x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Gamilati wins UAE 1000 Guineas for Godolphin and sets sights on Newmarket

The filly will aim to follow Blue Bunting's path by winning the English equivalent of the classic race.

Frankie Dettori, in blue, riding on Gamilati won the UAE 1000 Guineas at Meydan Racecourse yesterday.
Frankie Dettori, in blue, riding on Gamilati won the UAE 1000 Guineas at Meydan Racecourse yesterday.

DUBAI // Gamilati is on course to emulate Godolphin's English 1000 Guineas winner, Blue Bunting, after devastating the field in the UAE version of the Classic race at Meydan Racecourse yesterday.

The filly's impressive canter to a five-and-a-half length victory in the mile contest delighted her owner, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

He watched the race unfold at the track alongside his son, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed.

Gamilati has now been earmarked by Sheikh Mohammed not only for the English Classics, but also Royal Aascot and is a possible for the UAE Oaks on February 23.

"After that win all options are now open to Gamilati," he said. "She will go to England but before today she was possibly not going to run in the Classics. Now the Guineas is open, the Oaks is open, Newmarket is open to her.

"We will have to think about the UAE Oaks now and perhaps Royal Ascot."

Gamilati may be about to follow in the hoof prints of Godolphin's Muwakleh, the winner of the 2001 UAE 1000 Guineas who went on to finish second in the Group 1 Newmarket 1000 Guineas.

Sheikh Mohammed, who has won eight UAE 1000 Guineas, said he was impressed with the manner in which his filly finished yesterday.

"She ran a little too free in her last race, but she settled much better today," he said, adding that Gamilati's coat seemed better- an indication of the overall health of a racehorse.

Ridden confidently by Frankie Dettori, Gamilati, who is trained by Mahmoud Al Zarooni, took up position tail of the field while Moon Spun set the pace under Ryan Moore.

But as they rounded the final bend, Gamilati scooted closer to the back of the field and proved that she has many more gears still to come by cruising past the pack in effortless fashion in the home straight to win going away from the rest. Dettori did not even pick up his whip as his mount accelerated readily.

"She took my breath away," said Dettori who has ridden three 1000 Guineas winners at Newmarket. "I was obviously very hopeful but I did not expect that.

"I was turning for home and she picked up very well off a steady pace. I was pleasantly surprised. That was impressive. She settled much better today and she showed what a turn of foot she has."

Pimpernel, ridden by Mickael Barzalona, was second for a Godolphin 1-2, while Alsindi was two-and-a-half lengths further back under Royston Ffrench for trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

Gamilati is a personal favourite of Sheikh Mohammed. His Highness not only bred her through the Darley breeding arm of his international racing operation, but also singled her out as one of the operation's most promising youngsters last year.

But it has not all been plain sailing for the talented filly.

She claimed the Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes at Newmarket as a two-year-old before flopping to dead last in her next outing, the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York.

But her commanding wins in the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial and the actual Listed race yesterday will have gone a long way to erase the memory of her defeat.

Al Zarooni, for whom it was a first UAE 1000 Guineas victory, said the change in the filly could be put down to a better mental attitude.

"Frankie did a brilliant job with the way he rode her," said Zarooni "He allowed her to settle and when they are settled they can go a bit further. I don't think there is any other jockey who can ride this filly as well as Frankie.

"I think she can go further, it will not be a problem. She will definitely get a mile-and-a-quarter but I am not sure about a mile-and-a-half yet."

"I believe the mind is more important than anything in a horse. If she settles she saves her energy, if not she's losing energy."

sports@thenational.ae