Dubai: Joint Dubai owners Saeed Al Tayer and Saif Ali were left crest-fallen yesterday when long-shot Meeznah was denied a memorable victory in the Group 1 Epsom Oaks by the narrowest of margins.
Seven-time UAE champion jockey Ted Durcan looked to have given Meeznah a peach of a ride as he picked up the tempo down the home straight only to find Ryan Moore launch a strong challenge on Snow Fairy to win by a neck.
Ed Dunlop trained the winner, while Meeznah was prepared by David Lanigan.
Moore, a three-time champion jockey in the UK, was celebrating his first Classic victory. He told BBC television: “It was a very rough race. We just decided to take her back and give her a chance. There was a lot of bumping around.
“The gaps opened up nicely and she quickened well.
“The pace slackened up in the middle part of the race and allowed us to stay the trip.”
Dunlop, who won the Oaks in 2004 with the great Ouija Board, added: “I’ve lost my voice, it’s amazing.”
Saeed Al Tayer is Chairman of the Board and CEO of Meydan while Saif Ali is a prominent UAE horse owner.
Earlier, the Dubai-owned Godolphin stable Alexandros was beaten by a neck in the Group 3 Diomed Stakes by the David Simcock-trained Bushman, while Cavalryman finished luckless fifth in the Group 1 Coronation Cup.
Commenting on Alexandros trainer Saeed Bin Surour said on the Godolphin website: “He ran a huge race but I think the ground was a little fast for him. I thought for a second that he was going to win but he just got beaten by a better horse and that’s racing.
“But I am delighted. The horse is in brilliant form and is in much better condition than he was in Dubai.”
Cavalryman did not enjoy luck in running as Frankie Dettori struggled to find an opening behind a pack of horses.
The race was won by Aidan O’Brien’s Fame And Glory, the Ballydoyle trainer’s fourth success in the event.
Bin Surour, commented: “He did not really get a clear run — he was stuck in traffic and had no luck today. He should have finished better than that.
“He’s in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and we will have to see how he comes back from this race as it is only 12 days away.
“But it is good that Cavalryman showed his class again today; the stiff mile and a quarter at Ascot would suit him well.”
Today Godolphin run three in the Epsom Derby, the blue riband of British horseracing.
Rewilding and Buzzword are trained by Mahmoud Al Zarouni while Al Zir is trained by Bin Surour.
The stable last won the race in 1995 with Lammtarra.