where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2019-03-30 14:38:58  
Pletcher Takes the Godolphin Mile

Over 1600m on the Meydan dirt surface, the $1.5 million Group 2 Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City-District One produced a thrilling finish with Heavy Metal looking set to defend his title only to be caught in the dying strides by Coal Front.

Trained by Todd Pletcher for Robert La Penta & Heads Of Plains Partners, the 5-year-old ridgling was drawn wide in 12 and not able to get to the front under Jose Ortiz, who had hoped to do so, but forced to track Heavy Metal, Muntazah and Good Curry.

The last named was the first to crack with Muntazah looming large alongside Heavy Metal at the top of the straight before weakening with 300m to run.

That left Heavy Metal clear with a seemingly insurmountable advantage but Ortiz had a willing partner who finished off his race in style to put his head in front where it mattered.

The winning verdict was three-parts of a length with Ortiz making his first UAE mount a winning one as well as supplying Pletcher his maiden local success with his 17th runner.


Todd Pletcher, trainer, Coal Front (1st) — “He had a fantastic run. Our whole team is very proud of him.”

Sol Kumin, co-owner, Coal Front (1st) —"He has had some health issues, on and off but always had a ton of talent. And Todd Pletcher has done a great job with him. We thought if he could handle the mile 1/16, we would come back to the mile and everything worked out well. It was worth the trip. We were lucky enough to own a part of Mind your Biscuits a few years ago. I wasn't sure if he was winning. I was hoping and I was worried. I thought he would run out of gas, but he didn't."

Jose Ortiz, Jockey, COAL FRONT (1st)— “The emotion right here is for my family back home and I just want to say that I love them all. The horse felt great for me and he broke well, which was important. I wanted to be on or near to the lead and it worked out perfectly. I knew I had to be patient to time my run for home. I had two horses in-front of me which gave me a great lead, and I just sat and watched Jim Crowley and Muntazah as he is the main man around here. I followed him and my horse dug in for me late on and he has done it well."

Salem bin Ghadayer, Trainer, Heavy Metal (2nd)— “A month ago many people thought he was at the end of his career, but he has come back to his best. He was just beaten by a better horse on the day.

Doug Watson, trainer, Muntazah (3rd)— “He ran a career best on his last start and I wouldn’t have mind trying to take on today’s winner that day. But we were going back to the well three weeks later and he may just have got a bit tired. He’s going to have a really good future next season.”

Jim Crowley, Jockey, MUNTAZAH (3rd)— “We didn't have a bad trip but he didn't feel like the same horse as last time.”

Joao Moreira, Jockey, NONKONO YUME (10th)— “Unfortunately he didn’t bring his best today. He missed the start badly. If he hadn’t I think we could have been top four.”

Joel Rosario, Jockey, TRUE TIMBER (9th)— “I was stuck inside the whole way and didn’t get a chance to get him in the clear. I couldn’t get out and was stuck between horses.”

Patrick Dobbs, Jockey, KIMBEAR (4th)— ““I had a lovely run around there following Heavy Metal. He traveled well, but I just didn’t pick up in the stretch. He ran a great race.””

Mikael Brazilian, Jockey, HEAVY METAL (2nd)— “When I gave him a squeeze, he went to the front and ran a great race. He’s really back at his best but maybe he was beaten by a better today.”

Antonio Fresh, Jockey, LOGRADO (7th)— “. He broke well but he’s not quick enough for the mile, which is why we hoped to run him in the Cup. He was running on at the finish.”

Hails Karats, Jockey, GOOD CURRY (12th)— “"We had some problems before the race and that impacted him today. He's still a nice horse for the future.”

Richard Mullen, Jockey, SECRET AMBITION (5th)— “The winner had too much horse for me. He quickened off the turn and he got two or three lengths on me, the winner did, but my horse stuck to his guns really well. He's reversed the form of the run with Muntazah (last time out finishing 6th behind that one) so it was a big run from him. I think maybe next year we step him up to the 2,000 and see if a-mile-and-a-quarter might suit him better then because he just lacks that mid-range pace of the mile, especially in this company. It was really the best run from him and I'm very pleased with him.”

Oisin Murphy, Jockey, MAJOR PARTNERSHIP (11th)—“"He didn't really handle the dirt, but it was a high-class field and the American horse is good form." 

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