Godolphin's 5-year-old Marienbard earned his first win since last May in Friday's Jockey Club Stakes (Eng-II) at Newmarket in England. Under Jamie Spencer, the son of Caerleon utilized a strong finishing kick to upset favored Millenary in the 1 1/2-mile race. Marienbard completed the distance in 2:30.09.
Godolphin's other runner, Kutub, finished a troubled fifth in his first start of the year.
"He has been working very well in Dubai and we were hopeful that he would run well, but Kutub always needs his first race of the season; he is a big horse and is always the sharper for his first run of the year," said Sheikh Mohammed. "I think this distance of a-mile-and-a-half is Marienbard's best trip, though we did run him in the Ascot Gold Cup last year. I do not know where we shall run him next; I shall have to talk to his owner (and breeder) Saif Ali and see what he would like to do."
The win marks Marienbard's fifth in 13 career starts and his second in a group II stakes. Last year, he won the Yorkshire Cup (Eng-II) at York. The Saeed bin Suroor trainee came into Friday's race following a fourth-place finish in the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) won by Nayef.
Sent off at 9-1, Marienbard finished a neck-length ahead of Millenary, with Storming Home third.
Also at Newmarket Friday, Sheikh Ahmed al Maktoum's Tarfshi upset favored Spring Oak in the listed Dahlia Stakes. The 4-year-old daughter of Mtoto finished 1 3/4 lengths ahead of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) third-place finisher. On good turf, Tarfshi completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.49 to earn her fourth win from 10 career starts.
Spring Oak was making her first start for Godolphin.
(Jockey Club Stakes Chart, Sporting Life