x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Mariner's Cross makes his mark for Godolphin

Frankie Dettori's victory ride in the Wood Ditton Stakes to gave trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni a second consecutive win in the mile contest for maidens.

Frankie Dettori rode the unraced Mariner's Cross to victory in the Wood Ditton Stakes.
Frankie Dettori rode the unraced Mariner's Cross to victory in the Wood Ditton Stakes.

NEWMARKET // Godolphin may have a strong hand in this year's English 1,000 Guineas but yesterday at the headquarters of British racing the Dubai-based organisation began to reveal their hopes for the English Derby.

Frankie Dettori rode the unraced Mariner's Cross to victory in the Wood Ditton Stakes to give trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni a second consecutive win in the mile contest for maidens.

While there were mutterings afterwards about a possible appearance at Epsom Downs on the first Saturday in June, it was speculation that Al Zarooni did not play down.

"We have always thought a lot of him," the Emirati trainer said. "His Highness [Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and ruler of Dubai] was always pointing him out. He is by Dubawi and his head looks like Dubai Millennium so hopefully he will turn out like them."

Mariner's Cross was always well-placed by Dettori in the 18-runner field and he pulled a length and three-quarters clear of the well-regarded Mukhadram, owned by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid.

It was an eye-catching performance, but Al Zarooni promised there would be more to come when the colt runs next, possibly at Listed level over further.

"We cannot say how good he is as he has only won a maiden but maybe we will go for a race over a mile-and-a-quarter next time and then decide [about the Derby]," he said. Nearly two hours later, Godolphin's hopes that Mighty Ambition would advertise his credentials as a live hope for the English 2,000 Guineas were dashed when the mount of Dettori could only finish fifth behind Richard Hannon's Trumpet Major in the Group 3 Craven Stakes.

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE