x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Field day for Godolphin and Dettori

Godolphin roared back to form yesterday on the second day of the July meeting.

A mentally improved Kite Wood shed his poor track record to land the Bahrain Trophy, which was upgraded to a Group Three race, at the Newmarket racecourse yesterday.
A mentally improved Kite Wood shed his poor track record to land the Bahrain Trophy, which was upgraded to a Group Three race, at the Newmarket racecourse yesterday.

NEWMARKET // Godolphin roared back to form yesterday on the second day of the July meeting. The Dubai-based operation sent out two winners, and stable jockey Frankie Dettori also won the last race of the day on an afternoon which was kind to most UAE-owned runners.

The Bahrain Trophy had been upgraded to a Group 3 by the Newmarket executive for this year's July Festival, and their foresight was rewarded in the first race by a performance from Godolphin's Kite Wood that oozed class. The three-year-old son of Galileo, who was purchased last year out of Michael Jarvis' stable, broke the course record in a stamina-packed display. It was expected that Neil Callan, aboard the Sheikh Ahmed Al Makhtoum-owned Dhushan, and Dettori on Kite Wood, would have to duel for the lead.

As the contest heated up, the white face of Tactic, owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, ranged up beside the pair. Dettori kept stoking the fire, however, and Kite Wood responded by finishing two-and-a-half lengths clear of Tactic and Above Average. Kite Wood had struggled earlier this season, finishing fifth in the Dante Stakes at York, and ninth in the Derby. The warning signs that things might be different this time were sounded when the Bahrain High Commission, the race sponsors, deemed Kite Wood the best turned out colt in the paddock.

His appearance also suggested to trainer Saeed bin Suroor that a good run was in store. "Before his last two races he had been sweating and that was a bad sign. Today I waited outside the horsebox and he was dry and happy. I think he has improved mentally," the trainer said. The distance of one mile and five furlongs suggests Kite Wood would get the St Leger trip at Doncaster over a furlong further.

Racing manager Simon Crisford revealed that the season's final Classic in September was indeed the aim for the winner. "His next race will be either the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury in August," he continued. "Or we will go for the Great Voltigeur at York. Right now, I think that the Newbury race is more likely." Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was on hand to witness the run.

"We have always thought that Kite Wood would be a horse for the second half of the season," said the driving force behind Godolphin. He also revealed that he was still keen to buy Sea the Stars, this year's outstanding 2,000 Guineas and Derby winner. "We would love to stand Sea the Stars at Darley Stud," he said. "The colt is by Cape Cross [who raced in Godolphin's distinctive blue silks], but he is still with the owner for now."

Godolphin almost followed up 100 minutes later when Schiaparelli tried to win in the same manner as Kite Wood in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales's Stakes, won by Doctor Freemantle. Ted Durcan set the pace on the six-year-old, but as the pair entered the final furlong, they appeared to wander over to the stand's side-rail and interfere with Alwaary, ridden by Richard Hills and owned by Sheikh Hamdan.

Although Schiaparelli finished ahead of Alwaary, the stewards considered the infringement damaging. Alwaary was placed second and Schiaparelli demoted to third. Sheikh Hamdan made up for that defeat by winning the next race with Awzaan, before the crowd were treated to a Dettori special aboard Godolphin's Spring Of Fame and Canadian Danehill in the five-furlong sprint. The Italian was so ecstatic that he made his customary flying dismount for both horses, reserved primarily for Group 1 successes. It was that sort of day.

@Email:griddle@thenational.ae