Kid, Haatheq, First City, Shamalgan, Sandagiyr, Derbaas, Dux Scholar, Snaffy and Do It All completed the order of finish.
Western Aristocrat was pulled up after 800m and did not finish the race. “I really don’t know what happened, but the horse is fine,” said Ryan Moore of Western Aristocrat.
Post Race Quotes Group 2 US$1 million Godolphin Mile, sponsored by Etisalat
Frankie Dettori – African Story, 1st – “It was my banker of my night and it was very easy.”
Saeed bin Suroor – trainer of the winner : “I’ve always said this was our best chance of the night. I was really pleased how he looked coming into the race.”
Kevin Shea – Viscount Nelson , 2nd – “Never going to beat the winner, so finishing second was as good as a win. Really excited about the run.”
Michael Hills - Red Jazz, 3rd – “He was third last year, so pound for pound it was almost an identical run. He’s been off for a very long time, he didn’t lack race fitness, just that racing edge, but he battled on well when he was headed.”
Richard Mullen – Richard’s Kid, 4th –“That’s his style of running, he always comes from the back. There was a nice pace on, and he got the splits when he needed them. He’s more of a ten furlong horse, so we’re pretty happy with this run.”
Tadhg O’Shea - Haatheq, 5th - “ He’s run well. It was an honest pace and he’s run an honest race. He gets further, and he was staying on. I was happy with him.”
Royston Ffrench – First City, 6th - “She had the weight allowance against the colts, and she didn’t disgrace herself. I thought she ran well.”
Gregory Benoist – Shamalgan, 7th -“ I had a good race, he went very well , and there were no excuses.”
Mickael Barzalona – Sandagiyr, 8th – “It was a good race, I had no trouble with the race and he was ok.”
Richard Hills – Derbaas, 9th - “He just didn’t pick it up today , it’s been a long season.”
Glyn Schofield – Dux Scholar, 10th – ““I had a lovely run through, I was three back and peeled out, but I did not have enough horse to go forward. He kept on battling all of the way.”
Wayne Smith – Snaafy , 11th – “ He travelled nicely to the turn, but then just faded in the last furlong.”
Silvestre De Sousa – Do It All, 12th –“ It went OK for me , but he found the track a bit slow, a bit too deep. We have to wait for another day for him.”
Ryan Moore – Western Aristocrat, DNF - “I really don’t know what happened, but the horse is fine.”