Hunter's Light, De Sousa Achieve Group I Wins

The Dubawi colt and Godolphin's promising young rider teamed for group I success.

Godolphin Racing's Hunter's Light and jockey Silvestre De Sousa notched breakthrough wins at the highest level on Nov. 4 when partnering for a victory in the Premio Roma GBI Racing (Ity-I) at Capannelle Racecourse in Rome.

The 4-year-old Dubawi colt won by two lengths from two-time German group I-placed Feuerblitz, who settled for second in a group I race for the third time this season.

Hunter's Light settled off the early pace before rallying more than a quarter-mile out to take charge and secure the victory. Though he dawdled a bit in the final furlong, he was well clear of his six challengers who failed to threaten.

Hunter's Light was timed in 2:03.38 for 1 1/4 miles (2,000 meters) on heavy turf and earned his third win from seven starts this season for trainer Saeed bin Suroor. A trip to the International Races in Hong Kong is under consideration for the chestnut colt, who also will remain in training in 2013.

Starting as the favorite in the Premio Roma following his runner-up finish to Cirrus des Aigles, the world's second-ranked racehorse, in the Qatar Prix Dollar (Fr-II) on Oct. 6 at Longchamp, Hunter's Light posted back-to-back group victories in the International France Galop FRBC Anatolia Trophy (Tur-II) on Sept. 1 at Veliefendi Racecourse in Istanbul and the Talk to Victor Rose of Lancaster Stakes (Eng-III) on Aug. 11 at Haydock Park.

De Sousa, 20, and Mickael Barzalona, were retained earlier this year by the Maktoum family’s Godolphin as a principal riders in 2013, replacing Frankie Dettori. De Sousa had an outstanding season in 2011 in Great Britain, finishing a close second in the jockey championship.

Godolphin enjoyed a third success in the Premio Roma, winning with Cherry Mix in 2006 and Rio De La Plata in 2010.

Bred in Ireland by Sheikh Mohammed's Darley, Hunter’s Light has seven wins, two seconds, and two thirds from 15 career starts. He is from the second crop of Darley's European-based Dubawi, who has 49 stakes winners, including 29 group or graded winners from four crops of racing age. In 2012 alone, Dubawi has a remarkable 10 top-level performers around the world, including Emirates Airlines Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Monterosso, and 41 stakes performers overall.

Hunter's Light is out of the winning Barathea mare Portmanteau, a half sister to multiple French group winner Courteous and listed winner Scriptwriter.

His second dam Dayanata is a full sister to French champion, classic winner, and leading sire Darshaan and a half sister to Watership Down Stud’s recently deceased blue hen Darara, a French group I winner who is the dam of group I winners Dar Re Mi, Rewilding, Darazari, and Diaghilev, who raced in Hong Kong under the name River Dancer.