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Mahbooba The Big Winner On Opening Night Of The 2012 Dubai Carnival
The 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival got underway at Meydan on Thursday with the Mike De Kock trained Mahbooba taking full advantage of her claim to overcome the colts in the feature race, the Al Rashidiya Trial over 1m1f.
Jockey Christophe Soumillon asked her for an effort as they rounded the home turn and then went into the lead with just over a furlong to the line. Once in front she accelerated away in emphatic style finishing over 4 lengths clear of the second Laajooj, with Derbass back in third. It was the filly’s second win at Meydan having taken the UAE 1000 Guineas last year and will she will bid for a third win when she takes on the Cape Verdi later on during the Carnival.
It is not entirely sure if the Godolphin training twins, Saeed Bin Suroor and Mahmood Al Zarooni are team mates or rivals, but both served their bosses very well scoring a brace each on this first night. Bin Suroor took the opening two races of the night, with Sarrsar, ridden by Mickael Barzalona in the first and Honour System, ridden by Frankie Dettori in the second. Al Zarooni however was not to be outdone and scored in race 5 with City Style again with Barzalona in the saddle and followed that up with a win in the seventh and final race of the night with Time Prisoner. This gave Dettori his second win on the night to level things with team mate (or rival?) Barzalona.
Those supporting British entries on the opening night would have given a loud cheer when Addictive Dream won the fourth race over five furlongs for trainer Dandy Nicholls and son Adrian in the saddle. It was Nicholl’s 66th attempt to win a race at the Carnival and the win helped confirm him as the best trainer of sprinters in Europe.
The Dubai Racing Carnival of course will go on until March 31st when the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup will have its ninth running. Installed as the early favourite for the race is the highly revered Japanese Triple Crown winner, Orfevre, with odds of 5/1, while at 6/1 comes Animal Kingdom, winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby, Bold Silvano, trained by Meydan specialist Mike De Kock and Smart Falcon also from Japan and a multiple Group 1 winner.
One horse that will not feature this year is the Sir Henry Cecil trained Twice Over who went off as the favourite to win the Dubai World Cup last year but who could only manage 9th place thanks to a wide draw. The nature of the draw in fact at the racecourse is a ‘bone of contention’ for Cecil who has refused to send any of his stable for the meeting for the foreseeable future. It is also an aspect that does not encourage the likes of Aidan O’Brien and many more top UK and Irish trainers to support the meeting although much of this is down to the timing of the meeting in the first place.
Godolphin therefore can usually take advantage and by and large generally run up a host of winners during the 2 month long meeting. As such there will be many entries from the ‘Royal Blues’ that punters will no doubt be following. One of them should most definately be Blue Bunting, winner of the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks last season and who will be taking on the Dubai Sheema Classic on World Cup night. Trained by Al Zarooni, Blue Bunting will be hoping to follow late stablemate and last year’s winner, Rewilding into the winner’s enclosure on March 31st .