x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Dominant 1000 Guineas display indicates a bright future for Godolphin's Gamilati

The filly demonstrated her pace in winning the first classic of the season at Meydan and Godolphin must surely now be considering an effort over a longer distance.

Gamilati, under Frankie Dettori, romped to a comfortable win in the UAE 1000 Guineas at Meydan.
Gamilati, under Frankie Dettori, romped to a comfortable win in the UAE 1000 Guineas at Meydan.

The Ruler of Dubai may have a new favourite thoroughbred racehorse. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President of the UAE, was present again at Meydan Racecourse yesterday to watch Gamilati put her rivals to the sword in the UAE 1000 Guineas.

Sheikh Mohammed graced the Dubai track when Gamilati was an easy winner of the UAE 1000 Guineas trial last month, and he was full of pride when his filly toyed with her rivals to win the first UAE Classic of the season.

The winning margin of five-and-a-half lengths was scarcely indicative of her superiority over her stablemate Pimpernel, who had shown a high level of form in England last season.

Much like the trial, the pace was slow and Gamilati showed that her most potent weapon is pace. She finished the final 400 metres in 22.43 seconds but won the race hard held under Frankie Dettori.

Pimpernel was second in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket in October, finishing two lengths behind Wading, who won in a time quicker than the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes on the same card.

Although collateral form is often misleading, this was an extremely high-class effort.

Before the race, the Godolphin operation had suggested that the English 1000 Guineas at Newmarket was on Gamilati's schedule, but after travelling so well throughout her race she could well stay further at Meydan.

Sheikh Mohammed suggested as much afterwards. His Darley operation bred the filly, crossing Bernardini, who was a triple Group 1 winner over 2,000m, with Illustrious Miss, a mare who struggled to get a mile well. As a result, in Gamilati's early years Godolphin believed that she would turn out to be a sprinter.

Yesterday, however, she coasted through the 1,600m, and while Godolphin contemplate a tilt at the first Classic of the British season in May, surely an effort over a longer distance will be discussed by Sheikh Mohammed and Simon Crisford, his racing manager.

The UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup night, a race which Godolphin won last year with Khawlah, could be a possibility, while the UAE Oaks on February 23 would surely be at her mercy.

Gamilati showed at York last year that she had a tendency to pull in her races.

A horse often fights the bit in anticipation of having to go to its reserves of energy when it does not really want to. It can sometimes mean there is something wrong physically, but there was no evidence of this at Meydan.

Dettori settled his mount beautifully at the back of the pack and 500m into the race he made up the ground he had left between him and field. It showed that he had complete confidence in Gamilati's tactical speed, and when the moment came in the straight he angled his mount around the outside to victory.

As for Pimpernel, the UAE 1000 Guineas has proved to be a rich source of winners of the UAE Oaks, and the daughter of the sprinter Invincible Spirit ran a race that suggests she could also take in an extra 200m. Given it was her first run of the UAE season, she may well reduce the deficit should her conqueror be aimed at the race.

When Mickael Barzalona angled Pimpernel for a run past Mirco Demuro on Colorful Notion he found nothing and his mount plugged past Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa's runner.

Demuro, the Dubai World Cup victor, clearly did not take kindly to Barzalona barging through and used his elbows to restrict the Frenchman's passing.

The move highlights what a competitive jockey the Italian is, but competition was not a concept in much evidence yesterday.

The race was supposed to be Gamilati's only run in the UAE but you can count on seeing a bit more of her over the next few weeks.

sports@thenational.ae