Mike de Kock produced a dominating training performance at the fourth meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival on Thursday, saddling three winners, two seconds and one third on his way to an eighth Group 2 Al Rashidiya success, courtesy of the resurgent Forries Waltz.
Belgian jockey, Christophe Soumillon claimed his fifth victory in the Al Rashidiya when he guided Forries Waltz to victory over stable companion, Ertijaal ridden by Paul Hanagan. De Kock’s Mujaarib, his 2014 winner of the race, ran on late to take fourth under Dane O’Neill.
Soumillon always looked happy on the winner, whereas Ertijaal was quite keen under Hanagan taking him to the front 300m out. They were soon challenged by Forries Waltz who led 200m out, when Hanagan’s mount tried to muster a renewed challenge.
“It was a great effort from both horses,” said De Kock. “It was a big step up in class for Forries Waltz after his win here two weeks ago. We thought he was up to this level and has proved he is.
“Ertijaal will have come on a lot for this run and we are delighted with him also. We will think about where he goes next but he is a Group 1 winner and both are nice horses.
“We could try Ertijaal on dirt, we will have to see.”
The trainer then provided the first three home in a 1400m turf handicap and again Soumillon denied Hanagan, this time in the very final strides when Anaerobio caught Banaadeer.
Royal Ridge ran on from the rear to finish third and complete a remarkable 40 minutes for De Kock and his Blue Stables team.
Anaerobio’s owner, Mohd Khaleel Ahmed said: “I am so lucky to have this horse and he is a real favourite of my family and in the yard. He had 60kgs to carry tonight which was a concern for me but he is a real star and has been a great servant to us all.”
Godolphin’s Jungle Cat was very impressive when winning the 1200m turf Shiba At The Meydan Handicap, registering an easy success under William Buick for trainer Charlie Appleby.
A very useful juvenile in 2014 for trainer, Mark Johnston for whom he was third at Royal Ascot in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes, he was also second in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes, won by last year’s Champion Sprinter, Muhaarar.
Switched to Appleby last season, he ran three times and had been off the track since failing to beat a rival in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup, also won by Muhaarar, at Royal Ascot.
It was a second career win for Jungle Cat.
“That was a very good performance,” said Buick. “And we have left a bit to work on. I was keen not to be on the far side so was forced to plough a lone furrow in the centre.
“Hopefully he will improve for this and we can look at the Group race sprints with him.”
The meeting concluded with a 1600m turf handicap with both first and second trained in England. The Brendan Powell-trained Dark Emerald was a real star of the 2015 Dubai World Cup Carnival and looked the likely winner when he hit the front at the 200m pole under Richard Mullen.
However, Dane O’Neill was making relentless progress on the Marco Botti-trained Fanciful Angel and they led close home to make a winning UAE debut.
“He has stayed on in good style,” said O’Neill. “I was a bit short of room at one point but when we found daylight about 300m from home he picked up nicely. I imagine the run will bring him on fitness wise.”
The HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum-owned Kifaah, trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe claimed the 1200m Prime at The Meydan Hotel Handicap under Hanagan. Hanagan was paying his second visit to the Winner’s Enclosure having ridden the same owner’s Alareef to victory for trainer De Kock in the opening 1400m Al Forsan At Bab Al Shams Handicap.
“He had a very light weight and I was able to get a nice lead into the race,” said Hanagan. “He has picked up well when I asked him and is a tough, genuine sort of horse.”
The owner’s European racing manager, Angus Gold added: “It has been a good start to the evening and it is always great to have winners at these meetings. I have been at the sales in South Africa and Australia so stopping off here works out nicely.
“Sheikh Hamdan is enjoying a good UAE season thus far and hopefully will continue to do so.”
The powerful Doug Watson/ Pat Dobbs combination scored in the Terrace Brunch at Meydan Racecourse 1400m dirt handicap with Cool Cowboy, who was winning for the first time in the UAE at the fifth attempt.
Stepping up to the trip after four 1200m Meydan outings, he clearly relished the extra 200m and galloped on strongly for Dobbs. A further step up in distance could be on the agenda with a possible crack at the Godolphin Mile being mooted by his trainer.
“We were keen to try the 1400m with him,” said Watson. “He certainly saw it out well today and he is a real dirt horse. He loves the surface and is not fazed at all by the kickback.
“Pat said he was dossing in front and we will think seriously about trying him over 1600m. The Godolphin Mile could be the race for him as he has the quality.”