x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Bankable looks good for Dubai Duty Free

The Herman Brown-trained runner, who had not raced for six months, went from last to first in a beautifully-timed ride at Meydan Racecourse.

DUBAI // Bankable set himself up as a serious Dubai Duty Free contender last night when winning the $150,000 (Dh550,900) Al Fahidi Fort at Meydan Racecourse by a slither of a nostril. The Herman Brown-trained runner, who had not raced for six months, went from last to first in a beautifully-timed ride from the UK Champion jockey, Ryan Moore. Imbongi, from the yard of Brown's fellow South African, Mike de Kock, lost nothing at all in second place under Christophe Soumillon over the mile contest. Ibn Battuta, the Winter Racing Challenge hero, trained by Musabah al Muhairi was third for the jockey Wayne Smith. Bankable is now likely to make straight for the World Cup-day Duty Free, worth $5million, a race that Brown won in 2008 with Jay Peg. "It was a great ride from Ryan," said Brown. "He is not an easy horse because he can be quite lazy in the early stages, but when he quickens he can really move, so his run needs to be timed very well and that's where Ryan is such a good jockey. "It's a great performance from Bankable considering his long layoff and we are very happy with him. "I think we wont run him again now until the big day." Doug Watson claimed three races on the night while Godolphin continued their excellent form with two winners. Watson drew first blood though, with Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's Purebred Arabian, Quaolina. The Bani Yas Commercial Bank of Dubai over six furlongs was a Group Two and the mare, having a first run at Meydan Racecourse, galloped home just over two lengths ahead of Ali Rashid al Raihe's Palapal. It could have been a different story, however, as third-placed Jinad looked to finish the strongest of the field, but severely damaged his chances by sweeping wide on the final bend under Richard Mullen and flashing home in third on the very outside rail. "She seems to like it here and that was a good run," said Quaolina's jockey, Richard Hills. "She picked up really nicely, especially considering she was giving weight to some of the boys in the race." Watson followed up 35 minutes later with victory for Green Coast under Tadhg O'Shea in the Al Dana Commercial Bank of Dubai Handicap and rounded off the evening with victory in the last for Roman's Run, another winner for O'Shea. Godolphin landed the CBD Visa Infinite Card Handicap with Global City who came back twice to get the better of al Raihe's tough contender, Montpellier. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Global City was too strong in the final stages for Montpellier who was a winner at Jebel Ali earlier in the season. Godolphin's reserve in the CBD World Master Card Handicap, Skysurfers, was thrust into the race after West Side Bernie was scratched and romped to a three-and-a-quarter length victory for Dettori. A winner on his only previous outing, the colt looked superior to the field. De Kock's Eagle Mountain, his possible World Cup contender, was second over the mile trip, which the trainer had been using to gauge the horse's fitness. Kieren Fallon said prior to the weekend that Drunken Sailor represented his best chance of a win and his words proved prophetic as the Luca Cumani charge hung on to take the CBD Financial Services Handicap. De Kock's King of Rome, who had scored two consecutive wins after being gelded was beaten into second under Kevin Shea. "He did well," said Fallon, who won on the horse on Meydan Racecourse's opening night. "I followed Tadhg (on fourth-placed Hello Morning) and he was doing well. It was a matter of getting home and he did that. You have to keep him interested and it was a good win."

stregoning@thenational.ae