Salute The Soldier proves DWC credentials, Lord Glitters lands Jebel Hatta glory - GulfToday

Salute The Soldier proves DWC credentials, Lord Glitters lands Jebel Hatta glory


Salute the Soldier, ridden by Adrie De Vries, wins the Al Maktoum Challenge R3 at the Meydan Racecourse.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, attended the Super Saturday at Meydan racecourse, which is the major prep for the Dubai World Cup.

Speaking to owners, coaches and participants in the seven-round race, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed accentuated the importance of resuming horse racing in the UAE.

“Life has to continue despite all the challenges besetting the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. The UAE, being part of this world, is tirelessly endavouring, including all state departments, economic, health and leisure facilities, and all other bodies concerned, to resume normalcy while complying with the stringent precautionary measures adopted by the State to ensure the safety and security of all segments of society and help them weather the fallout of this novel pandemic,” Sheikh Mohammed added.

Super Saturday, the second biggest meeting of the UAE season at Meydan and a dress rehearsal for Dubai World Cup night three weeks later, was officially highlighted by the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 sponsored by Emirates Airline,

Over the same 2000m on dirt as the $12 million Dubai World Cup, the race was won in determined fashion by Salute The Soldier. The 6-year-old Sepoy gelding was given a polished ride by Adrie de Vries, the pair in front after about 100m and staying there. Victorious on this card last year, when never headed in the 1600m Group 3 Burj Nahaar, he arrived here having landed his previous start, the 1900m Al Maktoum Challenge R2 and has now won four times for current connections having won the same amount when trained in Britain by Clive Cox.

Purchased for 380,000gns at Tattersalls in October 2019, he has proved a shrewd purchase who is equally effective on dirt and turf. Trained by Fawzi Nass for Victorious, he was always travelling well for De Vries who set sail for home at the top of the straight, the pair always seemingly holding the challenge of Hypothetical.  

The main turf race, the 1800m Group 1 Jebel Hatta sponsored by Emirates Airline produced a dramatic finish with Lord Glitters finishing fast and late to snatch what had appeared an unlikely victory throughout most of the long straight.

Settled in last by Danny Tudhope, the admirable 8-year-old grey Whipper gelding tracked Godolphin’s Al Suhail, but looked in trouble when the latter hit the front with about 200m remaining. However, the Godolphin horse drifted off a straight line, eventually losing second to Eqtiraan with Tudhope’s mount passing them both in the final 50m.

Trained by David O’Meara, thus representing Britain, it was a second course and distance victory at this carnival for Lord Glitters who, when partnered by Adrie de Vries, made a winning start to his campaign in the Group 2 Singspiel Stakes. Then, under Tudhope and carrying a penalty, he was third to Zakouski in the Group 2, Al Rashidiya over the same track and trip, having beaten that Godolphin runner in the Singspiel Stakes.  

It was also a second Group One victory for Lord Glitters, victorious over 1600m in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2019.

Also on turf, the 2410m Dubai City Of Gold sponsored by Emirates Holidays was dominated by Godolphin whose quartet of runners in a field of just seven filled the first four places. It was Walton Street, confidently ridden by William Buick and the only Charlie Appleby representative, who landed the spoils, easily, from the Saeed Bin Suroor trio Dubai Future, Desert Fire and Brilliant Light.

Appleby was landing the prize for a fourth consecutive season, three ridden by Buick, and Godolphin for the fifth year running in a race they have a tremendous record; this was winner number 12 in the contest for the owners.

Having settled in third, Buick eased his mount to the front as early leader Communique started to struggle, about 800m from home and the race was over as a contest shortly afterwards, the pair powering home to win stylishly.

A homebred 7-year-old Cape Cross gelding, he equaled his own track record, set 44 days earlier in the Dubai Racing Cup Classic, a Listed handicap.  

The third turf feature and final race on the card, the 1200m Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint sponsored by, provided Godolphin the perfect opportunity to get a double on the scoreboard, Final Song just holding on under Frankie Dettori for Saeed bin Suroor.

Settled in midfield, on the far side from her low draw, the homebred 4-year-old Dark Angel filly was dashed to the front with 300m to run, opening up a decisive lead, but one that was diminishing rapidly as the line approached, Motafaawit charging home, but just failing to complete trebles for Doug Watson and Pat Dobbs.

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