x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

A regal display from Prince Bishop at Meydan

Gelding may return for tilt at World Cup following victory with Frankie Dettori.

Frankie Dettori rides Prince Bishop to victory.
Frankie Dettori rides Prince Bishop to victory.

Dubai // Prince Bishop, Godolphin's disappointing 2011 World Cup-night runner, may be on a trail back to the richest race in the world after an easy win under Frankie Dettori at Meydan Racecourse last night.

Dettori steered the gelding to a five-and-a-quarter length victory for the trainer Saeed bin Suroor over 2,000m of the track's Tapeta - the same distance the World Cup will be run over on March 31.

The five-year-old runner has recently recaptured a hint of his form from two years ago, which saw him win four good races in France, including a Group 3 and a Group 2.

The son of Dubawi did not shine on his first UAE season, however. He managed just fifth in the third round of the Al Maktoum Challenge and slumped to 10th place in the US$10 million (Dh36.7m) World Cup.

He was then transferred to Newmarket for the English summer season where two more lacklustre performances ensued.

"He is getting back to his best," bin Suroor said yesterday. "He was a new horse to us last year and he just didn't settle very well. Now he seems more focused and I think that physically he looks better than last year."

Bin Suroor said that Prince Bishop's comeback trail started in November in England.

"He won a [Listed] race two months ago in England and that was a very good sign," he said.

A typically cautious bin Suroor said it was too soon to talk about a World Cup entry for Prince Bishop, but clues as to his ultimate goal can be gained from his next race. The runner is now to be aimed at the Al Maktoum Challenge, one of a series of three races often used by trainers to test the World Cup credentials of a horse.

The Singaporean raider Captain Obvious took the spoils in the 1,200m Tapeta sprint under the jockey Oscar Chavez. The handsome grey is charting a course to the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint in early February and a possible World Cup sprint slot on March 31.

Captain Obvious started his career in Malaysia, and his trainer, Steve Burridge, was concerned that the six year old's form would not hold in esteemed company.

"Sometimes the horses from Malaysia don't measure up, but as soon as we got him he showed his class," Burridge said.

Captain Obvious has now claimed three wins from six runs for the Singapore-based trainer.

"He was a little bit fat when we first got hold of him but he's a very nice horse to train and he's done that very well. We're looking at a Group 3 for him next month."

Burridge is now two from three in Dubai after his promising colt, Dark Matter, claimed the recent UAE 2000 Guineas trial in workmanlike fashion. "We have entered for everything," said Burridge, confirming that both Dark Matter and Captain Obvious hold entries for World Cup Day races. "It's early days, of course, and we will see how they go, but the signs are that they are settling in well and its nice to have the option."