x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Big night as Godolphin clinch double

Godolphin hoses were triumphant in the two feature races during Dubai Racing Carnival at Meydan Racecourse last night. Skysurfers won the Firebreak Stakes and Splash Point took the UAE 2000 Guineas.

Frankie Dettori rides Skysurfers, left, to victory in the Firebreak Stakes last night.
Frankie Dettori rides Skysurfers, left, to victory in the Firebreak Stakes last night.

DUBAI // The Godolphin stable claimed both feature races of the night at Dubai International Racing Carnival, with Saeed bin Suroor and Mahmoud al Zarooni winning one each.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai was on hand to see the success, spending time in the parade ring before and after the UAE 2000 Guineas.

Saeed bin Suroor drew first blood when Skysurfers claimed the evening's first feature, the 1,600m Listed Firebreak Stakes.

Frankie Dettori's decision to choose Skysurfers instead of Gayego, bin Suroor's other runner, proved sound with the Godolphin horse storming to victory on his seasonal debut. "It was a tough decision but Skysurfers' first run is always his best," said the jockey.

Skysurfers got the better of Mike de Kock's dual Classic winner, Musir, under Christophe Soumillon. Musir was also having his first run of the season, but that one is sure to come on for this outing.

"When I felt Christophe making his move I just asked him to go and he did," said Dettori.

Bin Suroor said the next time his horse will be seen on the track will be World Cup, with the Godolphin Mile his likely target.

Thirty minutes later, Mahmoud al Zarooni's Splash Point, running in the colours of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, was the one-length winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas.

Mikail Barzalona, the young French rider, was in the irons and al Zarooni praised the jockey for winning from a tough draw in 11. "He's a very good horse but I thought it would be hard for him to win from that draw," said al Zarooni. "But the jockey gave him a special ride and he had some luck."

De Kock claimed two quick victories with Hunting Tower in the second race and Golden Sword in the third.

Meanwhile, British trainers were not kept away from the podium, saddling two of the evening's runners. Jamie Osborne and Robert Cowell both claimed victories.

Osborne, a former British champion jumps jockey, now turned flat trainer, scored first when Rakaan romped to victory in the opening 1,400m handicap.

Osborne said he would see how Rakaan comes back from his race before deciding on the runner's next outing.

Soumillon was the pilot for the second British victory, steering Cowell's Prohibit to the post a short head in front of Irish handler, Michael Halford's Invincible Ash. De Kock also claimed the final race, with Soumillon guiding Raihana home.