Despite five horses representing UAE ownership, the Hardwicke Stakes went the way of Aidan O'Brien's Await the Dawn yesterday. But it was not a total washout for the UAE during the five days of the royal meeting at Ascot, England.
Await The Dawn eclipses UAE runners
ASCOT, ENGLAND // Despite five horses representing UAE ownership, the Hardwicke Stakes went the way of Aidan O'Brien's Await The Dawn yesterday.
Godolphin ran Campanologist, Passion For Gold and Calvados Blues in the Group 2 event, while Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa was represented by Poet and Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid by Laaheb. For good measure, Fitri Hay ran King's Gambit.
None of them managed to reach the frame, however, but it was not a total washout for the UAE during the five days of the royal meeting.
Rewilding's victory over the imported former Australian superstar So You Think in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes on Wednesday was undoubtedly the race of the meeting.
Godolphin and Coolmore have duelled in many racing theatres, both on the track and in the bloodstock sales ring, down the years, but not since Fantastic Light and Galileo went hoof to hoof in 2001 have the two global superpowers provided such a thrilling set-to.
By bursting the bubble of hype surrounding So You Think, suggested by trainer O'Brien to be among the best horses he has trained, Rewilding's performance went down as the best middle-distance run in Britain and the third all told in 2011 after Frankel's walkover in the English 2,000 Guineas and the victory by Canford Cliffs over Goldikova in the Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday.
Frankie Dettori received a nine-day ban for hitting Rewilding 24 times in the final 400 metres. Added to his 10-day ban for dropping his hands on Blue Bunting in the Epsom Oaks, Godolphin's retained rider has an extended mid-summer holiday.
Dettori misses the Coral Eclipse meeting at Sandown on the first weekend of July and the first day of the three-day July meeting at Newmarket.
"For anyone who thinks the whip rules aren't severe enough, I want you to bear in mind that my suspension could cost me between £50,000 and £100,000 (Dh294,000 and Dh595,000)," said Dettori. "That's a lot of money in anyone's book, but rules are rules. I broke them, and I had to be punished.
"I'm happy to hold my hands up and accept the stewards' ruling, because I think the whip rules, as they currently stand, are right and don't need further change.
"Rewilding was responding to my pressure and we won the race, and that's what I'm paid by one of the top stables in the world to do.
"People shouldn't forget that it's in my interests that horses like Rewilding have a long and successful career."
Rewilding has now won Group races in three countries and is a live chance in both the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot next month, and possibly in the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on the first week of October.
There, he again could meet So You Think, along with last year's victor, Workforce, this season's Derby winner, Pour Moi, and Reliable Man, winner of the French Derby.
Other notable successes for UAE owners were the victories of Beachfire and Namibian within 40 minutes of each other on Friday, handing Princess Haya bint Hussein and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed their first taste of success at the Royal Meeting.
Beachfire was ridden by William Buick, who also collected a two-day ban for careless riding.
Along with Dettori, a total of 14 jockeys received bans throughout the meeting.