Dubai: Team Godolphin have made the Group 2 Cape Verde Sponsored by Azizi Developments their very own with six wins in the last eight years and would appear to have the firepower to continue their supremacy in the fillies and mare contest at Meydan on Thursday.
The Dubai-owned stable supply three of the seven contenders for the $200,000 (Dh734,600) mile contest, the showpiece race of the third week of the Dubai World Cup Carnival, including an exciting duo trained by five-time Cape Verdi-winning handler Saeed Bin Surour.
Bin Surour, who is also looking for a fourth consecutive victory following Promising Run (2018) and Very Special (2017-2016), sends out prolific UK scorers, Asoof (Christophe Soumillon) and Victory Wave (Kevin Stott).
However, fellow Godolphin workmate Charlie Appleby looks to have the upper hand with French Listed race victory, Poetic Charm (James Doyle).
The main threat to the Godolphin trio is Furia Cruzada, a three-time Group 1 winning granddaughter of Storm Cat, who races out of veteran Erwan Charpy’s Green Stables in Nad Al Sheba.
Assessing his chances of winning a sixth Cape Verde, Bin Surour told the Godolphin website: “Victory Wave has come on for her first run of the year and has been working well.
“This is a step up and she is coming up against some nice fillies, but I am looking for a good run.
“Asoof has done very well since coming out to Dubai. She is a small filly, but has been working really nicely.
“The drop back to a mile will not be a problem and I am hoping for a decent performance.”
An upbeat Appleby added: “Poetic Charm showed a good level of form out in France last season, but things didn’t go right for her in Keeneland, where she was drawn very wide.
“She has done well out in Dubai and will be a major player if she brings her French form to the table.”
Even at the age of seven, Furia Cruzada remains one of Charpy’s brightest prospects and the Frenchman said: “She’s doing very well, she’s running against her own gender and I thought there wouldn’t be a lot of horses running, so this seemed like a good spot for her.
“The aim has been the (Group 2, $250,000) Balanchine (on Feb. 14) and she’s really been working well on the turf. “She ran alright in the Singspiel,” Charpy continued. “I don’t think a mile will be a problem for her. The small field is nice because there aren’t so many horses, but at the same time, it can be a tricky race. One thing is she did work great on the turf on Saturday and is coming into the race great. She had the full summer off, put some weight on and right now needed a couple races to get her ready.”
Race 1. 1. Laieth; 2. Pop The Hood.
Race 2: 1. Ispolini; 2. Red Galileo.
Race 3: 1. Secret Ambition, 2. Galvanise.
Race 4: 1. Asoof; 2. Poetic Charm.
Race 5: 1. Mountain Hunter; 2. Celestial Spheres.
Race 6: 1. Key Victory; 2. Muraaqeb.
Day’s Best: Ispolini.