x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Dubai Prince set for bigger tests

The Dubai operation's one-time Classic hope made an encouraging return from a pelvic injury when taking the Dubai Duty Free Conditions Stakes.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, will decide if Dubai Prince will be entered in the Champion Stakes next month after victory in his comeback event, according to Godolphin's racing manager.

The Dubai operation's one-time Classic hope made an encouraging return to the track from a pelvic injury when taking the Dubai Duty Free Conditions Stakes by two and a half lengths at Newbury, England on Friday.

Asked about the Champion Stakes, Simon Crisford said: "He's got an entry, but we'll see what Sheikh Mohammed wants to do. We were very pleased, and he came back great after a hairline fracture to his pelvis."

The Godolphin founder will also be charting a path for Mighty Ambition, who opened her account at the first attempt at Newbury yesterday.

A host of big stables were represented in the Maiden Stakes but Mahmood Al Zarooni's filly, out of Michael Jarvis's Group-class mare New Morning, finished the strongest to win by three-quarters of a length.

"It's not a complete surprise but that's very good - she has a good pedigree and plenty of promise," Crisford said.

"She's not in any big races yet, but she will be."

Also making a return was Casamento, the three-year-old Shamardal colt, who ran on strongly for a cosy last-to-first success in the Group 3 Prix du Prince d'Orange over 2,000 metres at Longchamp, France yesterday.

Making his first start since coming home ninth in a Group 1 race in France in June 5, Casamento broke well, and was soon taken to the rear of the seven runners by Mickael Barzalona. He was still last as the field entered the straight and was switched out to deliver his challenge entering the final quarter-mile.

Casamento quickened well inside the final furlong to take the lead near the line and score comfortably by a length over Barocci.

"I am really pleased that Casamento has come back like this," Al Zarooni, the Emirati trainer, said.

"He briefly looked like he didn't want to pass the rest of the field, which was probably a result of his two previous runs, but he did it nicely in the end.

"We will see how he comes out of the race before making any plans for him but we will look to step him back up in class now."

Meanwhile, just seven horses have been confirmed for the Nayef Joel Stakes at Newmarket on Friday - and two of those could be wearing the blue silks of Godolphin. Poet's Voice and Emerald Commander, both of whom are trained by Saeed bin Suroor, have been declared.

Elsewhere, there was a fitting one-two in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap yesterday for members of the Dubai Royal family.

Taqleed, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, saw off Naqshabban, the horse owned by his cousin, Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, in a tight finish at Newbury, England.

The winner, trained by John Gosden, came with a surging run down the outside of the field and was persuaded by jockey Tadgh O'Shea to put his head in-front 50 yards from the line.

Naqshabban held every chance but just could not match the winner at the end of their protracted duel.

"I had him in the Leger until the last minute and he lost his way a bit in a dry spring," Gosden said:

"He likes the trip and doesn't have to be ridden like that - he came from last to first."

Sheikh Mohammed Obaid is not a prolific owner but did shoot to fame in 1998 when he won the English Derby with his homebred High-Rise.

He manages the racing interests of Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid at the racecourse and training centre at Jebel Ali.