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Turkish delight for Godolphin

Dettori guides Hunter’s Light to victory in Group 2 race at Veliefendi

Saeed Bin Surour
Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
Saeed Bin Surour
Gulf News

Dubai: Long-serving Godolphin handler Saeed Bin Surour’s appetite for international success knows no limits and the veteran trainer was celebrating his latest win at the Veliefendi racecourse in Turkey on Saturday evening with as much enthusiasm as he did 16 years ago.

Bin Surour was beaming from ear to ear as he led Hunter’s Light into the winner’s enclosure after winning the lucrative Group 2 Anatolia Trophy, which was worth more than half a million dirhams.

Frankie Dettori, who has been a key player in Bin Surour and Godolphin’s worldwide triumphs, treated the crowd to his trademark flying dismount in celebration of his five-length victory in the mile and two furlong contest, which was run on the polytrack surface at the country’s oldest and biggest racecourse. The venue held its first races in 1912.

Hunter’s Light, a four-year-old son of Dubawi, comfortably won by five lengths from Dubai World Cup contender Zazou, with the Gerard Butler-trained Prince Alzain staying on well for third.

It was Godolphin’s ninth Group 2 success of the season and 139th overall winner.

Winning trainer Bin Surour told the Godolphin website: “Hunter’s Light won very well — it was easy for him. Frankie rode a good race, waiting until the last two furlongs before going.

“I am very happy. Hunter’s Light is best at this ten-furlong trip and we will now look at other Group races for him.”

Hunter’s Light, who is bred at Darley Stud and has been ridden by several jockeys, including Silvestre De Sousa, William Buick, Ted Durcan, Philip Makin, stretched his record to six wins from 11 starts.

Dettori narrowly missed completing a Turkish double when riding the John Dunlop-trained Beatrice Aurore, who was beaten half a length by former Royal Ascot scorer Rhythm Of Light in a tight finish to the Group 2 Istanbul Trophy.

The winner was ridden by Richard Kingscote for British handler Tom Dascombe.