x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Gamilati is Godolphin's 'best ever' UAE 1000 Guineas entry

The stable's racing manager, Simon Crisford, has been talking up the chances of the three-year-old filly in a race where Godolphin often thrives.

Godolphin believe Gamilati, right, pictured winning at Meydan in January, is the best they have entered in the UAE 1000 Guineas.
Godolphin believe Gamilati, right, pictured winning at Meydan in January, is the best they have entered in the UAE 1000 Guineas.

Gamilati may not even be the fastest three-year-old filly in Godolphin's possession but Simon Crisford believes that the daughter of Bernardini is the best horse the Dubai-based organisation have ever aimed at today's UAE 1000 Guineas at Meydan Racecourse.

The roll call for the first UAE Classic of the season reads like a Godolphin benefit, with Saeed bin Suroor responsible for seven winners going back to when he saddled the first five home in the inaugural race 11 years ago.

And like Muwakleh, the first winner back in 2001, Godolphin hopes Gamilati will use the Listed mile contest as a springboard to a serious challenge in the English 1000 Guineas on the first Saturday in May.

Bin Suroor does not have a runner this year but Mahmood Al Zarooni saddles not only Gamilati, but also her chief rival, Pimpernel.

"Both are doing very well and we have been pleased with their preparation," said Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager.

"We will see how they get on before deciding on any future plans but we are obviously hoping Gamilati will prove herself good enough to be aimed at Newmarket. She would be better than our previous winners."

Muwakleh used her experience in Dubai to good effect to finish second to Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid's Ameerat in the English equivalent.

Although Mezzo Soprano, Godolphin's 2003 winner, could only finish 14th at Newmarket, she progressed through her Classic season to win the Group 1 Prix Vermeille at Longchamp, France.

In winning the UAE 1000 Guineas trial last month, Gamilati graduated to a level of form that would be good enough to win most runnings of today's contest.

Although her defeat of today's rival Alsindi by two-and-three-quarter lengths was the slowest time of the 35 races to have been run over 1,400m on the Dubai Tapeta track at one minute, 27.45 seconds, she picked up after the turn in a manner that suggests she should have few problems dispatching the five other runners.

Of course, Godolphin also have Discourse, who won the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket in August as well as Lyric Of Light, who snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a last-gasp success in the Group 1 Fillies' Mile in September.

Both fillies, bred by Darley, are considered in England to be more likely winners of the English 1000 Guineas than either Gamilati or Pimpernel but a big run today may force a rethink.

Racing is always an inexact science and should things go awry today it would not be the first time that Godolphin would have got their workings wrong.

In 2008, the whole of Dubai thought that Fiesta Lady would win the UAE 1000 Guineas but despite the urgings of Frankie Dettori in the final 400m at Nad Al Sheba, she was trounced by her stablemate Cocoa Beach.

Cocoa Beach went on to win the UAE Oaks, like Satin Kiss and Folk before her, but should either of the Godolphin fillies prevail it is unlikely they will make the line-up on February 23 for the nine furlong event.

Gamilati simply has not got the breeding to stay further, and although Pimpernel is out of a staying mare, Crisford remains unconvinced. He said: "I'm not sure if Pimpernel will stay further but we'll know more tomorrow. A mile would be Gamilati's maximum trip."

If Gamilati wins today, it is likely to be the last run in the UAE. Blink and you will miss her.

sports@thenational.ae