x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

A No 1 win for world's No 1 golfer at Meydan

Lee Westwood scored a first Dubai win at Meydan Racecourse yesterday when Our Giant triumphed over 1,200m on the opening night of the track's international season.

Credit DRC and Andrew Watkins
Credit DRC and Andrew Watkins

DUBAI // The golfer Lee Westwood scored a first Dubai win at Meydan Racecourse yesterday when Our Giant triumphed over 1,200m on the opening night of the track's international season.

Westwood, the world No 1 who is in town ahead of this month's Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, watched his runner from the paddock with trainer, Mike de Kock, and co-owner Chubby Chandler.

"It's great to get a Dubai International Racing Carnival win for Lee and Chubby, I've been trying to do that for about seven years," said De Kock, who also claimed a victory with Reem in the UAE 1,000 Guineas Trial.

"Mike was always confident," said Westwood. "But I won't be celebrating this win as I'm in town for a golf tournament and I came back from my holidays a little overweight."

De Kock looks to have a strong hand in the UAE 1,000 Guineas after claiming a one-two in the prep race.

Mahbooba, a Grade 1 winner IN South Africa, has been making the headlines, but it was Reem, ridden by Pat Cosgrave, who made all in the 1,400m conditions contest.

"I'm happy with that," said De Kock, who won this conditions race last year with Raihana, the eventual UAE Oaks winner. "Pat rode a very smart race and deserved that. I was very impressed with Mahbooba's effort at the finish."

Godolphin's horses returned to the desert in fighting form, with both the racing operation's trainers Mahmoud al Zarooni and Saeed bin Suroor saddling winners.

Al Zarooni claimed his first Carnival winner.

"I'm very happy to have a first winner at the Carnival," said al Zarooni, the Godolphin Mile-winning trainer, who claimed two Group 1 wins during the summer. Rock N Roll Ransom, under three-time British champion jockey Ryan Moore, came from a wide position to claim race four, a 2,200m handicap on the Tapeta.

Bin Suroor did not have long to wait for his first win of the season, as Wajir was an impressive four-and-three-quarter length winner in race five. "It's great to have a win to start the season," said bin Suroor.

The trainer followed up with an easy win for Mendip under jockey Frankie Dettori, in the Group 3 Al Maktoum Challenge Round I for Thoroughbreds.

Gillian Duffield recorded the training performance of the night when her Purebred Arabian, No Risk al Maury, runner-up in last season's Kahayla Classic, claimed the first round of the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge.

The winner of this race last year, who has not run since World Cup day, No Risk al Maury flashed past his rivals to win by four-and-a-half lengths from 2009 Kahayla Classic winner, Fryvolous.

"That was amazing," she said. "I was worried because he's had such a long break but he's such an honest horse. His goal will be the Kahayla Classic of course, but I'm not sure whether I'll take the same route as last time, we might try him on grass but that decision will be for Sheikh Hamdan to make."

sports@thenational.ae

The winners

Race 1 – 1,600m – AW
Winner: No Risk al Maury Jockey: Richard Hills
Trainer: Gillian Duffield

Race 2 – 1,400m – AW

Winner: Reem
Jockey: Pat Cosgrave
Trainer: Mike de Kock

Race 3 – 1,400m – Turf
Winner: Dandy Boy
Jockey: Colm O’Donoghue
Trainer: David Marnane

Race 4 - 2,200m – AW

Winner: Rock n Roll Ransom
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Trainer: Mahmoud al Zarooni

Race 5 – 2,435m – Turf
Winner: Wajir
Jockey: Ted Durcan
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor

Race 6 – 1,200m – AW
Winner: Our Giant
Jockey: Christophe Soumillon
Trainer: Mike de Kock

Race 7 – 1,600m – AW
Winner: Mendip
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor

Race 8 – 1,600m – Turf

Winner: Steele Tango
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Trainer: RA Teal