Two wins apiece for Godolphin pair on Dubai World Cup night
Blue was certainly the colour as Godolphin dominated the Group 1 races on World Cup night in Dubai on Saturday.
Newmarket-based Saeed bin Suroor and Charlie Appleby shared four top-level victories evenly on a memorable evening for the world-renowned organisation in Meydan.
Benbatl clinched the Dubai Turf over nine furlongs for Bin Suroor, who also had the winner of the lucrative Dubai World Cup in the form of Thunder Storm.
Jockey Christophe Soumillon allowed four-year-old Thunder Snow to roll along at the front early, with the opposition unable to dislodge him.
Bin Suroor, for whom it was an eighth World Cup win, said: ““Thunder Snow is a brilliant horse.
“He is a Group 1 winner twice in the past in France and now he has come back to win the Dubai World Cup. It is a very big result.
“I know people were worried about being drawn in stall 10, but I was always relaxed about this because I know that Thunder Snow can take a nice position as he has a good turn of foot.”
Appleby, meanwhile, was celebrating victory in the Al Quoz Sprint and the Dubai Sheema Classic thanks to Jungle Cat and Hawkbill.
Jungle Cat’s win was all the more dramatic given that Appleby’s other interest in the race — hot favourite Blue Point — was withdrawn before the start because of bleeding from the nostrils.
“As soon as I heard that Blue Point was scratched, I kept composed and knew that Jungle Cat was in the best form of his life,” said Appleby.
“The team have done a fantastic job and the horse deserved to win a race like this.
“From halfway, I knew that Jungle Cat was in a good rhythm.
“They had gone a good gallop and they were always going to come back to him. I am absolutely thrilled for the horse.”
• It was not such a successful trip to the Middle East for Michael Bell’s popular Big Orange after he finished down in 12th in the Dubai Gold Cup.
The Fitzroy House trainer reported last week that the seven-year-old was found to be set fast shortly after his arrival in Dubai.
And it seemed to hamper him on the night, with jockey Frankie Dettori commenting after the race that he was aware last year’s Ascot Gold Cup hero had nothing more to give five furlongs from home.
Next on the agenda for Big Orange is expected to be the Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes at Sandown in May.