Godolphin Dominate Meydan
Gold Star provided Godolphin with a fourth winner of the night in the 12-furlong handicap on turf which ended the fourth Dubai World Cup Carnival programme at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 1 February.
The four-year-old Nathaniel colt, trained by Saeed bin Suroor and beaten a nose in a similar course and distance race on 11 January, was held up in 10th by Christophe Soumillon.
Gold Star still had one rival behind him as the 11 runners entered the home straight and encountered trouble in running with a furlong and a half remaining before quickening up strongly on the outside to overhaul fellow Godolphin challenger Walton Street (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) by a short head in a bunched finish with less than three quarters of a lengths between the first five home.
The two other Godolphin runners, Eynhallow (Charlie Appleby/Mickael Barzalona) and Huge Future (Saeed bin Suroor/Gerald Mosse) were fourth and fifth.
Saeed bin Suroor, saddling his second winner after Benbatl impressed earlier, commented: “The horses are running well.
“Gold Star came from nearly last to first and is improving and doing well.”
Godolphin nearly had a fifth success as Steady Pace (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon) was only beaten a nose in the six-furlong handicap on turf.
His trainer remarked: “Everyone thought Steady Pace had won, but the photo-finish unfortunately showed he just failed.”
Regarding Dream Castle, who was third in the G2 Al Fahidi Fort over seven furlongs on turf, Saeed bin Suroor said: “Dream Castle has improved from his first run of the year and I hope to find another seven-furlong race for him.”
Boynton took the switch to dirt in his stride as he made most of the running for an impressive victory in the mile handicap at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 1 February.
The Charlie Appleby-trained four-year-old, a G2 winner on turf as a juvenile in the UK, was pushed along leaving the stalls by William Buick to take up the running after a furlong.
He was asked to stretch approaching the final quarter-mile and the son of More Than Ready found plenty when Kimbear briefly threatened to challenge the Godolphin runner over a furlong from home.
Boynton ran on well to prevail by two and three quarter lengths from Kimbear in 1m 36. 97s, with a further seven and a quarter lengths back to Stunned in third.
Charlie Appleby said: “Boynton is a horse that showed a lot of potential as a two-year-old.
“We have had setbacks with him and it is a great team effort. Everyone will be very pleased that he has got his head back in front again.
“He was over-racing a bit over further and I felt that dropping him back to a mile and letting him get on with the job in hand would suit.
“The gelding operation has definitely helped Boynton. He was always a bit of a rangy individual, but he has started to fill out now.
“This was a case of seeing what happens – he has the pedigree for dirt but it was a matter of testing the water – but he has ticked that box now and a logical route would be taking a look at the Firebreak Stakes (G3, 1m, 17 February, Meydan).”
William Buick commented: “Boynton is a horse who the team have always held in high regard and it’s lovely to get him back to winning ways.
“He has been training well on the surface, but had never been at racing pace on it.
“He did it very professionally this evening – he broke a fraction slow, but gathered his stride quickly, was comfortable on the lead and increased it the whole way.
“He gave me a good feel and was pretty impressive towards the end. I managed to get a breather into him at halfway and we were fairly comfortable with where we were.
“I think he definitely gets a mile and a quarter, but it showed there that an aggressively ridden mile suits him very well, so there should be plenty of options over this trip.
“He doesn’t have to necessarily stride on – I think he is horse who, the less you interfere with him, the better it is.
“Today was a small field (five runners) and he had an inside draw, so I just let him make use of himself.”
Size of Racecourse district: 67 million sq ft
The Meydan Hotel: Will adjoin the Grandstand, with over 95% of the 290 rooms and suites having a direct, unobstructed view of the racetrack
Grandstand capacity: 20,000 tiered seating and over 60,000 capacity for the Grandstand
Total Grandstand building length: 1.6km, including the Boathouse and receiving barns
Total car park wingspan (in the shape of a falcon): 1.3km
Car park capacity: Up to 8,600 cars
Tracks: 1750m (8.75 furlongs) Dirt surface and 2400m (12 furlongs) Turf tracks
Other features surrounding the Grandstand will include:
Facilities include world-class horseracing facilities such as receiving barns and stables for horses, all-weather surface practice track, jockey and horsemen’s lounges, amongst others.