Dubai: Reunited with horse that he rode to win the first two races of her career two seasons ago, James Doyle relished his return to the saddle aboard Summer Romance to gain a well-deserved victory in the Group 2 Balanchine Sponsored By Range Rover, at Meydan Racecouse on Thursday night.
Sent straight to the front by Doyle, the Charlie Appleby-trained daughter of Kingman dictated the pace throughout the 1800-metre contest and was never pressed to raise his game.
Favourite Althiqa, who was looking to complete the Cape Verdi-Balachine double for Appleby, finished third with English raider Stylisique splittingthe Godolphin duo.
“The result’s gone the right way,” said Appleby. “James gave her a lovely ride on the front end for a soft victory. It’s a great result for the team to win both the fillies’ races, the Cape Verdi and Balanchine.”
Meanwhile, William Buick described D’bai as a ‘great fun horse’ after the Godolphin galloper won the Group 2 Zabeel Mile Sponsored By Al Tayer Motors on Turf.
Trained by Charlie Applebym the seven-year-old gelded son of Dubawi needed to dig deep to see of First Contact, the mount of Tadhg O’Shea, by a head in a blanketr finish involving no less than nine horses.
Art Du Val finished third with less than two lengths separating the next six horses which gave the judge a chance to pull outhe magnifying glass.
“He’s a bit of a heart-in-your-mouth’ horse,” said Buick. “He’s very consistent and on his day, like he showed today, he’s a class horse.
“He’s a great fun horse to have around and he makes his presence felt, he’s exciting.”
A campaign in America beckons for Mnsaek after the Doug Watson –trained filly spread-eagled her rivals to win the Group 3 UAE Oaks in emphatic fashion with Nayefah six and a half lengths back in second.
Runner-up in the UAE 1000 Guineas last month, Mnasek looked to have come on in leaps and bounds with a thoroughly professional performance under Pat Dobs after breaking smartly for the 1900 metre dirt contest.
“That was a super win,” said Watson, who was winning the Oaks for the second time after Polar River in 2016.
“First off her owners (Al Rashid Racing Ltd) should send her to America. There are a lot of options over there. But we’ll have to wait and see if they want to run in the UAE Derby, it’s the Dubai World Cup night after all.
“If she stays sound, she can pick up a nice cheque… you have to have those dreams with a horse like her.”
Equilateral booked his ticket to the Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World cup night when delivering a smart effort for Andrea Atzeni and trainer Charlie Hills to win the Group 2 Zabeel Sprint, the second race on a card sponsored by long-time Dubai Racing Club partner Al Tayer Motors.
Runner-up to Waady in this contest 12 months ago, Atzeni rode a confident race aboard Quilateral to ensure that the record would be set straight and it was in rather convincing fashion.
Al Tariq announced himself as a sprinter to reckon with when ollowing up his Jebel Ali Sprint victory to land the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint, a prep for the Group 1 Dubai Golden Sharheen on Dubai World Cup night.
The winner was completing a big-race double for Doug Watson and stable jockey Pat Dobbs, following Mnasek’s victory in the Oaks.
The Curlin Stakes Sponsored By New Jaguar F-Pace, a race devised as a prep for American raiders hoping to compete in the Dubai World Cup, sawa shock winner in New Trails and Fernando Jara.