On-song Godolphin net Dubai brace

Saeed bin Suroor always seems to have his string primed for Dubai World Cup night and the Godolphin trainer was rewarded with a double on the high-profile card at Nad Al Sheba.

Saeed bin Suroor always seems to have his string primed for Dubai World Cup night and the Godolphin trainer was rewarded with a double on the high-profile card at Nad Al Sheba.

The boys in blue firstly struck in the Godolphin Mile, in which Two Step Salsa and Frankie Dettori led home stablemate Gayego to give the trainer a 1-2.

Godolphin racing manager, Simon Crisford, said: “They both came here with good form from America and we expected a 1-2.”It was never going to be easy but they did it well.“

The Godolphin team again saddled the first two home in the following UAE Derby - but the result was not what racegoers were expecting as Regal Ransom repelled the challenge of his better-fancied stablemate Desert Party.

Crisford continued: “I don’t think Desert Party was quite at his best.

“He didn’t pick up when Frankie asked him. Both ran superb races and both are contenders for the Kentucky Derby.

“Regal Ransom was working well and has always shown a lot of speed. He had the run of the race and kicked clear in the straight.

“Both are world-class colts and we will make a decision nearer the time.

“We might run one in the Kentucky Derby and leave the other for the Preakness Stakes, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Dubai training sensation Mubarak bin Shafya and jockey Ahmed Ajtebi enjoyed the greatest night of their careers with a high-profile double.

Bin Shafya and Ajtebi firstly struck with Gladiatorus, who benefited from an enterprising ride to win the Dubai Duty Free, making every yard of the running in the Group One contest.

Bin Shafya said: “I was very confident before the start – he’s a special horse.

“Ahmed is young, but he’s learning and was very gutsy in the race.

Ajtebi added: “He’s a super horse and I think I caught the other jockeys by surprise.”

Bin Shafya and Ajtebi went on to complete the memorable brace as Eastern Anthem fended off the British challengers in a thrilling finish to the Dubai Sheema Classic.

The 14-1 chance was held up in the early stages but finished like a train to engage in a three-way tussle with Sir Michael Stoute’s Spanish Moon and Cumani’s Purple Moon.

There was very little to choose between the three of them as they flashed past the post – but it was Eastern Anthem who was declared the narrow winner after a lengthy photo-finish.

Spanish Moon edged out his compatriot to fill the runner-up spot.

Arc runner-up Youmzain was fourth, having encountered a troubled run-in.

Ajtebi said: “Gladiatorus is a front-runner and with Eastern Anthem you have to sit at the back.

“With Gladiatorus I was worried about the distance – even though he is a class horse.”

Big City Man repelled the challenge of Indian Blessing to win the Dubai Golden Shaheen for Saudi Arabia-based trainer Jerry Barton.

A tearful Barton said: “It feels just how I thought it would standing here.

“I’ve dreamed about standing in the winner’s circle at Nad Al Sheba and I’ve finally done it.”

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