where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2023-02-13 13:06:57  
Star floored in Blue Point Stakes

He faced Group winners and horses from all over the world, but that didn’t stop the locally trained Miqyaas (pictured) from causing the shock of the Carnival in the G2 Blue Point Sprint (Presented by Nakheel).

With defending champion Lazuli in the line-up, as well as Group 2 winner Khaadem and Group 3 winner Man Of Promise, this looked a tough task for Miqyaas, who earned his Carnival qualifying mark of 90 courtesy of a win just five days ago, over the same 1200metre course and distance as the Blue Point.

Ridden by Oscar Chavez, the eight-year-old, who cost owner/trainer Rashed Bouresly just £1,500 at the Doncaster Sales in 2018, blasted away from the stalls and opened up a lead, but was still there at the end when he had to dig deep to hang on. He denied Logo Hunter, who made a charge for home along the rail under Tadhg O’Shea, and Irish raider Ladies Church who challenged on his other side, by two short heads.

The bright orange silks of the Bouresly Racing Syndicate have been present in Dubai since racing began here in the 1990s. This was their first Carnival win since 2010, however, when another sprinter, Star Crowned, won at Meydan. Mr Bouresly himself is a rare racegoer these days, so the talking was left to Chavez.

“I always knew he was an improved horse on the turf, but I didn’t know he would improve this much,” said the rider. “He went flat out from the stalls, I gave him a breather in the middle, but he was there for me at the end.”

Tall Boy too strong in Guineas

A compelling edition of the G3 UAE 2000 Guineas (Presented by Nakheel) saw Tall Boy, a maiden but fourth in a Grade 2 in California, face Shirl’s Bee, believed to be one of the best three-year-olds ever trained by Doug Watson.

A battle ensued between these two rivals in the straight, with Shirl’s Bee and Pat Dobbs fighting hard along the rail but eventually having to concede defeat by a length to the more experienced Tall Boy and William Buick. It was a second UAE 2000 Guineas for winning trainer Doug O’Neill, also successful in 2020 with Fore Left.

“We were going a good pace and I didn’t expect to be where I was, as he struggled for pace early in America,” said Buick, winning this race for a third time. “He showed guts, good attitude and I expect connections will have one eye on the UAE Derby after that. Once we turned into the straight I felt him grow an inch and he gave me plenty in response.”

British trainer George Boughey has taken no time at all to make an impact at the Carnival and his Al Dasim collected his second win with an impressive success in the Dubai Trophy (Presented by Nakheel) over 1200metres on turf.

The three-year-old was an emphatic winner of the Al Wasl Stakes a month ago and had the same conditions and some of the same rivals here. Ridden once again by Mickael Barzalona, he came with a strong run through the centre of the field and was easily able to dispatch stablemate Perdika by three and three-quarter lengths.

“He confirmed what he did a few weeks ago,” said Boughey. “He was a bit free early and I was worried that they weren’t going a good gallop, but luckily the pace evened out.

“He’s got to be a horse who goes to Super Saturday now. The Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint is the race and, if he gets his rating up, then the [Group 1] Al Quoz Sprint is something we’d have to consider.”

Newmarket-based Boughey is also hopeful that Al Dasim can make an impact in some of the big races back in Europe, with Ascot a particular target.

“He’s a horse who has to be aimed at Pavilion Stakes and Commonwealth Cups now,” he added.

Super Saturday is also on the agenda for Franz Strauss, who took his dirt record to two from two with victory in the Curlin Handicap, over the same 2000metres as the Dubai World Cup.

Trained by Bhupat Seemar, the son of Golden Horn won a handicap here two weeks ago and looked even better here, making most of the running under O’Shea and beating late-closing stablemate Sanad Libya by a length and a half.

“He hasn’t surprised me, he shows a lot in the mornings, but it’s good to see him doing it in the evenings too,” said Seemar. “Ideally what he wants to do is follow someone, but we had a plan to make use of him early on today and Tadhg rode a fantastic race.

“Our obvious choice has to be Super Saturday [G1 Maktoum Challenge Round 3] now and there’s no hiding place there as it’s not a handicap, so he’ll have to run off level weights with some very professional dirt horses.”


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