Tamarillo Posts UAE Oaks Upset Victory

By Jason Ford
Thursday night's race card at Nad Al Sheba in the United Arab Emirates was the last of the inaugural Dubai International Racing Carnival, other than the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) card in 16 days.

The night's feature, the fourth running of the UAE Oaks, a nine-furlong conditions race, appeared a match on paper between Satish Seemar's Festive Style and Clive Brittain's Menhoubah, bidding to preserve Frankie Dettori's 100% record in the race, with the jockey having won on three Godolphin horses in the past.

The pair had been second and third, in Menhoubah's favor, behind Godolphin's Catstar in the UAE One Thousand Guineas (UAE-III), while Seemar's charge had since won the Cape Verdi Stakes, over a mile on the turf, very impressively. However, in the Oaks Menhoubah disappointed badly and Festive Style moved up smoothly two furlongs out to challenge Mazin Al Kurdi's Tamarillo, who had never been far off the pace under Ted Durcan.

A daughter of Daylami who won a Nottingham maiden for Michael Bell in the United Kingdom, Tamarillo turned out to be made of stern stuff and would not let Festive Style pass en route to victory a gutsy second career start.

Durcan was delighted: "She has done that well and is all heart. I knew I had something left entering the straight but was expecting two big challenges, though only one materialized. I knew she would stay and think she will improve over further. That was a brave effort."

Tamarillo is the first foal out of Up and About, a winning Barathea half-sister to three winners. Their dam, Upend, is a group III winning Main Reef half-sister to the dam of the group I winning champion stayer Royal Gait.

Up and About's juvenile filly by King's Best has been named Best About, having been sold for 54,000 guineas at Tattersalls last October. The mare also has a yearling filly by Inchinor.

The opening 2,000 meter handicap was won in good style by Erwan Charpy's Mubeen, a 4-year-old son of Barathea who was also ridden by Durcan. Rathbarry Stud's Barathea completed a quick double when Godolphin's Winisk River, under Frankie Dettori, made it two for two in the Carnival when winning the first division of the mile handicap on turf. It has been some training performance by Saeed bin Suroor as the colt had been out of action since June 2002 before his winning return three weeks ago. He looks progressive.

The Godolphin team completed a double 30 minutes later when Gonfilia made all in the Balanchins Stakes, a conditions race over 1,777 meters on the turf. A German-bred 4-year-old daughter of Big Shuffle, she disappointed three weeks ago over a mile but this was a much fairer reflection of her ability as she is a listed winner in Europe. The win sealed Gonfilia the inaugural Darley Distaff Series, of which this was the second and concluding leg, but Sheikh Mohammed gave the prize, a nomination to Darley Dubai's Halling, to the connections of Festive Style who amassed the second most points in the series.

UK raider Scott's View, trained by Mark Johnston, galloped into the reckoning for the 12-furlong Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I), a turf race on World Cup night, when defying top-weight in a handicap over the same course and distance. It was a second win in three weeks for the 5-year-old Selkirk gelding and, as on the previous occasion, he had to overcome traffic problems under Stanley Chin.

Durcan completed his treble on Satish Seemar's Feet So Fast in the 1,300 meter turf handicap to gain compensation for their disqualified effort over the same course and distance 12 days ago. A 5-year-old gelded son of Pivotal, the winner was recording his seventh win from only 15 starts and still appears to be improving.

The concluding second division of the mile handicap on turf was won impressively by Allan Smith's Walmooh, ridden by his son Paul. An 8-year-old son of In The Wings, this was his ninth career win and could have been enough to ensure a berth in the Godolphin Mile (UAE-II).

Most Popular Stories