Cityscape Romps in Dubai Duty Free
Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Cityscape took over turning for home and burst clear of the field in the stretch en route to a record-setting victory in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) March 31 at Meydan Racecourse.
It was the first group I win for the English-bred horse after pair of heartbreaking losses in grade I company in 2011. The 6-year-old son of Selkirk—Tantina, by Distant View was ridden to victory by James Doyle for trainer Roger Charlton.
Cityscape covered 1 1/8 miles on the turf in a course-record time of 1:48.65 while scoring by 4 1/4 lengths.
Mutahadee finished second, just in front of City Style in the prestigious race on Dubai World Cup night. Wigmore Hall, who won the Northern Dancer Turf (Can-IT) at Woodbine last year and was third in the 2011 Duty Free, finished fourth.
Defending Duty Free titleholder Presvis broke poorly and was never involved in the race while finishing last.
Cityscape entered the race a three-time group stakes winner in his career, but finished an unlucky second by a nose in both the Gran Premio Vittorio di Capua (Ity-I) and the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) last year. This was his season debut.
Under Doyle, Cityscape received the perfect stalking trip, as he raced just behind pacesetter Await the Dawn down the backstretch before taking over on the turn. Once he straightened away, Cityscape quickly separated himself from the rest of the field and drew away. With 300 meters remaining he had an insurmountable lead, and even though Irish-bred Mutahadee closed well under Christophe Soumillon, there was never any doubt about the winner.
"The horse has been really consistent and has been training really well," Charlton told Racing Post. "He had a good preparation at home and he's come out here and not lost any weight. I thought it was the most competitive race on the card and I didn't think he'd break the track record and win by four and a quarter lengths.
"Juddmonte Farms have a lot of good horses and although he could go for the Lockinge, they have Frankel for that race. There's the possibility of Hong Kong, Singapore, or he could stay at home."
Cityscape improved to 6-7-1 from 17 starts and upped his earnings to $4,002,997.
The winner paid $24.60 and $6.60 in U.S. betting pools.
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