Godolphin, the newly minted Eclipse Award-winning owner of 2012 in the U.S., will send out a quartet of fillies in the $200,000 Cape Verdi Sponsored by Meydan Hotels (UAE-II), the feature event Jan. 24 during the third meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan Racecourse.
The foursome makes up half of the eight-horse field for the 1,600-meter (about one-mile) turf race and includes Falls of Lora, winner of last season’s United Arab Emirates Oaks Sponsored by the Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (UAE-III) and talented European stakes winner Sajjhaa. The field also includes another of trainer Mike de Kock’s top-level South African winners in Amanee, who is campaigned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum.
Falls of Lora, a 4-year-old Street Cry filly, comfortably won the Oaks by 2 3/4 lengths on the all-weather track after closing a sizable amount of ground on the far turn and wearing down the pacesetter to prevail in an impressive performance that earned her a start in the U.A.E. Derby (UAE-II). She found the competition against males too tough, however, and was never a factor, finishing a well-beaten 10th behind Daddy Long Legs.
Falls of Lora will try to snap a three-race winless stretch following her head victory in the listed Coral Distaff Stakes on turf last summer at Sandown for trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni.
Godolphin also will be represented by a trio trained by Saeed bin Suroor: French stakes winner Dark Orchid, a 4-year-old Dansili filly who most recently was fourth behind Romantica in the Shadwell Prix de la Nonette (Fr-II) in August at Deauville, and Spellwork, a 4-year-old Hard Spun filly who finished second in a listed stakes last July at Vichy. Both were formerly trained by Andre Fabre. Bin Suroor also will saddle Sajjhaa, a 6-year-old King's Best mare who is a multiple stakes winner in England and a group III winner in Italy.
Following the easy victory by undefeated South African champion Soft Falling Rain last week at Meydan, trainer Mike de Kock will send out Amanee, a 4-year-old Australian-bred Pivotal filly, who debuted on opening night of the Dubai Carnival Jan. 10 following eight months without a race. She finished 13th against males in the 1,400-meter (about seven-furlong) handicap and will look to rebound in the Cape Verdi against her own sex.
Amanee has four wins from 12 career starts, including her victories in the 2011 Thekwini Stakes (SAf-I) and the 2012 Korean Racing Authority Fillies Guineas (SAf-II).
Reigning U.A.E. champion trainer Ali Al Raihe’s First City won last year’s Cape Verdi from U.A.E. classic winner and South African champion Mahbooba and seeks her first win in her fifth start since then. Saeed Hamad Al Ahbabi’s 7-year-old Diktat mare, who is group I-placed in England, finished eighth in the His Highness The President Cup Dec. 23 at Abu Dhabi in her most recent start.
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