While it is a busy week of racing in Dubai, let’s take a look back at our thoughts from the eighth night of the 2011 Dubai International Racing Carnival, as always, in no particular order (except the first one).
1. What was Christophe Soumillon thinking? For the second time this season, a questionable ride served as a hard luck second for a Mike De Kock trained 3-year-old. Once Abtasaamah went to an early lead in the Oaks, the pace slowed immediately and Soumillon wrangled back his filly for the majority of the race, resisting her impulse to go a bit faster. She’s incredibly good, and believe it or not, both Mahbooba and winner Khalwah ran a faster 1,900 metres than older males did earlier on the card. While a disappointing ride, which is sure to have frustrated De Kock once again after Richard Hills’s debacle on Zanzamar, we still think she is the best 3yo in the land and is an early UAE Derby pick for us.
2. If you wanted more proof that the 3-year-old males weren’t special this year, Introvert’s performance in the Meydan Classic backs that thought. We didn’t like Janood, sent off as the international even-money favourite, after running behind them in the Guineas trial, and he was midfield at the end. That being said, Introvert (pictured below) did run a faster time on the hard turf than Derbaas when winning the Al Fahidi Fort, partly thanks to the ludicrous early pace set by Crying Lightning.
Photo courtesy EERC photographer Cedric Lane
3. Speaking of more proof – it remains clearer to us that the handicaps on the turf, with the portable rail extended, have carried home more front runners than anyone would have expected. If any of them come back with that rail down, one can’t but help think their punch will be dulled.
4. Count us among the surprised that Charlie’s Moment won for Godolphin, a first-up performance from a former American-based runner. That doesn’t happen often. But of greater notice is how slow the race developed. The first 800 metres of the race were slowest of the Carnival races over 1,200 metres, and with Charlie’s Moment setting that dawdle, it allowed him to have plenty in reserve to finish the job.
5. Satish Seemar, interviewed by Dubai Racing Channel during the night of racing, gave the first public indication of the status of Richard’s Kid. Seemar reported that the two-time Pacific Classic (G1) winner, sent to Dubai in the fall, passing on a Breeders’ Cup Classic attempt, was in good form and progressing through faster track work. The son of Lemon Drop Kid is due to return on Thursday and potentially go to the Dubai World Cup from there.
6. DIRC jockey standings. Christophe Soumillon – 11, Frankie Dettori – 7, Mickael Barzalona – 6. Think about that. Ryan Moore – 5, Richard Hills – 5.
7. We are ready for Super Thursday, a knock-down drag out that will help determine a huge chunk of the form for Dubai World Cup night. Be ready!