Dubai: Godolphin’s James Doyle continued his romance with the Group 2 Cape Verdi Stakes Presented By Longines when landing the 1,600 metre fillies contest for the fourth time in seven years aboard the Charlie Appleby-trained Althiqa at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday evening.
Doyle, who has scored major wins around the world, rode a super confident race settling Althiqa towards the rear of the nine-horse field before progressing to the front with 300 metres to run. The four-year-old son of Dark Angel was never really headed and held on for a two and a quarter length win over British hope Stylistique, ridden by Andrea Atzeni for trainer Roger Varian.
“I didn’t really want to force the issue after I didn’t begin that quick, and going a furlong I was happy to take my time as she was nicely relaxed at the back,” said Doyle whose previous wins in the Cape Verdi came aboard Magic Lily (2020), Poetic Charm (2019) and Very Special (2016).
“In the straight she showed a good turn of foot and galloped through the line and through it well nicely to definitely warrant a crack at the nine furlong Balanchine Stakes.”
Meanwhile, long-serving Godolphin handler Saeed Bin Surour won a 12th UAE 1,000 Guineas with the outstanding Soft Whisper and Frankie Dettori.
Former UAE champion trainer Doug Watson saddled the second and third-placed in Manek and Super Chianti.
“Saeed mentioned everything — the UAE Oaks, Saudi Derby, UAE Derby,” said Dettori.
“She’s very exciting, Nothing challenged here today so I really don’t know how good she can be but she can’t be more impressive than that.”
Two of the world’s most prestigious Purebred Arabian races, the $2 million Obaiya Arabian Classic on Saudi Cup Day at Riyadh on February 20 and the Dubai Kahayla Classic (G1) at Meydan are on the agenda for Rb Frynchh Dude following his impressive performance in winning Round 2 of the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge presented by Longines.
A former Grade 3 scorer in the US, Rb Frynchh Dude was ridden with confidence by Pat Cosgrave to deny Brraq, winner of the first round of the Al Maktoum Challenge earlier in the month, by a comfortable margin of two and a half lengths.
Cosgrave was full of praise for Emirati handler Helal Alalawi’s stable star and said: “He’s one of those horses that you can put him where you want to in the race. He’s very straight forward mentally and backs it up with plenty of ability.
“Definitely the plan is to go to Saudi next and bring him back for the big night (Dubai World Cup, March 28).”
Uruguay’s El Patriota injected a significant does of international appeal to the Carnival when storming home to land the Al Bastakiya Trial Presented By Longines by two lengths from local hope Speight’spercomete who was a short head in from of fast finishing Bahraini raider Endifaa.
El Patriota was ridden by Brazilian Vagner Leal for renowned Uruguayan handler Antonio Cintra who is no stranger to the UAE.
Although the southern-hemisphere bred El Patriota was conceding weight to all his rival’s, having won Group 1 Gran Premio Nacional on dirt in Uruguay last November, he looked the class act in the race which leads to the UAE Derby (G2) on Dubai World Cup day.
Eleven years ago Cintra won the Al Shindagha Sprint (G3) at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse with Heart Alone and when reminded of that success told the Dubai Racing Channel: “He’s a very good horse in Uruguay and the distance was good for him.
“This feels like the first winner, but we will celebrate the same.
“I have to see how the horse comes out of the race, but I believe the Al Bastakiya (Super Saturday, March 6) is next and after that the Derby.”