DAR RE MI bucked the recent trend of late shippers scoring in the Duty Free/Sheema Classic with handy score over BUENA VISTA and SPANISH MOON, another great placing in the big race.
AL SHEMALI won a race at the Carnival and was a close sixth in the Maktoum Challenge. Winner of the Dubai Duty Free (G1). You bet. The son of Medicean beat some good turfers in this $5 million event, landing a fatal blow giving them the slip late. I feel best for Ali Rashid Al Raihe, the very gracious trainer who leads tghe local standings here, and has been so devoted to racing in the Emirates.
KINSALE KING scored the win for America yet again in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, holding off ROCKET MAN for the mild upset. The best Americans out there do not have to come to win this race, and we’ve seen it yet again. Kinsale King beat a very good colt in Rocket Man.
MUSIR lived up to expectations and ran through to take the UAE Derby over stablemate RAIHANA and Godolphin’s MENDIP, finishing a chalky renewal of the race.
CALMING INFLUENCE went to the front, sitting just off pacesetting LE DRAKKAR, and kicked away in the lane while the always game GREEN COAST nearly caught him. This is the first trained starter and winner for Mahmoud Al Zarooni, the long-time Godolphin assistant who was just given horses in his own name on Wednesday. SKYSURFERS ran a real cracker and our choice, FORGOTTEN VOICE, rallied once outside of horses to be fifth.
Calming Influence was 12-1 in the UK and 13-1 in the US. It is, to the best of my knowledge, the first time the red cap wearer for Godolphin has won on World Cup night. Below, Calming Influence before the Godolphin Mile.
Near tragedy was avoided in the walking ring before the Godolphin Mile (G2) when the groom of #12 SKYSURFERS tripped and fell, was slightly dragged by the horse a few yards, but managed to get up, holding the horse, and tragedy was averted. We don’t often realize how important a role they play in maintaining these gallant horses.
JOY AND FUN, 12-1 in the UK and 18-1 in the UK took the Al Quoz Sprint (G3) by a half-length over my top choice FRAVASHI while American CALIFORNIA FLAG, who made most of the running, was third.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum looking on before the Al Quoz Sprint (G3). He owns three horses in this event.
The Dubai Kahayla Classic goes the way of JAAFER, providing Qatari racing with an upset in the night’s opener. Owned by a member of the Qatari ruling family, JAAFER came from off the pace and ran down NO RISK AL MAURY, the heavy on-track favorite. Horses will soon be in the paddock for the Al Quoz Sprint (G3)
The parade of nations started as Arab men on horses paraded with a cavalcade of flags from all the nations represented in the eight races. Current UK wagering indicates that GITANO HERNANDO, TWICE OVER, VISION D’ETAT, and GIO PONTI are all nearly inseparable in the wagering, sitting at 5-1 or 6-1 or somewhere in between. The betting for this race has never been so open. Below, the hospitality of the Sky Bubble.