Dubai: Dubai-owned horses pulled off a big-race double at Royal Randwick racecourse on Saturday as racing continued seamlessly behind closed doors and under strict biosecurity protocols in Australia.
Australia is one of the few countries where racing is still being held despite coronavirus having disrupted the vast majority of sporting activities around the world.
Godolphin, the stable owned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, secured the first Dubai success at the Autumn Carnival when the filly Colette ran out a dominant winner of the Group 1 Australian Oaks.
Less than an hour later, Epsom Derby-winning handler William Haggas struck again for the Al Maktoum family when the English-trained Addeybb won the A$4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The winner, who had travelled halfway around the world to compete at Randwick, was ridden by British jockey Tom Marquand sporting the famous yellow silks of Maj. Gen. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police and Public Security.
Addeybb had showed himself to be a good traveller and genuine Group 1 horse when taking the Ranvet Stakes last month a race that set him up nicely for Saturday’s bigger test.
But the six-year-old son of Pivotal proved too good for the opposition and win by two-and-three-quarter lengths from Verry Elleegant and Danon Premium.
Haggas was unable to travel to Sydney due to the worldwide travel restrictions, but watched the race at Newmarket, England.
“It was terrific, very exciting,” Haggas told JustHorseracing.com “I was hoping, but you never expect anything in this business.”
Haggas won the 1996 Epsom Derby in 1996 with Shaamit, a horse owned by Dubai businessman and ERA official, Khalifa Bin Dasmal.
Meanwhile, Colette was continuing a wonderful family tradition for his trainer James Cummings with her victory in the Australian Oaks, the country’s premier staying race for three-year-old fillies.
Cummings late grandfather Bart trained seven winners of the Oaks while his father, Anthony, won the race in 1998 with On Air.
“She is the first Group One winner I’ve trained by a Group One winner (Hallowed Ground) I’ve trained, so it’s pretty special,” Cummings said.
Colette was making a quick return to action having won the Knox Stakes last Saturday.
With champion jockey Glen Boss coming in for James Macdonald, Colette easily pulled away in the straight to defeat Toffee Tongue, the same horse that he dominated in the Knox.
“She’s a beauty,” Cummings said. “It is particularly satisfying given the plan had to unfold perfectly over a long period of time.
“It was sweet, not only to see her win but she’s turned up favourite on the day because she’s in such good form.”
Bossm who claimed his fourth Oaks said: “She’s not big but she doesn’t ride like a little horse. She’s got a big action and she was able to put herself in the right spot. That was pretty simple. It was relatively easy, a bit of point and shoot stuff really.”
Colette was gifting Godolphin with a fourth Group 1 victory of 2020. Saturday was the final day of Randwick’s Autumn Carnival.