Shuruq Streaks to U.A.E. Oaks Victory
Shuruq won by a convincing four lengths in the $250,000 United Arab Emirates Oaks Sponsored by Al Dana Wealth Management (UAE-III) Feb. 28 at Meydan while leading in a one-two-three finish for Godolphin.
The finish had an eerily familiar look to the United Arab Emirates One Thousand Guineas three weeks ago.
The trio of fillies, all under the royal blue colors of the Maktoum family's Godolphin, swept the top three spots in the Guineas Feb. 7, with Lovely Pass winning by a half-length from Shuruq as Music Chart checked in third. Prior to that, Music Chart defeated Shuruq in the trial for the One Thousand Guineas Jan. 17, but Shuruq would not be denied again.
The Elusive Quality filly stormed past fading pacesetters My Special J's and Mar Mar coming off the turn in the Oaks and comfortably held at bay Lovely Pass and Music Chart, who were all out in pursuit of the winner but could not catch her.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said Shuruq could face males in the $2 million United Arab Emirates Derby (UAE-II) March 30 at Meydan.
"My initial thought is that we are likely to take her back to England, but we will all have to sit down and talk about it," trainer Saeed bin Suroor said. "These conditions clearly suit her so the U.A.E. Derby is at least a consideration."
Lovely Pass finished second, 2 1/4 lengths in front of third-place finisher Music Chart.
With Paul Hanagan at the reins, Shuruq covered 1,900 meters (about 1 3/16 miles) in 1:58.72 on the all-weather track. The bay filly tallied her first stakes win and improved her record to two wins, two seconds, and a third from five career starts.
Trainer Mike de Kock's Argentine-bred Emotif, the 9-to-5 favorite in North American pools hosted by Kentucky-based AmWest Entertainment, stalked the early pace but came up empty in the stretch and finished fifth.
Shuruq, the 4-to-1 third choice, had stamina to spare, Hanagan said.
"I think that's what she does best," he said. "She just stays all day. She's got a real nice temperament; she just stayed and stayed."
Shuruq was bred by Darley, which stands Elusive Quality at its Lexington operation along with Hard Spun , the sire of Now Spun, who earlier on the card won the Meydan Classic.
Elusive Quality, leading sire of 2004, currently ranks fourth among North America's leading general sires this season. Shuruq marks his second U.A.E. Oaks winner following Raihana in 2010. Shuruq is out of English group II winner Miss Lucifer, by Noverre. She is from the family of English classic winner Virginia Waters and Irish classic-placed Alexander of Hales.
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