x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Gamilati lives up to reputation to claim 1,000 Guineas Trial

Sheikh Mohammed pleased with showing by three year old from Godolphin’s stables.

Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Gamilati, right, steamed ahead of the pack around the last bend to win the UAE 1,000 Guineas Trial at Meydan Racecourse yesterday.
Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Gamilati, right, steamed ahead of the pack around the last bend to win the UAE 1,000 Guineas Trial at Meydan Racecourse yesterday.

DUBAI // Godolphin’s Gamilati stormed into Classic contention with a convincing victory in the UAE 1,000 Guineas Trial at Meydan Racecourse yesterday.

The filly, said to be a personal favourite of the racing operation’s founder, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, showed her class as she coasted across the line two-and-three-quarter lengths ahead of her five rivals in the 1,400m Tapeta contest.

“It’s a nice way to start the year,” said Sheikh Mohammed after meeting his returning winner in the parade ring.

“I think we will run her in the 1,000 Guineas as that’s probably her distance.”

The three year old was apparently singled out by the Godolphin founder as one of the Dubai-based operation’s most promising youngsters last year.

She will now contest the UAE 1,000 Guineas early next month when she will try to give Godolphin an eighth victory in the race, with her ultimate goal this season being the English 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Simon Crisford, Godolphin’s racing manager, confirmed Gamilati would run in the English Classic if she continues to deliver on her early promise.

He also hinted that there is a lot more to come from the filly.

“It was always the plan to campaign her in Dubai in preparation for the [English] 1,000 Guineas. We’ve done this before.

“Obviously she’s not fully wound up but hopefully we will progress to the [UAE] Guineas and then back to Newmarket,” he said.

Yesterday’s victory lifted the lingering shadow of Gamilati’s disappointing last run in England.

The filly, who was bred by the Darley breeding arm of Sheikh Mohammed’s racing operation, won the Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes at Newmarket in July, but she disappointed in her next run in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York, finishing last in a field of 11.

Mahmood Al Zarooni, her trainer, wrote off that outing as “a bad day at the office”.

Not seen on a racetrack since then, the daughter of Bernadini, was given a bit of a holiday after coming to the UAE.

“She has had a lovely break since York and has really enjoyed the Dubai weather,” Al Zarooni said.

So she had something to prove at Meydan Racecourse yesterday and she didn’t disappoint.

Racing in the middle of the field under Frankie Dettori, she picked up the pace around the last bend. Her easy turn of foot saw her cruise past the runner-up Alsindi, who won the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes last year, and the third-placed Mary Fildes from the yard of the visiting British trainer Stan Moore.

Dettori, who did not even have to pick up the whip in the home straight, said Gamilati deserved to progress further.

“She looked the best on form and did it very well,” he said. “She will improve from this and deserves the chance to see how much further she can go.”

After the UAE 1,000 Guineas Gamilati is likely to be shipped back to Newmarket where she is will pursue a Classic campaign in England in accordance with the tried and tested Godolphin preference for conditioning horses in Dubai’s winter warmth before a summer season in Europe.

She will be following on from the success of Godolphin’s 2011 all-conquering filly, Khawlah, who claimed the UAE Oaks and then went on to beat the boys in the UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup night.

Satish Seemar also had an excellent Meydan meeting yesterday, claiming a double with Sand Stamp, ridden Richard Mullen in the opening 1,200m handicap and followed up with victory in the 2,200m last with Lord Tiger under Harry Bentley.

“I was very lucky in running because he missed the break,” Bentley said. “Luckily and the gaps arrived during the race and he went through them.”

sports@thenational.ae