Variety Club runs away with the Godolphin Mile.<br><a target="blank" href="!i=3148527267&k=hScrgKm">Order This Photo</a>

Variety Club runs away with the Godolphin Mile.
Order This Photo

Mathea Kelley

Variety Club Aces Godolphin Mile Gate-to-Wire

South African Horse of the Year overcomes wide draw for front-running win at Meydan.

Boldly overcoming his wide draw, South Africa's Variety Club made all the pace and won the $1 million Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) over defending victor Soft Falling Rain March 29 at Meydan (VIDEO).

Breaking from difficult post 15 in the 16-horse field, South Africa's two-time Horse of the Year was gamely guided across the track by Anton Marcus to seize immediate control and was never headed en route to a one-length triumph.

Finishing third, a nose behind Soft Falling Rain, was Flotilla, winner of the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' Turf (gr. IT) and last year's French One Thousand Guineas (Fr-I).

Variety Club covered 1,600 meters in a swift 1:37.28 on the all-weather track. He owned a nine-race winning streak until upset by Shuruq in the March 8 Burj Nahar (UAE-III) at Meydan but was back to his championship form for the Goldophin Mile. His record stands at 16-4-1 from 22 career starts for trainer Joey Ramsden and owners Markus and Ingrid Jooste.

"Anton gave him a great ride," Ramsden siad. "He got a soft lead and was up there all of the way."

Variety Club was the 5-2 co-favorite along with Shuruq in North American pools hosted by AmWest Entertainment.

Variety Club is out of the Secret Prospector mare La Massine. His third dam is group I South African Oaks winner Novenna, a daughter of leading sire Hobnob.