Calming Influence is in command in the Godolphin Mile.
Godolphin’s Calming Influence took over rounding the turn, opened up a commanding lead in the stretch, and held off Green Coast to win the $1-million Godolphin Mile sponsored by Etisalat (UAE-II) by a length March 27 at Meydan Racecourse on the Dubai World Cup undercard.
Bred in Ireland by Helen Lyons, Calming Influence was ridden to victory by Ahmed Ajtebi. The winning trainer was Mahmoud al Zarooni, who was just recently given a string of horses by Godolphin's Sheikh Mohammed and raced a horse in his name for the first time.
Monshir Al Tajir’s Green Coast, who is also based in Dubai, was 1 1/4 lengths ahead of third place Skysurfers, another Godolphin-owned horse.
The final time over the Tapeta synthetic surface was 1:36.57.
Calming Influence, sent off at 13-1, earned his fifth win from 14 lifetime starts. The 5-year-old horse is by King's Best, out of the Indian Ridge mare Idilic Calm.
Godolphin’s Desert Party, 14th in last year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), was sent off as the favorite in a field of 14 but was never a factor.
One race earlier in the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint (UAE-III), Hi Card Ranch’s homebred California Flag, the lone U.S.-based horse in a field of 16 turf sprinters, finished third under Joe Talamo.
California Flag, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in November, led for most of the way in the about six-furlong contest, but was collared in the final yards by New Zealand-bred Joy and Fun, who scored for trainer Derek Cruz and owners Mr. and Mrs. Wong Chun Nam at odds of 18-1. Longshot Fravishi was runner-up for Godolphin in the first of seven Thoroughbred races on the $26.25 million World Cup card.
The final time was 1:09.80.
Millionaire 6-year-old California Flag, trained by Brian Koriner, earned $100,000 for the third-place effort. The Avenue of Flags gelding entered the race off a fifth-place finish in the Cathay Hong Kong Sprint (HK-I) in December.