x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Hat-trick for Mahmood Al Zarooni at Meydan

Double wins for jockeys Frankie Dettori and Mickael Barzalona, but Falls of Lora proves to be champion horse of the night.

Mickael Barzalona and Mahmood Al Zarooni-trained Falls of Lora came from behind to win the fourth race in Dubai on Thursday night.
Mickael Barzalona and Mahmood Al Zarooni-trained Falls of Lora came from behind to win the fourth race in Dubai on Thursday night.

DUBAI // Mahmood Al Zarooni's victory with Falls of Lora in Thursday night's UAE Oaks has given him a clean sweep of the three Dubai Classics run at Meydan Racecourse so far this season.

The double-winning jockey Mickael Barzalona reeled in the front-running Mary Fildes who, storming out of the gates and built up a lead of around a dozen lengths at one point in the race.

But the Stan Moore-trained charge, under James Doyle, ran out of steam in the final furlong, leaving Barzalona to his exuberant celebrations with his whip as he as he crossed the line almost three lengths ahead. The only UAE Classic now missing from Al Zarooni's CV is the World Cup-day UAE Derby.

Earlier in the season the Godolphin trainer claimed the 1000 Guineas with Gamilati and the 2000 Guineas with Kinglet.

With two runners in the six-strong field, Al Zarooni always looked to be guaranteed a place, but it was Falls of Lora's stablemate, the Frankie Dettori-ridden Pimpernel, who was considered the first string.

"I'm not surprised to be honest," said Al Zarooni, who watched the race in the company of Godolphin founder, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

"I always thought this filly [Falls of Lora] was a good Carnival horse. The way this race was run was quite different to how an Oaks is usually run but that [the tactics of Mary Fildes] is how you play the game. Everybody is trying their best to win."

Al Zarooni, who saddled a winning treble last night, said he suffered one moment of concern when the field went into the home straight with Mary Fildes still more than eight lengths in front. "To be honest I thought the one in front could win it at that point because she was so far ahead."

Falls of Lora will now follow Godolphin's Gamilati to Europe for the summer season and Al Zarooni said plans had yet to be made regarding her races for the remainder of the UAE season. "We will sit down with [racing manager] Simon Crisford and His Highness and make a plan," he said.

Moore was delighted with Mary Fildes' second.

"We couldn't have asked for more from her," he said. "In her first two races they had been going slowly and she likes a quicker pace so we decided to change the tactic today."

Barzalona also claimed the last race on the card, piloting City Style to victory for Al Zarooni.

Dettori, riding for the trainer Brian Meehan, had earlier claimed the 1,600m Meydan Classic turf race on the plucky Burano.

Dettori found his path to the line blocked by traffic twice during the race, but Burano forced his way through the smallest of gaps to get his head in front on the line.

"He didn't have much luck in running but he's a brave horse and he took his chances through gaps that were very narrow when I asked him," said the jockey, who rode two winners.

A maiden before winning the 1,600m Listed turf contest, trainer Meehan said there would be more to come from Burano.

"He's broken his maiden in a pretty decent race and he can only get better from here."

sports@thenational.ae