The International Racing Festival at Istanbul’s Veliefendi Racecourse kicked off Thursday, Sept. 3, with victories by Irish-breds in the two featured stakes.
Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation notched its first win in Turkey when Balius took the Anatolia Trophy under jockey Frankie Dettori. The rider rated the 6-year-old Mujahid horse in third in the 1 1/4-mile race before assuming the lead in the straight and drawing off to defeat Darvis Aga by 4 1/2 lengths. He was bred in Ireland by Stilvi Compania Financiera S.A.
The winner earned US$250,000 with the victory.
"We are happy to be here and it feels wonderful to win our first race in Turkey, thanks to Balius," trainer Saeed bin Suroor was quoted as saying by the Jockey Club of Turkey.
In the France Galop-FRBC Istanbul Trophy, Liam Mulryan’s Eva’s Request defeated Damaniyat Girl for trainer Mick Channon and jockey Alan Munro. The 4-year-old daughter of Soviet Star earned $250,000 for the one-length victory. She was bred in Ireland by Ballylinch Stud.