A field of six fillies will go to the post in the $250,000 UAE Oaks Sponsored by The Saeed and Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (UAE-III) at Meydan Racecourse Feb. 23. The 9 1/2-furlong contest is one of two stakes that highlight the Thursday evening program at Meydan.
One name missing from the entries is that of Gamilati, a two-time winner during the Dubai World Cup Carnival who was last seen cruising to a 5 1/2-length win in the listed UAE One Thousand Guineas Sponsored by Gulf News on Feb. 3. Connections of the Bernardini filly decided to bypass this race, with Godolphin’s racing manager, Simon Crisford, stating, “We did not want to stretch Gamilati beyond a mile at this stage of her career, which is why she is not in the UAE Oaks. We will wait until we get back to Europe before running her again.”
Gamilati will instead target either the QIPCO One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) May 6 or the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (Fr-I) May 13.
Godolphin will still be well-represented in the Oaks by the entry of Pimpernel and Falls of Lora, both of which are trained by Mahmood al Zarooni. Pimpernel, a daughter of Invincible Spirit, most recently finished second to Gamilati in the Guineas. Prior to that, she captured the listed Totepool Radley Stakes at Newbury last fall. Frankie Dettori will ride.
Falls of Lora will be making her 2012 debut in Thursday’s Oaks. The daughter of Street Cry won two of her six starts as a juvenile, concluding her year with a fifth-place finish to Elusive Kate in the Total Prix Marcel Boussac-Criterium Des Pouliches (Fr-I) Oct. 2. Mickael Barzalona will be in the irons.
Alsindi will also be hoping that Gamilati’s absence will be to her benefit. The Luca Cumani trainee has finished behind the Godolphin colorbearer twice this season, in both the One Thousand Guineas (third) and Guineas Trial (second). Royston Ffrench will have the mount.
The rest of the field consists of Colorful Notion, Mary Fildes, and Moon Spun. Post time for the UAE Oaks is scheduled for 11:20 a.m. EST.
Dozen Line Up for Meydan Classic
Earlier on the card 12 colts and geldings are to start in the listed Meydan Classic. The race, which is also sponsored by the Saeed and Mohammed Al Naboodah Group, will be run over eight furlongs on the turf course and is worth $150,000.
Matusalen seeks to keep his perfect record intact when he makes his Carnival debut in the Meydan Classic. The 3-year-old colt from the first crop of Caradak is undefeated in his native country of Spain, having won four straight races. Matusalen concluded his juvenile season with a victory in the eight-furlong Premio Gran Criterium Oct. 23. Borja Favos will ride.
Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe will send out three runners, including Factory Time. The 3-year-old colt by Baltic King won the Meydan Classic Trial, the seven-furlong prep for this race in his last start. Royston Ffrench will be in the saddle.
Others in the field include Fiscal, Old Pal, Energia Dust, Noor Zabeel, Entifaadha, Strait of Zanzibar, Cody Maverick, Burano, Cash Luck, and Kenny Powers.