Dubai: Dubai-owned horses continued to pick off the showpiece races at York’s Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival with Fujaira Prince justifying strong backing to win the Ebor Handicap, the richest handicap in Europe, on Saturday.
Raced by Derby-winning owner Sheikh Mohammad Obaid Al Maktoum, Fujaira Prince was delivered with perfection by the talented Andrea Atzeni to score by half a length from front-running long-shot Glencadam Glory, the mount of David Allen.
Verdana Blue, a Group 1 winner over hurdles, ran on impressively to finish third, a length and a half further back, under Ryan Moore.
Fujaira Prince was only the second favourite to win British racing’s most popular betting race since it was first run in 1998. Purple Moon rewarded punters when winning the 2,700m contest in 2007.
A six-year-old son of Pivotal, Fujaira Prince gifted Classic-winning handler Roger Varian with a first success in the York showpiece which in 2019 carried a purse worth 1 million pounds but has been reduced this year in line with similar reductions in prize money of all British races.
Fujaira Prince was cut to 20-1 (from 40) for the Melbourne Cup, Australia most famous race which will be run on Tuesday, November 3.
Winning rider Atzeni told ITV Racing: “That was very smooth really. He jumped nicely, the plan was always to go forward and get a nice position which we did.
“It was a nice even pace, he travelled beautifully and stayed all the way to the line. He’s a very willing partner, very easy to deal with and is the sort of horse you could put anywhere in a race. It makes my job a lot easier.”
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, whose horses won four races at York on Friday, enjoyed a notable Group 2 victory in the Shadwell Prix de la Nonette fillies race at Deauville, France, when Tawkeel landed the 2,000m contest in the capable hands of Cristian Demuro.
The unbeaten daughter of Teofilo delivered a courageous performance to deny British raider Frankel’s Storm by a half-length.
Godolphin’s Alkandora finished a further three-quarters of a length back in third.
Demuro descried Tawkeel as “very strong, mentally”.
“That is one of her main qualities, Nothing bothers her and, looking at her right after the race, she behaves like she has not made any effort. That is the sign of a good horse,” he said.