x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Godolphin's Double Dealer makes amends

Double Dealer bounced back from a poor run at Pontefract last time out to hand Mahmood al Zarooni, the Emirati trainer, victory in England yesterday.

Double Dealer bounced back from a poor run at Pontefract last time out to hand Mahmood al Zarooni, the Emirati trainer, victory in England yesterday. The two-year-old Dubawi colt laboured to sixth over six furlongs under Ahmed Atjebi last month but performed significantly better when piloted by Royston Ffrench in the EBF Goodwood Racecourse Owners Group Nursery Handicap yesterday.

Paul Hanagan, on board Inside, was in front with a furlong to run yesterday but Double Dealer held the aces inside the distance and came home a length and a half clear of Uncle Dermot. "I got a nice position in behind horses, he settled well, and looks to be progressing nicely," Ffrench said. Mutual Force, the second Godolphin entry in the race, finished fourth. Secrecy is fancied to make it two wins in as many days for Godolphin today by winning the feature race of the day at Salisbury.

Godolphin's consistent four-year-old has been in impressive form this term, and looks favourably treated for the Bathwick Tyres Free Admission Raceday Conditions Stakes. Comfortably the highest-rated horse in this line-up, Saeed bin Suroor's son of King's Best has not finished outside the first three in nine starts - an excellent record by any standards. He also brings to the table the best form in the race, with his second behind subsequent Joel Stakes winner Cityscape in the Superior Mile at Haydock now looking very strong.

Before his trip to Haydock, he clinically pocketed a conditions race at Kempton after finishing a close-up third in the Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury. It was interesting in the Sovereign Stakes that Godolphin's No 1 jockey, Frankie Dettori, had elected to ride Secrecy, with Poet's Voice, the mount of Ted Durcan, just a nose ahead of him in second. Given the exploits of his Queen Elizabeth II Stakes-winning stablemate, it perhaps gives an insight into the regard with which Secrecy is held at home.

Although some may question why bin Suroor is dropping him down this trip by a furlong, he has consistently shown plenty of pace - most strikingly at Newmarket last October.