Sulamani Regains Respect in Juddmonte International

Sulamani, who had fallen from his perch as Godolphin's number one this year, regained a considerable amount of his luster Tuesday when he passed Norse Dancer with 120 yards to go and went on to win the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) at York.

In the process, the gritty 5-year-old campaigner popped the bubble of undefeated 3-year-old French star Bago, who finished a valiant third as the 13-8 favorite, 1 1/2 lengths behind Sulamani. Bago was facing older horses for the first time.

Sulamani defeated Norse Dancer by three-quarters of a length in 2:11.82 on good turf for the 10-furlong and 88 yard-distance.

Sulamani, who won last year's Arlington Miillion (gr. IT) via disqualification, picked up his fifth grade or group I victory and his first in England. But the recent exploits of Doyen, Refuse to Bend and others for the high-flying Godolphin operation had left the son of Hernando as something of an overlooked star.

"This horse has won a French Derby, finished second in an Arc and three other group 1 races but here in England everyone had forgotten him," Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford told Racing Post.

He said the softer going helped Sulamani this time.

With Frankie Dettori aboard, Sulamani was near the rear of the nine-horse field into the straight, rallying two furlongs from home to reach contention. Inside of the final furlong, Sulamani passed Kalaman for second but needed to pick it up to catch Norse Dancer, who had opened up a clear advantage.

"I got a good lead from Kalaman but then I saw Norse Dancer gain two lengths and realized that was too big a lead. I asked Sulamani to catch him. The response wasn't immediate, perhaps he remembered his races on firm ground, but once he felt the ease in the ground, he took off."

The win put Sulamani ino the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) picture once again.

"It is entirely possible he will run in the Arc," Crisford said. "He loves soft ground and stays a mile and a half and was second in the race to Marienbard, but we also have Doyen. We have not talked about plans and will discuss those nearer the time. Sulamani will be traveling first class from now on."

Cacique finished fourth, followed by Millstreet, Kalaman, Imperial Dancer, Solskjaer and Tycoon.

Dettori was also aboard Godolphin's Rule of Law, who led all the way while setting a tepid pace, posting a 2 1/2-length victory in the Daily Telegraph Great Voltigeur Stakes (Eng-II) Tuesday. The Kentucky-bred son of Kingmambo, sent off as the 11-8 choice, covered the 11-furlong, 398-yard distance in 2:37.10.

Let the Lion Roar was second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Go for Gold.