South African champion trainer Mike De Kock won the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort yet again on Thursday evening, with Anaerobio scoring an impressive victory to give the trainer his sixth win in the turf feature since 2003.
Run over 1400m for the first time this year, dropped 200m from 1600m, the trip has proved ideal for Anaerobio, a dual Classic winner in his native Argentina, and he has now won three consecutive races over this rather specialist trip.
Christophe Soumillon tracked Pearl Flute and Jamie Spencer before easing his mount to the front 200m out to record a comfortable victory.
“He settled well today,” said Soumillon. “He is not an easy horse and one you have to know well but he loves this 1400m trip around here and has a nice turn of foot.
“He has now won three times here over course and distance but that is obviously his best effort. I am not sure what Mike has in mind for him.”
The trainer was in South Africa at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale in Cape Town.
Anaerobio was completing a double for trainer and jockey after Alexandra Palace and Soumillon led close home in a 1600m all-weather handicap.
Settled well off the pace, Soumillon asked his mount to challenge 200m and the pair quickened to lead close home. Soumillon said: “I was impressed as he showed really good acceleration and is clearly a good horse. Mike may go back to turf with him, I am not sure, but he will improve for that run.”
Irishman David Marnane maintained his tremendous Dubai World Cup Carnival record with Fergal Lynch registering a smooth victory on his Jamesie in the opening 1200m all-weather handicap.
Merhee set a good gallop under Christophe Soumillon and that pair had seen off all previous challengers before Lynch asked his mount to go after the leader about 300m out.
They quickened nicely, to the delight of Lynch, who said: “He is a very useful sprinter and has a really high cruising speed. They went pretty quick but he was still pulling.
“He is just as good on turf so hopefully we can find a nice race for him”
The first of the three turf races, a 2435m handicap, also went the way of Ireland with Shane Foley landing the spoils aboard Certerach for trainer Michael Halford. Arguably unlucky in three Meydan Dubai World Cup Carnival outings last year, everything went to plan on this occasion with the gaps opening when Foley needed them.
They hit the front 200m out and ran on strongly to win well.
Foley said: “That was a much deserved win after some good efforts in defeat last year. He stays well and has an engine so can hopefully build on this.”
The UK challengers also registered a victory with the last gasp success of Gabrial in the finale, an 1800m turf handicap. Still last as the 12 runners turned for home under Jamie Spencer, he weaved through to lead close home to provide his trainer, Richard Fahey, and owner, Dr Marwan Koukash, with their first UAE wins.
Spencer said: “He is not a straightforward horse at home and the whole team have done well to get him here fit and ready to produce that kind of performance.
“They went a nice gallop and I was happy out the back. He has enjoyed running through rivals and won a tad cosily.”
The 2000m handicap on the all-weather also produced a desperately close finish with Silvestre De Sousa producing Godolphin’s Windhoek, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, to lead in the very last stride.
It was the winner’s first outing in the Godolphin blue and he clearly impressed his jockey who said: “They went a good gallop and then one shot clear at the top of the straight so I asked him to close and he really ran home strongly. He will stay further than this and had been off a while so we have to be happy with him.
“It was a first race for him on this surface and he handled it very well.”