Godolphin light up Meydan
Leading Dubai stable and Bin Suroor dominate Super Saturday to win four of seven races
Dubai Super Saturday certainly lived up to its billing, especially for Godolphin and trainer Saeed bin Suroor who combined to win four of the seven races, including both the Group One features at Meydan.
These were landmark victories for the Godolphin team with Hunter's Light providing Godolphin trainers with their 200th Group One winner in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round Three over the same 2,000m all-weather course and distance as the Dubai World Cup on March 30.
Bin Suroor will be hoping Hunter's Light can emulate three of his previous winners of this race, Dubai Millennium, Street Cry and Electrocutionist who all won both contests.
Silvestre De Sousa rode the winner and said: "He just keeps improving and after our win in Round Two of the Al Maktoum Challenge he was even more impressive here with the slight step up in trip suiting him. This is my first Group One winner in Dubai and the same horse supplied me with my first European Group One so he is clearly a favourite of mine. Hopefully he has a big chance in the Dubai World Cup itself."
The trainer's quartet were all ridden by different jockeys and William Buick was in the saddle on Sajjhaa, who opened her account at the highest level in the Group One Jebel Hatta. This race was run over the same 1,800m course and distance as the Dubai Duty Free.
"She has really thrived in the Dubai weather and has pleasantly surprised us with how much she has improved. William had to be patient waiting for a gap and he gave her a great ride," Bin Suroor said.
Earlier, the trainer saddled African Story to win the Group Three Burj Nahaar for the second year running. Mickael Barzalona rode him on this occasion to a comfortable success and the horse will be hard to beat as he defends his crown in the Godolphin Mile on the all-weather.
Kieren Fallon was aboard Secret Number, who initiated the quartet in the Listed Al Bastakiya, the 1,900m stepping stone towards the UAE Derby.
Elsewhere, Jakkalberry (Ryan Moore) unleashed a nice turn of foot to beat Await the Dawn and Cavalryman in the Dubai City Of Gold (2,410m).
The seven-year-old was making his first start of the year for trainer Marco Botti since an excellent third in the Melbourne Cup last November. He finished third to Fox Hunt in last year's Nad al Sheba Trophy at Meydan before finishing third to Cirrus des Aigles in the Dubai Sheema Classic.