Valiant Prince Loves Meydan!

'It was a big step forward!'

Godolphin’s stranglehold on the Gr2 Al Rashidiya (Presented by Azizi) shows no sign of releasing as Valiant Prince led home a blue 1-2-3 in the feature race of the second night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival.

Valiant Princes leads the blue wave home (Pic – Dubai Racing Club)

Charlie Appleby’s five-year-old was two from two at Meydan prior to this but did have to prove his liking for 1800m, as well as beat hotly fancied stablemate Ottoman Fleet.

Despite being keen early on under James Doyle, he was stronger at the finish than both that rival, who finished third, and Gr3 Bahrain Trophy winner Dubai Future, powering through between horses for a three-quarter length success.

“It was a big step forward on what he’s achieved in the past,” said Doyle of Valiant Prince’s Group race debut. “We were drawn well, but it got a little hairy on the bend and the two in front got away. It kind of suited him as he doesn’t want to see much daylight and the way he picked up was quite a surprise – he felt like he was always going to win comfortably.”

The new Thunder Snow Challenge, over 2000metres on dirt, is named after the dual Dubai World Cup winner so it was fitting that it went the way of a horse who once finished fifth in the big race itself.

Salute The Soldier was below par in three starts last season, but Fawzi Nass’ veteran bounced back here under his favourite frontrunning tactics deployed by Adrie De Vries. Inside the final furlong he never looked like being caught, despite Uruguayan Gr1 winner Atletico El Culano flying home for second.

“I’m so happy for the horse and for the team to get him back to that level, as it was a tough race today,” said De Vries. “Since we moved to Meydan [Nass is now based at Grandstand Stables] he seems a lot happier. Last year he just wasn’t the same horse and I had my doubts he would get back, but he’s proved me wrong.”

Second with Dubai Future, original Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor still enjoyed a good night as his Soft Whisper took the new Ipi Tombe Stakes, over 1400metres on turf.

The daughter of Dubawi was the best three-year-old dirt filly in the UAE in 2021 but she’s been plying her trade on turf of late and gained her ninth career success here. Ridden by Danny Tudhope, she led early on but was then content to let stablemate White Moonlight take them along. At the finish, that order was reversed and Soft Whisper ground out the win by a neck. Spanish-trained outsider Samedi Rien charged late for third, ahead of disappointing Gr1 winner Wild Beauty.

“She improved physically, even this season,” said Bin Suroor. “Her condition wasn’t good last year, which can happen with fillies, but we took her back to England and looked after her with a plan to bring her back to Dubai.

“White Moonlight is also a nice filly, we like her.”

Bin Suroor and Tudhope completed a double when the progressive Electrical Storm took the closing Azizi Riviera Handicap, over 1600metres on turf.

The winner of a domestic handicap three weeks earlier, this was much tougher but the six-year-old avoided some scrimmaging in the straight and was too strong at the line for Turkish raider Aegean Finale and the British-trained Ouzo.

“He was coming back in trip so the fact they went quick probably helped him,” said Tudhope, who plans to stay in Dubai for the entire Carnival. “This would be his minimum distance.”


Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname – no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the EditorThe Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Popular Posts