Thursday’s second meeting of the 2021 Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan was officially highlighted by the Gr.2 Cape Verdi presented by Longines and Godolphin’s Althiqa showed impressive acceleration to land the spoils.
Group 2 $163,000 Cape Verdi (fillies & mares 1600m T)
The 1600m turf feature, restricted to fillies and mares, was won impressively by the Godolphin filly Althiqa, supplying both trainer Charlie Appleby and jockey James Doyle a fourth success in the race, a third in combination.
William Buick set the pace on the winner’s stable companion, Summer Romance, and had most of the nine runners in trouble a long way out. The exceptions were the winner and eventual runner-up Sytlistique, badly hampered about 150m out not long after Doyle’s mount hit the front. They stayed on strongly with Summer Romance losing third close home to another Godolphin runner, Saeed bin Suroor’s Dubai Love who made up loads of ground in the long straight.
UAE 1000 Guineas (3yo fillies 1600m D)
The main Thoroughbred support race, also for fillies, but only the 3YO, was also over 1600m but on the dirt. The Listed UAE 1000 Guineas presented by Longines was contested by a field of seven but from just under halfway, only one really mattered. The heroine of the 1400m UAE 1000 Guineas Trial three weeks ago, Godolphin’s Soft Whisper was always cantering under Frankie Dettori and, once he released an inch of rein leaving the home straight, she shot clear to win, eased down, in facile fashion.
A homebred Dubawi filly, she was second on both her first two UK outings before landing a pair of juvenile handicaps. Arriving in the UAE winner of half her four starts, she has now improved that to four from six and, on this evidence, as well as the fact she won over Pontefract’s 1600m stamina test as a 2-year-old, the 1900m of the UAE Oaks will suit her. She could then clash with the colts in the UAE Derby over the same 1900m.
Longines Spirit Collection Trophy (1600mT)
The finale, a 1600m turf handicap, the Longines Spirit Collection Trophy, also went to Godolphin, Bin Suroor, and Dettori, the trip completing a double in the last two races just as they had done seven days ago.
This time it was Bedouin’s Story, who made a rather tardy start and raced in the last half of the capacity field of 16 throughout the majority of the race but produced a thrilling late surge to deny stablemate Dubai Mirage in the final strides.
A 6YO gelded son of Farhh, the winner was recording a fifth career success but first since July 2019 when victorious over 1400m at York.
Al Maktoum Challenge R2 (1900m D)
Also on dirt, the curtain-raiser and only Purebred Arabian race on the card, the 1900m Gr.1 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 presented by Longines, was won stylishly by RB Frynchh Dude, the biggest career success for trainer Helal Alalawi.
Confidently ridden by Pat Cosgrave, sporting the blue and white silks of Byerley Racing, the 5YO entire was settled in about a fifth of the nine runners, but always seemingly, with those in front of him covered. When Cosgrave pressed the accelerator, his mount picked up nicely, hitting the front about from 300m home and never in danger thereafter, breaking the track record in the process. After two Abu Dhabi turf outings to kick off his UAE career, he reverted to dirt, a surface on which he was a Grade Three winner in his native US, to land the Listed Madjani Stakes, over this 1900m course and distance, in the middle of December, his previous outing.
Al Bastakiya Trial (1900m D)
A third dirt race and another restricted to the 3-year-old Classic generation, the Al Bastakiya Trial presented by Longines, a 1900m conditions contest, attracted a field of 15 and Uruguay became the latest international name on the carnival winner’s roster, El Patriota claiming the prize in style.
As one of two runners foaled in the southern hemisphere, forced to concede weight to 13 of his rivals, the Ecologo colt was always traveling well under Vagner Leal, opening his UAE account at just the sixth attempt, before pouncing passing the 200m pole with the race immediately in safekeeping. The winner of three starts from four runs in his native Uruguay, including both dirt outings, he thus defended his unbeaten record on the surface. His dirt wins at home were in Listed races according to international classifications but included a local Group One success.
Zabeel Turf (2000mT)
A Listed Handicap over 2000m on turf, the Zabeel Turf presented by Longines, was unsurprisingly totally dominated by Godolphin, responsible for eight of the 15 runners and supplying the first six home! Leading the way, sporting a pink cap, was Mickael Barzalona aboard Ya Hayati, chased home by stable companions Bright Melody and Star Safari, all trained by Charlie Appleby.
Homebred, the 4-year-old gelded son of Dubawi won the 1900m Meydan Trophy, a 1900m turf conditions race, on his local debut last February, but was then well beaten, on dirt, in Super Saturday’s Al Bastakiya and again at Royal Ascot on his sole 2020 European appearance. He was then gelded.