Falls of Lora Much the Best in UAE Oaks
Photo: Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club
Falls of Lora takes the UAE Oaks by 2 3/4 lengths.

Godolphin was expected to win the $250,000 UAE Oaks Sponsored by The Saeed and Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (UAE-III) Feb. 23, but they did it with the unheralded half of their entry when Falls of Lora stormed home to win the classic by 2 3/4 lengths.

The Oaks was the highlight of the 11th night of racing in the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan Racecourse.

Trainer Mahmood al Zarooni sent out a pair of fillies for Godolphin, with Pimpernel going off as the 4-9 favorite. The bay filly, a listed stakes winner in England last year, hoped to improve off her second-place finish to Gamilati in the listed UAE One Thousand Guineas Sponsored by Gulf News on Feb. 3. Instead it was Falls of Lora, a daughter of Street Cry, who took the lead in deep stretch and pulled away to win easily over 7-2 second choice Mary Fildes, in what was a strangely run race.

At the start it was 33-1 outsider Mary Fildes who shot to the front, opening up a sizable lead on the rest of the field within the first furlong. Moon Spun raced in second while Pimpernel, who had broken awkwardly, was held up toward the rear of the field by Frankie Dettori as she threw her head and fought her rider through the early going.

As the field entered the backstretch Mary Fildes continued to have her way on the front end, opening up by a dozen lengths on the rest. Moon Spun continued to chase her in second and Falls of Lora ran in third, as the remainder of the field was well strung out behind them.

Rounding the far turn and entering the homestretch it was still Mary Fildes showing the way, with rider James Doyle hard at work trying to maintain their advantage. Falls of Lora had overtaken Moon Spun and moved into second, with Mickael Barzalona asking his filly for more run as they zeroed in on the longtime leader.

With two furlongs left, Mary Fildes’ lead was quickly dwindling and she began to drift out, which left the rail wide open for Falls of Lora. She charged past the tiring leader with less than a furlong to run, pulling away in the final yards to win easily.

Mary Fildes held on to second by three-quarters of a length over the late-closing Alsindi. Pimpernel was never a factor and finished fifth.

The final time for the 9 1/2 furlongs was 2:01.12 over the Tapeta main track.

It was the first stakes win for Falls of Lora, who improved her record to three wins from seven starts for earnings of $188,566. The 3-year-old filly was bred in Ireland by Darley, and is out of the French classic-placed Firth of Lorne, a daughter of Danehill.

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