The Apache Scalps Rivals In Group 2 Al Rashidiya
De Kock Saddles Three Of Six Winners
An appreciative Meydan crowd were treated to a Mike De Kock masterclass on Thursday evening with the South African saddling half of the six winners at the fourth meeting of the Dubai World Cup 2013 Carnival.
The undoubted highlight was the victory of local debutant, The Apache, having his first start for the trainer and first start in almost a year, in the featured Group 2 Al Rashidiya, an 1800m turf contest, which like the whole card, was sponsored by DUBAL.
Ridden confidently by Christophe Soumillon, the pair hit the front about 200m out to deny Godolphin’s City Style, finishing runner-up to a De Kock horse in this race for a second year running having chased home Musir 12 months ago.
It was a record fifth win in the race for the trainer whose 2004 victor, Right Approach went on to dead-heat in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free, one of two winners of this race to go on to win that feature on Dubai World Cup night – the other being Presvis in 2011.
Soumillon said: “I rode this horse work in the week and he really pleased me so I was pretty hopeful of a big run. He has done well after his break and can hopefully improve.”
De Kock added: “I actually thought he would need that so it is very pleasing and hopefully he can build on this.”
Right Approach was part-owned by golfer Lee Westwood as is Rerouted, who formed the middle leg of De Kock’s treble and who initiated a double for Soumillon when leading close to home in a 1400m contest on the all-weather.
Westwood, who enjoyed a good afternoon on the golf course in the Dubai Desert Classic, said: “We have had some joy here in the past – especially Right Approach – and this horse has been running well in defeat so it is nice to see him win.”
Earlier, Paul Hanagan had steered the trainer’s Mushreq to land the opening 2000m turf handicap to the delight of the trainer who said: “That really was a case of third time lucky as I do not think I have had a more unlucky horse in my years campaigning here. Paul did the right thing to stay wide and the horse deserved that.”
Both Godolphin trainers trained a winner on the night with Saeed bin Suroor also saddling the runner-up when his Kassiano denied stable companion Con Artist in a 1900m all-weather handicap. Ted Durcan rode the winner and said: “We were probably a bit unlucky the last day so it is nice to get a win on him and he should be able to go on from here.”
Fellow Godolphin handler, Mahmoud Al Zarooni had to wait until the last for his winner with Mickael Barzalona in the saddle on Time Prisoner.
The UK horses opened their 2013 account with Medicean Man, a first ever UAE runner for Jeremy Gask who was not here to witness it. He powered home under Harry Bentley to win the 1000m turf handicap which was run at a furious gallop.
Bentley said: “They went very fast and that suits him as he likes to run through tiring rivals. A berth in the Al Quoz Sprint would be the ultimate aim but we will stay in handicaps for now.”