Dream Castle breaks his duck as Godolphin dominate Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting
Saeed bin Suroor-trained gelding had been without success in the Carnival despite four attempts last year
Fifth time is a charm. At least it was in the case of Dream Castle, who broke his duck at Meydan Racecourse when he landed the Singspiel Stakes for Godolphin on Thursday.
Given an enterprising ride by Christophe Soumillon, Dream Castle came up with a strong run from outside a wall of horses to win the fifth race of the night and kick off a successful first Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting of the season for Godolphin.
The race was memorable for the Dubai-based racing operation also because they clinched the first five places in the Group 3 race.
Victory gave Soumillon and trainer Saeed bin Suroor a double for the night after Bin Battuta clinched the opener. Soumillon, who was crowned the French Champion Jockey for the 10th time last week, was evidently chuffed for Dream Castle.
He had run in the Carnival four times without success last season, and Soumillon conceded he had been nervous going into the start of Thursday's 1,800-metre race.
“He’s now gelded and looks more comfortable,” last year's Dubai World Cup-winning jockey aboard Thunder Snow remarked.
“I was told now he’s very easy in the track works in the morning. He went to the start quite well. He was a bit nervous in the gates, but he gave me a perfect race," he added.
“I was just behind Pat Dobbs [on board Ed Marnane’s Settle For Bay] early in the running, a bit deep and wide, but we were well covered. And when I took him to the outside, he quickened and won very well."
Soumillon called Dream Castle "versatile" and said he "could handle any distance from seven furlongs to the trip he won tonight". The Belgian said he was confident he would "be good from this run for the future".
Bin Suroor’s campaign got off to a splendid start with both his horses coming off last season’s Carnival to make winning reappearances.
“We gave him [Bin Battuta] a break of a year-and-a-half, and he has come back looking better than ever,” the Emirati handler said. “We plan to give him another race in two weeks over the mile-and-a-half, in a handicap. We’ll see how he does in that and then will aim at a Group race for him.”
Bin Suroor has earmarked Bin Battuta to run in the Gold Cup on Dubai World Cup night.
Meanwhile, Al Hayette was impressive in victory at the UAE 1,000 Guineas Trial.
The filly by Union Rags, and owned and trained by Ismail Mohammed, came up with a late challenge under Fabrice Veron to win from Godolphin’s Nashirah by two lengths over the 1,400m distance.
“She won over the mile distance very well last time, and I was a bit concerned of the shorter seven-furlong trip,” the victorious trainer said. “The Guineas is her obviously her next target and we’ll see what plans we can make for her thereafter.
"She can go further than a mile and we’ll have a lot of options for her.
“I bought her in England and I thought she can be aimed at the UAE 1,000 Guineas after seeing her finish runner-up in her last start at the Newcastle Racecourse. Anyway, the objective was always bringing her to Dubai.”
Others who enjoyed a win each were Australia trainer David Hayes and Jim Crowley atop Faatinah in the third race, the Satish Seemar-Richard Mullen pair with Raven’s Corner, and George Scott-Connor Beasley with Another Batt.
Updated: January 3, 2019 10:46 PM