Team Godolphin was expected to clean up on week two of the 2022 Dubai World Cup Carnival and they did winning five of the seven races on the night’s action at Meydan Racecourse on Friday.
Four wins came on the turf and were headed by a sweep of the twin Group 2 feature races, the 1800m Al Rashidiya with Desert Fire and the 1400m Al Fahidi Fort courtesy of Naval Crown.
The former was trained by eight-time Carnival champion Saeed bin Suroor, who would go on to complete a three-timer, while Naval Crown raced out of Epsom Derby and Melbourne Cup-winning handler Charlie Appleby’s desert stables in Marmoom.
Bin Suroor’s treble was completed in the finale, a loaded 2000metre Rated Conditions race on dirt which featured the return of G2 UAE Derby winner Rebel’s Romance. He could only manage a well-beaten eighth as Dubai Icon led for almost all of the race, winning by eight and a half lengths under Pat Cosgrave.
It was left to Emirati handler Salem Bin Ghadayer and reigning UAE champion trainer Doug Watson to jostle for a share of the Carnival spotlight, which they did with aplomb. The former took the 1400m UAE 2000 Guineas Trial (Presented By Al Furjan By Azizi) with the hugely impressive Rawy, while Watson took the 1200m Group 3 Dubawi Stakes (Presented By Riviera By Azizi) with in-form sprinter Al Tariq.
Earlier in the evening, Appleby got proceedings off to a positive start when he sent out international favourite Silent Speech to secure a two-length victory in the Dubai Trophy (Presented By Creek Views By Azizi) over six furlongs. 35 minutes later, his Godolphin teammate Bin Suroor unearthed an exciting talent in the form of Island Falcon, a gritty length and a half winner over fancied New Kingdom in the first running of the 1800m Jumeirah Derby Trial (Presented By Park Avenue By Azizi.)
While Godolphin runners may have ruled supreme it was Bin Ghadayer’s American acquisition Rawy who conceivably delivered the performance of the day when outclassing his six rivals to win the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial in breathtaking fashion.
A $240,000 purchase from the Ocala March sale, the fleet-footed three-year-old son of Grade 1 winning Darley stallion Frosted broke well under French ace Mickael Barzalona and quickly assumed control of the contest.
At no point did he look like relenting, pulling clear at the 500 metre mark before excelling himself to cross the line two lengths clear of Uruguay’s last-outing Meydan scorer, Quality Boone. Kiefer, previously unbeaten in Uruguay, ran an eye-catching race in third on his local debut.
Bin Ghadayer was delighted with the performance and the fact that he now had a potential Classic contender on his hands, saying: “Since we bought him from the United States he showed ability. To continue to think about the 2000 Guineas we knew we must run him tonight to see where we are. He proved he has class today, we are happy.
“I don’t think the mile (in the Guineas) will be too much of an issue. He has speed but he also has the stamina to make the mile, he’s a horse with a good temperament. He’s very lovely Everything goes easy with him.”
Race by Race Quotes
2022 Dubai World Cup Carnival, Meydan - Friday, January 21
Race 1. Dubai Trophy Presented By Creek Views By Azizi
Purse $100,000 (Thoroughbreds Conditions) 1200m Turf
Won by: Silent Speech (trained by Charlie Appleby)
Appleby: He’s sharpened up a bit with each run we found out as a two-year-old. He’s been training well out here. William gave him a nice ride, its windy out here, we got plenty of cover, and he produced him at the right time.
William said before the race ‘I’m going to let him find his own feet, I’m not going to force him into it. He came into the race well at the right end.”
Race 2. Jumeirah Derby Trial Presented By Park Avenue By Azizi
Purse $60000 (Thoroughbreds Conditions) 1800m Turf
Won by: Island Falcon (Saeed bin Suroor)
Frankie Dettori, winning jockey: “He didn’t jump the best but I was able to get on the trail of William (Buick, New Kingdom), he was the horse to beat. He’ a horse that just lacks a little bit of speed. I didn’t want to take him on the inside route, I took him out and he showed a good turn of foot.
“I was afraid William was coming back but this horse stuck to his guns and galloped out really well. He’s a horse that doesn’t do a lot at home; he saves his best for the track. Who knows how far he can go; so far so good.”
Race 3. UAE 2000 Guineas Trial Presented By Al Furjan By Azizi
Purse: $60,000 (Thoroughbreds Conditions) 1400m Dirt
Won by: Rawy (Salem Bin Ghadayer)
Bin Ghadayer: “If I didn’t believe in his ability I would not be here in the first place. First time out he was a little bit green, he was still a baby, he didn’t concentrate 100 per cent After that we went to Jebel Ali and he ran a good race, for that reason I brought him back soon. Just one week later.
“Since we bought him from the United States he showed ability. To continue to think about the 2000 Guineas we knew we must run him tonight to see where we are. He proved he has class today, we are happy.
“I don’t think the mile (in the Guineas) will be too much of an issue. He has speed but he also has stamina to make the mile, he’s a horse with a good temperament. He’s very lovely Everything goes easy with him.
Race 4. Al Rashidiya Presented By Riviera Beachfront By Azizi (Group 2)
Purse $180,000 (Thoroughbreds) 1800m Turf
Won by: Desert Fire (Saeed bin Suroor)
Hector Crouch, winning jockey: “That’s the biggest win of my career. It’s surreal It’s amazing feeling. I’m just so thankful to Saeed and his team for giving me the chance.
"It was my best season in the UK and its nice to come over here and to stay in the limelight.
"Just delighted for the horse as well he’s been here a good number of years and he deserved a big one.
“He quickened like he hasn’t before, that’s the best he’s ever felt. Seems funny to say, he’s seven, hopefully there’s more to come. He put the race to bed very well.
“I was lucky enough to do it her
e as an apprentice and I’ve enjoyed coming back. It’s a great experience and it’s put me on the global stage.”
Race 5. Al Fahidi Fort Presented By Mina By Azizi (Group 2)
Purse: $180,000 (Thoroughbreds) 1400m Turf
Won by: Naval Crown (Charlie Appleby)
Appleby: “Will got him into a nice possy, he’s one of the fast horses in the race and one of the younger horses as well, he’s got some fresher legs. Put him away for the mid-season.
“I think he’s got a lot of natural speed which will sharpen him up a bit we’ve got him in the sprint at Saudi (1351 Turf Sprint, 6 1/2f, won by Space Blues in 2021) or the new race on Super Saturday (Ras Al Khor 7f), so he’s got some options as well.
“He’s a proper 1400 metre horse.”
Race 6. Dubawi Stakes Presented By Riviera By Azizi (Group 3)
Purse: $150,000 (Thoroughbreds) 1200m Dirt
Won by: Al Tariq (Doug Watson)
Pat Dobbs, winning jockey “It was a good draw, he was having a nice blow, he’ll improve again for this. I don’t know where Doug will go next, probably Jebel Ali (Jebel Ali Sprint, 5f). He’s a very laid-back horse at home,
Watson: “He always battles hard, I think he likes a little fight. His work is good but he doesn’t exert himself at home; he puts it all back on the track. Looking forward to seeing what he can do this year.”
Race 7. Aliyah By Azizi
Purse: $80,000 (Thoroughbreds Rated Conditions) 2000m Dirt
Won by: Dubai Icon (Saeed bin Suroor)
Bin Suroor: “He’s well-bred, by New Approach with Sharmardal on the dam’s side. This win was long overdue, he had a quiet season last year, but ran some good races in 2019.
“This was a nice race to see if he can discover some of his past form and he showed he can. Pat gave him a nice ride.
“We’ll see how he comes out of this race and look for another one over the same distance later in the Carnival.”