Ihtimal made a powerful statement in the $250,000 United Arab Emirates One Thousand Guineas, closing strongly from off the pace, seizing a commanding lead in the stretch, and romping unchallenged to victory Feb. 6 at Meydan Racecourse.
Breaking from the inside post in the 11-horse field, Godolphin's daughter of Shamardal settled into a comfortable rhythm in mid-division early as Magroora set the pace and led Sign of Lucky, with stablemate Mensoora tracking from third.
Extending her advantage to about two lengths into the stretch, a cruising Magroora pointed for home but Mensoora moved eagerly when asked and overhauled her 300 meters out. Mensoora's advantage was short-lived, however, as Ihtimal swooped on the outside with ground-devouring strides to snatch control in the final furlong. She drew off to win by 3 1/4 lengths under Silvestre De Sousa.
Ihtimal, the 3-2 favorite in North American pools, picked up her third stakes victory while covering 1,600 meters (about one mile) in a quick 1:36.64 on the all-weather track.
Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, the bay filly was making her first start since finishing third to subsequent Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' Turf (gr. IT) winner Chriselliam in the Shadwell Fillies' Mile (Eng-I) Sept. 27 at Newmarket. The Fillies' Mile followed consecutive wins in England's Sweet Solera Stakes (Eng-II) in August and May Hill Stakes (Eng-II) Sept 13.
Bin Suroor continued his domination of the U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas, picking up his ninth win in the race with Darley-bred Ihtimal, whose career line improves to 3-2-2 from seven career starts. A candidate for the One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) May 4, she is likely to have one more race in Dubai— the United Arab Oaks (UAE-II) Feb.27, before shipping to Newmarket for the English classic.
The winning Dubai Destination mare Eastern Joy is the dam of Ihtimal. Eastern Joy is a half sister to 2007 Prix de Diane (Fr-I, French Oaks) winner West Wind. She is from the family of European champion and 1994 Irish Derby (Ire-I) and Epsom Oaks (Eng-I) winner Balanchine, the first group I winner for Godolphin.