Dubai: What an outstanding year it has been for Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, one of the world’s most influential owners and breeders of high class race horses.
From the moment Hawwaam won the Chestnut Stakes at Turffontein Standside, South Africa on June 6, it threw open the floodgates as the winners just kept pouring in all around the UK’s most famous racecourses. And it hasn’t stopped with Nazeef upstaging a high-class field to win a thrilling renewal of the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket to gift Shaikh Hamdan an unprecedented ninth Group 1 victory of the season.
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Ridden by Jim Crowley, the Shadwell-bred daughter of Invincible Spirit showed plenty of heart when laying down a late challenge to defeat Godolphin’s Half Light, by a length and a half.
Commenting on her second top-level success at Newmarket following the Falmouth Stakes in July trainer John Gosden told ITV Racing: “She handled the ground well today and showed great courage. I thought she asserted well in the last 50 yards. Shaikh Hamdan kept her in training with the idea of trying to win a Listed race, and now she’s gone on to win a Group 2, the Falmouth and now another Group 1 so she’s pretty amazing.”
Cloak Of Spirits, the 1,000 Guineas runner-up at Newmarket, appeared to thrive upon her return to the Rowley Mile, to finish third at long odds of 28/1. The favourite Champers Elysees had a horrible trip, but stayed on for fourth. The race is named after Sun Chariot, the fillies’ Triple Crown winner in 1942. Nazeef appears to have booked her ticket to the British Champions Day meeting in two weeks time where she is likely to line up in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes where she is a 10/1 chance behind Palace Pier (10/11) and Kameko (6/1). On the same card Godolphin’s Mythical Dawn won the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes.