Dubai: Dubai Duty Free’s season of international horseracing events got under way in style on Friday, when Newbury Racecourse played host to the opening day of the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend.
Three of the day’s seven races were supported by the world’s leading airport retailer and included the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup British EBF Conditions Stakes which was won by William Buick aboard the Charlie Appleby-trained Rastrelli.
“I quite like him. He did everything I asked,” said Buick.
Since Rastrelli is a gelding there will be no Classic glory for him but then the three-year-old’s trainer Appleby had carried all before him earlier in the week at Newmarket’s Craven meeting where he showed off a yard full of Classic aspirants.
Along with Appleby, Richard Hannon is the hottest trainer of the moment and in Newbury’s unseasonably warm weather Hannon’s three-year-old Qaysar hardly broke sweat as, with Frankie Dettori aboard, as they pulverised opposition in the Dubai Duty Free Full of Surprises Handicap over seven furlongs.
Qaysar will be heading for Royal Ascot’s Britannia Stakes after this display - such is the esteem in which the three-year-old is held.
“The turbo kicked in and we just took off,” said an admiring Dettori who shared the winner’s podium with Richard Hannon to receive the trophy from Dubai Duty Free’s executive vice-chairman and CEO, Colm McLoughlin, Salah Tahlak, executive vice-president — Corporate Services and Sinead Al Sibai, senior vice-president – Marketing.
After the very next race, the maiden fillies’ stakes again for three-year-olds, Dettori was on the podium once more courtesy of another winning favourite, the beautiful filly Lah Ti Dar owned and bred by the world’s most famous composer of musical theatre, Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber.
The five furlong dash for the Dubai Duty Free Handicap went to Gracious John, trained in Wales by David Evans and like his horse Evans showed a fine turn of foot, sprinting from the winners’ enclosure to his car to take him to Bath racecourse where he had more runners to saddle, leaving representative Mark Johnson to receive the trophy on behalf of the winning owner.
The race was five-year-old Gracious John’s forty second appearance and his twelfth victory.