Aspectoflove outlasted a stubborn Thai Haku to capture the $200,000 Cape Verdi Stakes-Sponsored by Bab Al Shams (UAE-IIT) at Meydan Racecourse Jan. 20. The turf event for older fillies and mares was the featured race on the second night of the 2011 Dubai Carnival.
Sent off as the 3-1 second choice under Frankie Dettori, the Irish-bred daughter of Danetime was trying to capture her first stakes in Dubai, having finished a close second on two occasions last year.
Dettori was content to settle Aspectoflove into third, as longshot Anam Chara led the field of 11 through very slow early fractions. Christophe Lemaire had Thai Haku in the second spot, with Aspectoflove just off her heels in third. Favored River Jetez hugged the rail in fourth, as 2009 Cape Verdi victress Deem raced toward the back of the field in seventh.
Anam Chara continued to set the pace, opening up a two-length lead as the field entered the home straight. Lemaire went to work aboard Thai Haku, and the daughter of Oasis Dream powered past Anam Chara, taking the lead with just over two furlongs left to run.
At the same time, Dettori had moved Aspectoflove off of the rail so she would have a clear path, and went to work aboard the 5-year-old mare. Aspectoflove quickly drew alongside Thai Haku, and the pair battled the length of the stretch with Aspectoflove finally gaining a slight advantage as they hit the wire. The official margin of victory was a quarter-length, though it appeared to be closer.
Christophe Soumillon had attempted to make a daring move along the inside rail aboard River Jetez, but the pair had to snatch up quickly when they ran out of room. The South African mare was full of run and made up several lengths once she got into the clear, but it was too late and she had to settle for third, another half-length further back.
The final time for the one mile over the good turf course was 1:36.52.
The victory was the first of the season for Aspectoflove, who had captured the listed EBF Normandie Stud Fleur de Lys Stakes last October at Lingfield. With the victory, the bay mare improved her record to seven wins from 20 career starts for Godolphin Racing.
Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Aspectoflove was bred in Ireland by Patrick Cassidy. By Danetime, she is out of the unraced Caerleon mare Rose Vibert.