DUBAI // Godolphin's winning streak at Meydan Racecourse continued last night as the racing operation saddled three winners, claiming the first Classic of the season in the process. Siyaadah was the shock winner for the Al Quoz stable. The daughter of Shamardal was unfancied having been off the track since last October, and appeared to have plenty to do turning for home. Raihana, the favourite, was nudged to the front at the top of the straight but could not sustain her run and Ahmed Ajtebi galvanised Siyaadah to get up in the shadow of the post for a shock success in the UAE 1,000 Guineas, worth USD $250,000 (Dh918,200).
"You don't enter a horse in a race like the 1,000 Guineas if she has no chance," said the Ajetbi, the Emirati rider. "She wasn't here to make up numbers, so I am delighted, but not so surprised. "She is a big, strong filly and though she didn't have such great form when racing in England, she has been working very well here." Saeed Bin Suroor, who trained Shamardal, the filly's sire, to win the Prix du Jockey Club in 2005, said his charge would come on for the run.
"She needs this race because we had given her a break. She has come on very well for us and she won well from behind," he said. The boys in blue could not quite claim the Xpress $200,000 Al Shindagha Sprint feature, which was taken by War Artist under Olivier Peslier for James Eustace, but Gayego came close for Dettori. Ajtebi struck again with El Cambio in third. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was in the paddock to welcome home all his winners, including Mendip, in the first.
Dettori, who was on the right horse that time, pushed the three-year-old from two furlongs out and held off fast-finishing Brazilian, Uncle Tom, trained by French handler, Pascal Bary on the line. Godolphin also triumphed with Highland Glen in the third, a tricky customer when owned by England's Queen Elizabeth II. Banned from racing in the UK for six months after falling foul of the starter at Leicester in October, he was installed in the gate almost before the other runners had left the paddock. That tactic proved successful and the turn of foot Highland Glen demonstrated under Dettori belied his historic reluctance to race.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's Monte Alto, ridden by Richard Hills and trained by Ali Rashid al Raihe, was second while Lion Sands took third for Jesus Rosales and Abdullah bin Huzaim. Princess Haya bint al Hussein's colours were ridden to victory by Richard Mullen on Escape Route in the second, a seven-furlong handicap. Swop, from Luca Cumani's string under Kieren Fallon, was second by a length-and-a-quarter while Palazzone was a close third for Ger Lyons.
Mike de Kock suffered disappointment when his Our Giant had to be scratched from the feature, but Lizard's Desire would have brought some comfort when he won the 10-furlong handicap. The Mick Channon-trained Halicarnassus clung on by a nose to take victory from Herman Brown's Mourilyan in the seventh, an extended 12 furlongs on the turf. Pan River claimed the final race, a nine-furlong contest also on turf.