where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2024-01-19 19:35:49  
Silver Lady Upsets in the Cape Verdi

Godolphin traditionally dominate the G2 Cape Verdi Stakes and the fillies’ feature at Dubai Racing Carnival went to the home team for the tenth time – but not to the horse most expected.

The unbeaten English Rose carried both William Buick and the burden of favouritism and it was she who threw down the biggest challenge to the winner, Silver Lady (pictured). The two Charlie Appleby-trained fillies engaged in a battle inside the final furlong of the mile turf contest and it was Mickael Barzalona’s mount who dug deepest, giving her jockey a second win in the race.

“She’s got a mind of her own, a bit of temperament,” said Barzalona of Silver Lady, a daughter of Sea The Stars and G1 winner Lumiere. “I took her down steady and she settled well during the race – it was rough the first part – but then she took a big breath and picked up well.”

First and second are likely to clash again in the G2 Balanchine, over 1800metres, on February 22nd.

Appleby claimed a double and Buick made the winner’s enclosure soon afterwards when G1 winner Mysterious Night showed something like his old form in the JAFZA Handicap, over 1400metres on turf.

Winner of the G1 Summer Stakes at Woodbine, Canada, as a juvenile, the four-year-old was winless in four starts since but appreciated dropping to handicap company for the first time here. Always in a good spot just behind the leaders, he cruised to the front off the final turn and kicked clear, beating Nibras Passion by four lengths.

“I suppose the draw [1] was a little bit kinder this time and he got a better run through,” said Buick. “If you go through some of his form, especially as a two-year-old, it’s very good.

“We’ve been waiting for a while for that from him, but he showed his class tonight.”

Manama Sparkles on the Beach

The Cocoa Beach Stakes, for three-year-old fillies on dirt over a mile, has taken the place of the UAE 1000 Guineas but Manama Gold still put up a Classic performance.

An emphatic debut winner three weeks ago, Fawzi Nass’s daughter of Star Guitar was given a clever ride by Adrie De Vries who gave her a breather off the home bend, allowing Lahfaty and Frost At Dawn to go on. In the straight, Manama Gold eased past Lahfaty and won, eased, by nine and a quarter lengths.

“I got a little bit of pressure on the turn; it got a little bit tight,” said De Vries. “But once Jim’s horse [Crowley, Frost At Dawn] came past me then it was just a matter of straightening up and she did the job pretty easy.

“I didn’t want to be too hard on her, but I wanted to teach her something. Once she hits the front she doesn’t do much – she’s just having a look around. I guess that’s a good thing.”

Beasley Hot Streak Keeps Going

Connor Beasley is sitting pretty at the top of the UAE Jockeys’ Championship and he collected an early double, initiated when Al Arbed took the We One Presented by DP World Maiden, race two, over 1200metres on turf.

Deputising for the suspended Bernardo Pinheiro, it was a nice spare for Beasley on the Musabbeh Al Mheiri-trained four-year-old, who beat favourite Chandigah by three-quarters of a length.

Beasley doubled up 35 minutes later, this time for his boss Ahmad Bin Harmash, when Mr Kafoo made it two wins on the bounce.

The almost-white five-year-old only broke his maiden two weeks ago at the eleventh attempt but once again stuck dourly to his task here, always holding the favourite Mojeyrr and winning by a length and three-quarters.

“He’s tough as old boots,” said Beasley after win number 30 of the season. “They went a good gallop and I got him in a nice rhythm. He really stuck his neck out for me and galloped all the way to line. I didn’t want to get him out of his comfort zone as he wouldn’t have finished off.

“He’s doing nothing wrong at this trip [1200metres] so we might as well stick to it.”

Bin Harmash has been in good form all season and the Emirati trainer registered a double of his own when Franz Kafka took the Dubai Trade Presented by DP World Handicap, over 1900metres on turf.

With Beasley on the better-fancied runner Gareth, Saif Al Balushi did the steering on Franza Kafka, who was winning for the first time since 2020, when he was trained by Simon Crisford.

“It’s a bit of a surprise,” said the Omani jockey after his first Meydan winner of the season. “It was a bad gate [15] so I tried to save him for the last few hundred metres. He’s a good horse, he should win more.”

Al Mheiri Winners Keep on Coming

Former UAE Champion Trainer Musabbeh Al Mheiri is enjoying a fine season and he bookended the Thoroughbred races when Mount Tambora added to the earlier win of Al Arbed.

Carrying the same silks, of prominent Libyan owner Naser Askar, Mount Tambora was the easiest winner of the night. Given a confident ride by Barzalona in the closing DP World Logistics Maiden, over 2000metres on turf, he coasted home by three and a half lengths from Ezaj.

Champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea has work to do to retain his crown but he and Bhupat Seemar didn’t let the night pass by, taking the penultimate 1600metre dirt DP World Auto Zone Handicap with Imperial Empire.

The seven-year-old was winning for the sixth time, but first since 2022, and O’Shea felt it was a spin on the grass which put him right.

“He was a front-runner in yesteryear but he’s lost that early speed so we decided just to sit on him,” said the jockey. “He’s an old boy who won three back in 2021-22 and it takes its toll on them; they get older and cleverer. He had a lovely run last time on turf and I think that gave him some confidence back.”

The opening P&O Marinas Purebred Arabian maiden saw popular rider Richie Mullen ride his seventh winner of the season when Alwarry succeeded on debut. Trained by Ahmed Al Mehairbi, the four-year-old overcame stall 14 for a decisive victory over Diyaah.

The Carnival returns next week with a superb card for ‘Fashion Friday,’ January 26th, when the G1 Maktoum Challenge and G1 Jebel Hatta are the feature races.


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