THE 10-furlong Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes on turf was the feature at last Friday’s seventh meeting of the 2022 Dubai World Cup Carnival.

The race was dominated by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin, James Doyle and Royal Fleet narrowly denying last year’s winner and stable companion Star Safari. The latter looked likely to become the first dual winner of the race when hitting the front, but Doyle’s mount responded to his jockey’s urgings to lead again when it mattered, right on the line.

A homebred four-year-old Dubawi gelding, Royal Fleet was registering his fifth career success in just eight appearances, and was making it third time lucky at Meydan this year having finished runner-up in both the Group 2 Al Rashidiya and Group 2 Singspiel Stakes, each time over nine furlongs.

Doyle said: “He is a young, improving horse who has been progressing all year, and everything fell into place tonight. I thought the extra furlong would suit and it did. He has had to battle in fairness when Star Safari came to him, but he is definitely getting more professional with experience and racing.”

Appleby has now saddled the last five winners of the race.

Derby win

Over the same course and distance, the inaugural Jumeirah Derby, a conditions race for three-year-old, went to the same connections, Doyle enjoying a smooth success aboard Nations Pride. The pair swept past Frankie Dettori aboard stable companion New Kingdom entering the final furlong and a half, and the race was soon settled.

The homebred son of Teofilo was winning for the third time in succession and his only defeat in four starts was when finishing second on his debut last September. That was actually his only previous turf outing, with both his wins being registered on all-weather surfaces. He was returning here after a break of 111 days.

Appleby said: “We know he stays well, so this looked the right race for him and he has done it in pleasing style. He was pretty fresh so it was pleasing and we will probably take him back to England and look at a Derby trial.”

Summer wins

Ten went to post for the opening Al Karama Stakes, a seven-furlong dirt conditions contest for three-year-olds on dirt, but only one ever really mattered. Summer Is Tomorrow was soon in front under James Doyle and the pair in splendid isolation for most of the home straight.

Saddled by Bhupat Seemar for Michael Hilary Burke and Negar Burke, the Summer Front colt was winning for a second time, adding this to juvenile success here at Meydan on the dirt.

The winning trainer said: “This horse just has plenty of natural speed as he has shown again today. James rode him perfectly from the front and that was a very pleasing effort.”

The six-furlong turf handicap was an absolute thriller with the first four home finishing within nostrils of one another, Batwan and Mickael Barzalona just coming out on top for trainer Nicolas Caullery in the colours of Oliver Lodge.

The seven-year-old gelded son of Kendargent and Barzalona were winning for the second time at this year’s Carnival. Caullery said: “We are hoping to run him in the Al Quoz Sprint and we will have to see how the handicapper reacts, but we will not run him on Super Saturday.”

American success

The six-furlong dirt handicap went to the USA, Antonio Fresu driving the Doug O’Neill-trained Notre Dame to victory for GNO Racing Club and Train Wreck Al Racing Stables. A five-year-old son of Into Mischief, the winner was having just his second local start and was winning for the fifth time. Assistant trainer Leandro Mora said: “I told Antonio he would have to work hard on this horse and that proved the case. There was a good early pace for him to aim at which helped.”


Law Of Peace produced a remarkable performance to land the concluding mile handicap on dirt. Having been virtually tailed off at halfway, he flew home over the final two furlongs to snatch what had appeared a most unlikely victory under Antonio Fresu, riding in the silks of Naser Askar and completing a double on the card for both himself and Bhupat Seemar.

Jebel Ali card produces listed double

JEBEL Ali on Sunday staged seven thoroughbred races, the features being the five-furlong Listed Jebel Ali Sprint and the 10-furlong Listed Jebel Ali Stakes.

The sprint was dominated by a pair of Shadwell runners, the 2020 winner Alkaraama, who was also third in the race last year, making a bold attempt to lead all the way under Jim Crowley, but he was passed in the final half a furlong by Pat Dobbs aboard Khuzaam for Doug Watson. A homebred Kitten’s Joy gelding, this was his fifth career success after four wins in Britain for Roger Varian, all on an all-weather surface.

Watson said: “He ran so well here the first time for us, and would have won at Meydan if he had not bled. We had to take our time with him after that, but this was a good target and we are delighted to win that, especially for Shadwell.”

An hour later, Watson was celebrating a big race double after the Jebel Ali Stakes success of Lost Eden, Andrea Atzeni partnering the impressive winner for his main employer, Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum.

Pat Cosgrave tried to steal the race entering the long straight aboard Irish Freedom, and they burned off most of the opposition, with the exception of Atzeni’s mount. Watson said: “I am delighted to win a big race for the owner who has sent us some nice horses. Andrea has given him a great ride today and this horse clearly loves it here, but we might try him at Meydan next season over 10 furlongs.”

Watson’s third

The concluding 10-furlong handicap also went to Watson, again combining with Dobbs, this time aboard Rougher for the Emirates Entertainment Racing Club (EERC). The seven-year-old son of Lookin At Lucky was winning for the fourth time in the UAE.

The meeting kicked off with a seven-furlong conditions event for the classic generation in which Pat Cosgrave produced Al Habash late to land the spoils for Fitri Hay and Bhupat Seemar. For the Arrogate colt it was a case of third time lucky. Seemar said: “He is a lovely horse and improving all the time. We worked him here at Jebel Ali and he took to the surface well, so we were pretty hopeful of a good run.”

Eight of the nine runners who took their chance in the mile conditions contest may as well have stayed at home, with Tenbury Wells always appearing in control under Royston Ffrench for Salem bin Ghadayer and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum. A five-year-old son of Medaglia D’Oro, the winner probably never saw a rival, pulling clear to register a third career victory. Ffrench said: “He enjoyed himself out in front with an uncontested lead.”

Day Approach, a dual winner in Singapore, opened his UAE account on just his second local start, running out the easy winner of a six-furlong handicap, with Ray Dawson in the saddle for Ahmad bin Harmash and Al Rashid Stables. The winner is a five-year-old son of Dawn Approach.

Having finished runner-up on both his previous starts at Meydan, Celtic Prince scored a deserved victory in the mile handicap having been sent clear by Richard Mullen, riding for Rashed Bouresly and the Bouresly Racing Syndicate, two and a half furlongs out. It was a third career success for the seven-year-old Shamardal gelding, but his first at Jebel Ali.

Irish-bred wins at Sharjah

SATURDAY’S meeting at Sharjah Longines Racecourse was a quality card, with valuable races worth nearly €50,000 each for both thoroughbreds and for purebred Arabians.

Run over 10 furlongs and the only thoroughbred race on the card, the HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup Handicap was won in good style by the Irish-bred George Villiers, Antonio Fresu wearing the silks of Mohammed Khalifa Al Basti and riding for Bhupat Seemar.

Once Fresu pressed the button, his mount shot to the front to record a relatively comfortable success.

The Dubawi seven-year-old gelding was having his first start at Sharjah, and this this was a sixth career success.