Desert Fire, ridden by Hector Crouch, wins the Al Rashidiya Group 2 race during the second meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival on Friday. Courtesy: ERA
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Team Godolphin were expected to clean up on week two of the Dubai World Cup Carnival and they did in style, winning five of the seven races on a classy night’s action at the Meydan Racecourse on Friday.
Not surprisingly, four wins came on the turf and were headed by a sweep of the twin Group 2 feature races, the 1800m Al Rashidiya with Desert Fire and the 1400m Al Fahidi Fort courtesy Naval Crown.
Desert Fire was trained by eight-time Carnival champion Saeed Bin Suroor, who would go on to complete a three-timer, while Naval Crown raced out of Epsom Derby and Melbourne Cup-winning handler Charlie Appleby’s desert stables in Marmoom.
It was left to Emirati handler Salem Bin Ghadayer and reigning UAE champion trainer Doug Watson to jostle for a share of the Carnival spotlight, which they did with aplomb, the former taking the 1400m UAE 2000 Guineas Trial Presented by Al Furjan By Azizi with the hugely impressive Rawy and Watson quite expectedly picking up the 1200m Dubawi Stakes presented by Riviera by Azizi with in-form sprinter, Al Tariq.
Earlier, in the evening, Appleby got proceedings off to a positive start when he sent out international favorite Silent Speech to secure a two-length victory in the Dubai Trophy Presented by Creek Views by Azizi over six furlongs before his Godolphin team-mate, Suroor unearthed an exciting talent in the form of Island Falcon, a gritty length and a half winner ver fancied New Kingdom in the first running of the 1800m Jumeirah Derby Trial presented by Park Avenue by Azizi.
While Godolphin runners may have ruled supreme it was Ghadayer’s American acquisition Rawy who conceivably delivered the performance of the day when outclassing his six rivals to win the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial in breathtaking fashion.
Rawy broke well under French ace Mickael Barzalona and quickly assumed control of the contest.
At no point did he look like relenting, pulling clear at the 500-metre mark before excelling himself to cross the line two lengths clear of Uruguay’s last-outing Meydan scorer, Quality Boone.
The sense of excitement is rising ahead of the 15th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival, which will take place at The Curragh Racecourse in Co. Kildare (Ireland) from Saturday to Sunday.
Ralph Beckett-trained Westover won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby with a dominant display at the Curragh Racecourse on Saturday. Ridden by Colin Keane, Westover romped home with seven lengths to spare over Piz Badile. French Claim finished third.
The pair were locked in battle throughout the second half of the race, Hitchcott’s mount only stamping his authority on proceedings in the final 200m.
In a remarkable display of skill and determination, Faisal completed the fastest dive using an underwater wheelchair, clocking an astonishing time of 37 minutes and securing yet another spot in the sporting records.
"Test cricket throws different kinds of challenges, different kinds of pressures," Rohit told reporters. "But the way they have dealt with the pressures throughout the series has been superb."
Babar smashed 111 not out off 63 balls with 14 fours and two sixes and anchored Peshawar to 201-5. Yaqoob left Islamabad shell-shocked after taking four wickets in the penultimate over that included the key wicket of Munro.