Hunter's Light took charge in early stretch and extended his lead with every stride for a commanding win in the Emirates Airline Jebel Hatta (UAE-I) on the Super Saturday card March 7 at Meydan.
Hunter's Light's 6 1/2-length triumph sealed a group I double on the evening for Godolphin, trainer, Saeed bin Suroor and jockey James Doyle, who teamed to win the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 one race earlier with African Story.
Settled third early behind pacesetter Anaerobio, Hunter's Light covered 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles) in 1:47.97 on turf rated good.
Just as in the 2014 edition of the Jebel Hatta, Mike de Kock's Argentine champion Anaerobio tried for a front-running win only to fade, this year to ninth.
The Super Saturday card of eight stakes is a dress rehearsal for the $30 million Dubai World Cup card, anchored by the $10 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 28. The Jebel Hatta is a prep for the race formerly known as the Dubai Duty Free, which has been renamed the Dubai Turf (UAE-I) due to a sponsorship change.
The 7-year-old son of Dubawi was off for 10 months after finishing unplaced in last year's Dubai World Cup, but has won all three starts this season, including the Dubai Millennium Stakes Feb. 19.
Darley-bred Hunter's Light has 12 wins from 27 career starts, including the 2013 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (UAE-I) and 2012 Premio Roma (Ity-I).
"Saeed and the whole team have done a great job with this horse," said Doyle, whose mount will now chart a course for the Dubai Turf. "He has really bounced back to his best and this was a fantastic effort in what had appeared a very competitive race."
Bin Suroor added: "We wanted to win another Group 1 with him so I am obviously delighted."
Hunter's Light's dam is the Barathea mare Portmanteau.
The Super Saturday card included five other Thoroughbred stakes:
Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum's Mubtaahij handed Uruguayan superstar Sir Fever his first defeat in 11 career starts in the Al Bastakiya, the second leg of the United Arab Emirates Triple Crown. A son of Dubawi, Mubtaahij won by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:59.08 for 1,900 meters (about 1 3/16 miles) on the dirt.
Sheikh Hamdan's Shaishee headed Speed Hawk close to home in the Mahab Al Shimaal (UAE-III), winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:12.13 for the 1,200 meter (about six-furlong) test. Speed Hawk lost second on the finish line to United Color. A son of Indian Charlie trained by Musabah Al Muhairi Shaishee now heads to the Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) on World Cup night.
Sheikh Hamdan and Al Muhairi also enjoyed a win with Tamarkuz, who captured the Burj Nahaar (UAE-III) by 2 3/4 lengths from Gold City. Jockey Paul Hanagan always looked happy on the winning son of Speightstown , tracking the early speed before taking up the running fully 700 meters from home. Tamarkuz would look a major player in the Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) World Cup night.
Paul Wildes' Sir Maximilian finished fast and late with Ian William to secure Meydan Sprint (UAE-III) by a short head from Ahtoug. The latter led for only led for a couple of strides—having denied Caspar Netscher, who had looked the likely winner with 100 meters to run—a few meters from the line only to have victory snatched away. Sir Maximilian, a son of Royal Applause, finish 1,000 meters (about five furlongs) in :57.10 on good turf.
Godolphin's Sky Hunter was a comfortable 1 3/4-length victor over Sheikhzayedroad in the Dubai City of Gold (UAE-II), a preview for the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) on World Cup night. The son of Motivator, ridden by James Doyle, went to the front early in the straight and ran on strongly. He covered 2,410 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) on turf in 2:32.88.