Ispolini victorious for Godolphin in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy at Meydan
Victorious by 10 lengths with a dominant display at Thursday's meeting
Godolphin won the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy with the Charlie Appleby-trained Ispolini on Thursday night at Meydan.
Mickael Barzalona on board Ispolini won by more than 10 lengths as he led the first three home for Godolphin over the Dubai World Cup meeting’s Dubai Gold Cup distance of 2,810-metre trip on turf.
“This horse has the speed and a good turn of foot, and you could place him where you want over distance races,” the winning rider said of the four-year-old.
“He’s turning out to be a nice horse. I allowed him to travel freely in the early part and was waiting for a gap to open to go forward. It was a fairly straightforward race and when I got him to the front he just drew away.”
However, Godolphin’s joy was marred by a fatal injury to stable companion and race-favourite Brundtland.
Brundtland was pulled up on the back stretch by his jockey William Buick after racing prominently behind another Godolphin runner Red Galileo.
AF Maher booked his place in the Dubai Kahayla Classic on the Dubai World Cup night on March 30 after winning the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round-3 for Purebred Arabians.
Tadhg O’Shea who jumped on board the Ernst Oertel-trained six-year-old after the stables AF Al Sajanjle on whom he was booked to ride was withdrawn, made every yard of the running to win from the Richard Mullen-ridden Ziyadd by three and-a-half lengths.
The win took O’Shea’s tally to 501, three short of equalling the UAE’s all-time record of 504 of Richard Hills.
“I wouldn’t have thought of that when I got off the plane in 2001 and that’s great to have,” said the Irishman who first arrived in the UAE as an apprentice and won the UAE jockeys title four times.
“He is very straightforward,” O’Shea added of AF Maher. “I was drawn well (Gate 2). He had a bit to find in the official ratings but he powered on his natural early speed.
“He was still moving well when we turned for home and was a very willing partner.”
Simon Crisford celebrated a double on the night with Sporting Chance winning the Listed Meydan Classic under Patrick Cosgrave and Christophe Soumillon steering African Ride in the second and third races, respectively.
Updated: February 28, 2019 10:07 PM